Tuesday, July 28, 2009

I'm not the only one worried about the Robotrons

People are concerned enough about Robotron 2084 scenarios that a bunch of them recently got together in Monterey Bay to discuss the dangers posed by artificial intelligence and autonomous robots:

Impressed and alarmed by advances in artificial intelligence, a group of computer scientists is debating whether there should be limits on research that might lead to loss of human control over computer-based systems that carry a growing share of society’s workload, from waging war to chatting with customers on the phone.

Their concern is that further advances could create profound social disruptions and even have dangerous consequences.

As examples, the scientists pointed to a number of technologies as diverse as experimental medical systems that interact with patients to simulate empathy, and computer worms and viruses that defy extermination and could thus be said to have reached a “cockroach” stage of machine intelligence.
This is gonna be so cool. And possibly very dangerous. It is frightening to think that computers and robots may become so powerful that they could rule over us. Of course, at the moment we ruled by belligerent apes prone to xenophobia, religious fanaticism, and armed with ICBMs with nuclear warheads. The fact that these apes are us doesn't comfort me much.


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