The Terminator is not a documentary


If Coronavirus doesn't get you, Hal will. We're getting more warnings of our doom from artificial intelligence. Like the evil computer in the "2001" movie, we're told we could wake up one morning and find the computers want us dead. But for now, that's more science fiction than fact.

Tech writer John Quain says we are getting better at faking it.

"I would say in a couple of decades you'll see things that might fool us. You might think you're actually talking to a human being and not just talking to Alexa."

But Quain says, although computers can beat chess grandmasters, they don't do it with actual thinking.

"And it's just a repetitive pattern-recognition kind of system with these algorithms that run."

Quain has been reporting on self-driving cars for years; he says we're nowhere close to having cars that can think like a human driver and we may never be.

"The problem is trying to make them think. People have tried to make these cars think and behave like regular drivers and that is looking to be almost impossible right now."

Many of those who should know better claim we're 'on the verge' of artificial intelligence destroying civilization. But 'on the verge' may vary. If you mean a hundred or a thousand years from now, maybe. But in the near future? Probably not. Plus, even if we do eventually develop artificial intelligence, who's to say it'll get emotional and decide to kill humans?


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