How robots could take over the world

After a robot amazed scientists by besting the most renowned Go-playing human currently alive, the issue of whether we can stop AI taking over the world is has again come to the forefront.  

AlphaGo, Google DeepMind’s game of Go-playing AI beat the world’s best Go-playing human, Lee Sedol from Korea, in three rounds of the game, astounding scientists, who believed this advancement would not happen for another 10 years.

On Monday 14 March on Q&A, the subject of whether a well-structured ethical framework could prevent AI from controlling the planet was discussed.  

According to molecular biologist Upulie Divisekera, a strong ethical framework will be the key to keeping AI under control, especially when it becomes self-aware and able to command itself.

“We have the power and we have the ability to construct the AI we want to see…We have to think about how we want our society to look in the future and what sort of ethical framework we want to introduce to develop the artificial intelligence,” she said.

It is now a well-understood fact that self-learning robots are on their way. American physicist and string theorist Brian Greene says that instead of fearing AI, we should be embracing it as a path towards the next stage of human evolution. 

“How about the possibility we are just in a new stage of evolution and we will migrate from this form to another form. That might be the natural order in which evolution takes place in a technical era,” he said.

Mr Greene also added that if becoming a “silicon-based being” meant he could be immortal, he would take that opportunity.

When it comes to job losses, Australia’s chief scientist Alan Finkel agreed that automation would result in significant shifts in the ways many current roles are carried out.

However, the development of AI would also result in the creation of new jobs.

“At least 45 to 50 per cent of the jobs we know of today will disappear in the next 20 years, but there will be replacement jobs.

 “I don’t think there are any industries safe from automation but I’m not convinced that the job losses are inevitable because what’s happening is, with the automation, companies get a head start, they are competitive, they earn wealth and re-invest the wealth,” Dr Finkel said.

How do you feel about the way AI is advancing? Should we be excited by and embrace automation or do you think humans are allowing technology to control their lives too much? Do you fear a time when robots are smarter than the humans who created them?

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Written by ameliath