Stop Fearing Artificial Intelligence

(Article published in Techcrunch on 04/08/2015).

As yet another tech pioneer with no connection to artificial intelligence steps out to voice his fears about AI being catastrophic for the human race, I feel the need respond. While I respect Steve Wozniak’s technological contributions to our culture, I fear that he, like so many others (Musk, Hawking, Gates), is poisoning the well for fear of something he doesn’t truly understand.

Conflating facts of technology’s rapid progress with a Hollywood understanding of intelligent machines is provocative (honestly, it’s a favorite in my most-loved science fiction books and movies), but this technology doesn’t live in a Hollywood movie, it isn’t HAL or Skynet, and it deserves a grounded, rational look.

For the sake of argument, let’s assume that we have (or can plausibly) create a superhuman AI. Such an AI could, like us, think all kinds of things — “the humans created me and they’re really interesting” or “the humans’ bodily functions are mildly annoying” or “all humans must die!” — all of which are equally speculatively plausible. So why anyone gives the doomsday scenario any more weight than the others is a bit of a mystery to me.

For the full article, read it on Techcrunch.

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