The Rise Of The Machines

Sometimes people worry that one day, artificial intelligence will get out of control, and intelligent machines will massacre us.  Maybe there will be an uprising of some sort.  Maybe they’ll just stop working for us and let us die out.

I’ve been highly skeptical of this notion for several reasons.  One reason is that computers don’t have an urge to dominate or to over control – unless they’re programmed to do it.  Computers have no ambition.  Machines would gain no advantage by overthrowing us.  It’s not likely to ever happen.

But the machines might still do us harm indirectly and unintentionally.  I came across an article that stated that AI can create images, and posted one.  The results looked bizarre, but not beyond what a modern painter would produce.  Had I not been told, I never would have known that an AI had created it.

Computers are now able to create music, read X-Rays and other diagnostic tools, deepfake, facial recognition, all manner of things that were once deemed impossible or too resource-intensive to use.  Computers can be made to simulate the results that would arise from a given circuit.  Of course they are replacing human workers for at least the more menial work.  As they become more sophisticated, they will replace more difficult jobs.

At some point, there won’t be any need for humans, and I think that’s where the threat is.  At some point we’ll find that computers have become better at doing anything a human could do. I think that the real danger from AI is crushing the human spirit by being too good at their jobs,  consequently making our efforts appear trivial. Why bother making a painting when an AI could do it better and in far less time?  Why compose music that won’t be as good as what the AI would?

If we have no art or creativity, we will slowly lose interest in life, and we’ll probably go the way of the dinosaur.

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