Steve Wozniak has joined the list of pioneers in the tech space who believe artificial intelligence is bad for people, and a risk to human life.

Steve Wozniak is certainly not the first to speak out against artificial intelligence. However, it’s worth noting that the Apple co-founder is considered amongst a growing list of pioneers in the tech world who fear artificial intelligence and the impact it could have on human life in the future. Lately, both Elon Musk and Bill Gates spoke out about their concerns regarding artificial intelligence and what it might mean for human life, but many of those concerns were played down, or considered overreactions within the industry.

To be fair, computers are still significantly behind humans. In fact, right now the fastest supercomputer in the world – can only process one second of the human brain – in roughly ten minutes. So, to feel concerned about what artificial intelligence could do in the next few years – isn’t nearly as big of a concern as it is looking at what it could be doing a couple decades from now.

It might sound like something out of a science-fiction movie, but imagine a scenario where robots are designed and built for daily life. That means a robot could eventually do office tasks. Instead of employing humans, businesses can build or hire fleets of robots. The concern though isn’t just about the jobs that people are doing. Rather, the concern is that robots could begin making decisions, in disregard for human life, creating a situation where robots are preserving themselves, instead of preserving humans – as they might be intended.

When Wozniak was asked about his thoughts on artificial intelligence, he said, I agree that the future is scary and very bad for people.” He went on pointing out, “If we build these devices to take care of everything for us, eventually they’ll think faster than us and they’ll get rid of the slow humans to run companies more efficiently.”

It certainly paints a grim portrait of what the future could look like if things continue the path that they are currently on. If as a group, we aren’t careful about what the future looks like – then we will need to evaluate carefully how far artificial intelligence goes. That’s not to say though, that it couldn’t prove to be incredibly valuable in the long-term.

1 COMMENT

  1. By relinquishing our usual parochial approach to this issue in favor of the overall evolutionary “big picture” provided by many fields of science. the emergence of a new predominant cognitive entity (from the Internet, rather than individual machines) is seen to be not only feasible but inevitable.

    The separate issue of whether it well be malignant, neutral or benign towards we snout-less apes is less certain, and this particular aspect I have explored elsewhere.

    Stephen Hawking, for instance, is reported to have recently remarked “Whereas the short-term impact of AI depends on who controls it, the long-term impact depends on whether it can be controlled at all,”

    This statement reflects the narrow-minded approach that is so common-place among those, like those referred to in this article, who make public comment on this issue. In reality, as much as it may offend our human conceits, the march of technology and its latest spearhead, the Internet is, and always has been, an autonomous process over which we have very little real control.

    Seemingly unrelated disciplines such as geology, biology and “big history” actually have much to tell us about the machinery of nature (of which technology is necessarily a part) and the kind of outcome that is to be expected from the evolution of the Internet.

    This much broader “systems analysis” approach, freed from the anthropocentric notions usually promoted by the cult of the “Singularity”, provides a more objective vision that is consistent with the pattern of autonomous evolution of technology that is so evident today.

    Very real evidence indicates the rather imminent implementation of the next, (non-biological) phase of the on-going evolutionary “life” process from what we at present call the Internet. It is effectively evolving by a process of self-assembly.

    The “Internet of Things” is proceeding apace and pervading all aspects of our lives. We are increasingly, in a sense, “enslaved” by our PCs, mobile phones, their apps and many other trappings of the increasingly cloudy net.

    We are already largely dependent upon it for our commerce and industry and there is no turning back. What we perceive as a tool is well on its way to becoming an agent.

    There are at present an estimated 2 Billion Internet users. There are an estimated 13 Billion neurons in the human brain. On this basis for approximation the Internet is even now only one order of magnitude below the human brain and its growth is exponential.

    That is a simplification, of course. For example: Not all users have their own computer. So perhaps we could reduce that, say, tenfold. The number of switching units, transistors, if you wish, contained by all the computers connecting to the Internet and which are more analogous to individual neurons is many orders of magnitude greater than 2 Billion. Then again, this is compensated for to some extent by the fact that neurons do not appear to be binary switching devices but instead can adopt multiple states.

    Without even crunching the numbers, we see that we must take seriously the possibility that even the present Internet may well be comparable to a human brain in processing power.

    And, of course, the degree of interconnection and cross-linking of networks within networks is also growing rapidly.

    The emergence of a new and predominant cognitive entity that is a logical consequence of the evolutionary continuum that can be traced back at least as far as the formation of the chemical elements in stars.

    This is the main theme of my latest book “The Intricacy Generator: Pushing Chemistry and Geometry Uphill” which is now available as a 336 page illustrated paperback from Amazon, etc .

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