A Dangerous Future for Artificial Intelligence


Some of the world’s top specialists in the burgeoning field of Artificial Intelligence fathered recently to Arizona to speculate on possible worst case scenarios of the technology going terribly, terribly wrong.  There was talk about potentially vulnerable elections systems, or hacks into self-driving automobile systems.

Rice University’s Dr. Moshe Vardi was not among the participants, and thinks there are more important aspects of how artificial intelligence will impact the future beyond delving into science fiction speculation.  He teaches doctoral candidates and is the Karen Ostrum George Distinguished Service Professor in Computational engineering and Director of the Ken Kennedy Institute for Information Technology.  He points out that at the highest level of world governments conversations are already taking place about what limits should be placed on artificial intelligence used in drone warfare.  “Should we have these drones flying and making ‘kill’ decisions by themselves?  Some people want to pass a Geneva-type agreement not to have lethal autonomous weapons systems,” he tells KTRH News.  He says intelligence systems are already displacing tens of thousands of people in the workforce, more so than trade agreements, and says that trend will continue.  He questions whether we want autonomous computer programs making critical social decisions.  “Child Protective Services using programs to decide whether to take children away from their parents.  Should we let computers make this kind of decision with deep impact on human life?”

John Launchbury, who directs an office at the U.S.’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, says what keeps him awake at night is the possibility of intelligent, automated cyber-attacks.<PSI_END_OBJECT>


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