Summoning the Demon: Why Superintelligence is Humanity’s Biggest Threat

This fascinating and disturbing article written by Clarke and Eddy for GeekWire defines and warns about the rise of AI. “The compounding effect of computers teaching themselves leads us to “superintelligence.” Superintelligence is an artificial intelligence that will be “smarter” than its human creators.” Dr. Stephen Hawking warns that AI is “likely to be either the best or worst thing ever to happen to humanity, so there’s huge value in getting it right.” Hawking is not alone in his concern about superintelligence. Icons of the tech revolution, including Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos, and Elon Musk, echo his concern. And it terrifies Eliezer Yudkowsky. Yudkowsky is convinced that not only will superintelligence emerge, but that it inevitably will destroy mankind as we know it. Despite all these concerns and warnings, AI with superintelligence seems certain. Nick Bostrom at Oxford says that it’s “not just another technology, another tool that will add incrementally to human capabilities.” It is, he says, “radically different,” and it “may be the last invention humans ever need to make.” Yudkowsky believes that ethics must be programmed into whatever code design from the very start. “Such preprogrammed measures will ensure that superintelligence will “behave as we intend even in the absence of immediate human supervision.” Eliezer calls this friendly AI.” He goes on to warn that a wait and see attitude is not advisable. That when superintelligence occurs, it will be too late to instill the ethics and moral code. RE

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