AI, should we be scared?

Have you been hearing the words ‘’AI Apocalypse’’ too much lately? Your answer will probably be yes, especially if you are into machine learning and artificial intelligence. Lately, Elon Musk, Bill Gates and Stephen Hawking are actually scared of an AI takeover or in other words ‘’AI apocalypse’’. Bill Gates claims that one day AI will get way too smart to be controlled anymore, while Stephen Hawking agrees and shares the same opinion, Elon Musk believes it is one of the biggest threats to the humanity and suggests that governments should regulate the development of AI before it is too late.

But, what is so scary about AI and why would these scientists and tech giants be terrified of it? Too many Hollywood movies had spotted the light on the idea of robots taking over the planet Earth long ago such as the Terminator, I Robot and many more. What made it logical now? And should we be really terrified about it? Here are 3 reasons that might scare you

1- Machines might replace you .. very soon

Robots taking over the planet might be a bit exaggerating fact and not that scary for many but, what is scarier is that machines started eliminating many jobs. Researchers expect that advanced development in artificial intelligence and automation could result in many people losing their jobs to machines. According to Fortune, there are 250,000 industrial robots in the United States right now, and the growth rate is in the double digits. Other studies expect that in 20 years around 35% of the jobs will be handled by AI not manpower anymore.

2- Robots wouldn’t look like robots anymore!

The shape of a robot that you are used to because of seeing it million times in the movies will not be the same anymore. Robots will look more human-like, not just in the looks but even the behavior, voice and gestures. One of the latest trending robots is Sophia, you might have seen many videos of her speaking just like a human being, smiling, taking the time to think before answering and behaving just as a real human. The scary fact here is that Sophia is not the only one, there are more. You can look up Yangyang, an artificially intelligent robot who is able to shake hands and give hugs too. There is also Nadine the robot who works as a receptionist at NTU (Singapore’s Nanyang Technological University). Don’t you think that is scary?!

3- AI-powered robots could be used as weapons

That might sound like a nice idea to save thousands of soldiers’ lives by sending robots to the war instead of humans. But it is not that nice when you know that those robots could develop thinking skills which do not guarantee they’ll only kill enemies! Not to worry, it is not gonna reach that extinct since an open letter banning the use of AI and automated weapons for military purposes had been signed in 2015. Let’s hope countries would stick to that letter though.

The above facts might actually be scary and the predictions of technology to be booming more and more in the coming years might be logically true but the comforting fact is John Giannandrea, Google’s AI head is not scared of that at all. As Giannandrea described these AI systems at Disrupt: “They’re not nearly as general purpose as a 4-year-old child.” And even that’s doing down 4-year-olds.

Now, what do you think? Are you scared of the advanced development of AI like the majority or you’d go with the opinion of John Giannandrea, Google’s AI head and other experts who think there is nothing to be scared of?!