Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning and Automation are advancing so fast that they might soon end up replacing a lot of low-level and mid-level jobs across industries. The industry leaders have already started alerting people about the upcoming robot apocalypse and now a research claims that these robots of the future might use humans as guinea pigs. Sounds scary, sure.
Humans getting replaced by robots is not a new thing and we have seen countless such examples in movies like I, Robot and The Terminator and a report by 26 experts just warned that our future is under threat from these emerging technologies. The report titled “The Malicious Use of Artificial Intelligence: Forecasting, Prevention, and Mitigation” was compiled by representatives from Future of Humanity Institute at Oxford University and Centre for the Study of Existential Risk at Cambridge University.
The authors of this study say that attacks could range from weaponized drones to bots being used to distribute fake news on social media. However, we have already seen the widespread of fake news to spread misinformation on social media and this report seems to suggest rise in the use of such methods.
The emergence of AI and its interaction with humans has been progressing for the last few years. But it emerged as a threat to human existence last May when Google’s AlphaGo AI defeated world champion Lee Sedol in the game of Go. The AI showed superior ability to think through the board game and most importantly the intelligence need to defeat a human who has championed the game.
Since then, an AI has managed to beat professionals in the video game DOTA 2 while IBM’s Watson successfully defeated two champions to win the Jeopardy game show in the US. AI has proven to have more intelligence than humans thus raising the scare of overthrowing them in some areas.
However, the industry remains split with opinion on the pros or cons of such an advanced technology. Tesla and SpaceX cofounder Elon Musk has been one of the vocal voice asking to regulate AI and has consistently warned that it poses a fundamental risk to the existence of civilization. However, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates says AI can be a friend and will complement human intelligence in the future.
In an interview with The Sun, Futurologist Dr Ian Pearson also warned about artificial intelligence and how could affect our existence with their advanced programming. “It will be insensitive to humans, viewing us as barbaric. So when it decides to carry out its own experiments, with viruses that it’s created, it will treat us like guinea pigs,” Pearson told the UK-based publication.
The advancement in AI and development of robots capable of executing tasks currently possible only by humans has the ability to affect jobs in multiple industries. However, they are also susceptible to hacking and the chances of their manipulation using software cannot be written off. Pearson adds that people will always hunt for flaws to exploit in these AI-based systems.
While major software maker and hardware manufacturers continue to add more AI elements to their products, it will up to humans to make proper use of them. As evident from Microsoft bot Tay’s experience, it is human who can turn these software-based bots and intelligent systems into ones capable of destroying and disrupting human existence.