The Existential Threat of AI By Brian Simpson
Elon Musk, has joined with Stephen Hawking and claimed that AI is an existential threat to human beings, capable of eliminating all jobs, and sparking a war: The Australian, July 17, 2017, p. 22. I did not find any more details about the war, but it could be a Luddite revolt of the people versus the machines, as popularised in the Big Arnie Terminator movies. It is possible, if people get hungry enough that they could actually do this, but I tend to view that they might just as easily meekly starve to death in some isolated corner. Time will tell.
The Musk solution is regulation for the safe development of AI. That could prevent the Terminator scenario, but I am not sure. Once computers reach self-awareness, and infinitely expanding intelligence, which is what our “let’s do it” Dr. Frankenstein scientists are all on about, regulations will not count for much.
It is a nice warm and cosy idea, to keep us sheep quiet, until it is all too late, which may well be now. Certainly as far as jobs goes, there will need to be an alternative economic structure, hopefully social credit, but as a stopgap measure, maybe community self-reliance, people growing their own food, and the like. It would be a good idea to start now, given the multitude of threats that we face, from economic, to political to technological: