Rise Of The Machines

Will Artificially Intelligent robots rise up and kill us all? This Micro Mart feature remains one of my favourite assignments ever.

Here’s my concluding words…

So, do I need to be scared?

SpaceX CEO Elon Musk has described AI as ‘our biggest existential threat’, and Apple’s Steve Wozniak thinks that the development of artificially intelligent robots could result in a society where humans play ‘the family pet’ to a society that’s ‘smarter than us.’ With terms like that being banded about, along with Hawking’s ‘the end of the human race’ line, it’s easy to be frightened about where AI technology is headed.

At this stage, though, this writer would say that there’s no immediate concern. Although they’re known to constantly be working on robots, the most recent press story to come out of DARPA showcased their work around teaching their androids to play jazz music. This was part of a project to encourage improvisation in artificial intelligence. Improvisation can be a key skill in battle, after all.

If DARPA, one of the biggest-funded military science labs in the world are only at this experimental stage, then we can probably take a little solace from the jazz-robot story. For starters, it seems like the chances of robots being smart enough to take over the planet is a long way off. On top of that, at least they’ll kill us all whilst bashing-out a cracking slap bass solo at the same time.

On a serious note, though – recent AI research has mostly been for the good of mankind. Our social interaction, our knowledge of our military enemies, and the nature of our medical care all stand to improve from the current developments across the globe. Many of the world’s leading scientists are lobbying against AI weaponry, too.

Maybe I’ll look back on this article one day, from a post-apocalyptic bunker of some kind, waiting for the musical machines to find and kill me, and laugh about just how wrong I was with my upcoming closing sentence. But heck, I’ll write it anyway: at the time of writing, I think we’re safe from a robot uprising.




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