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2016: The Year Artificial Intelligence Obliterates the Human Race

We've come a long way with artificial intelligence since our crude imaginings of the decades of yore. But as AI advances, so too should proper oversight.

We've come a long way with artificial intelligence since our crude imaginings of the decades of yore. But as AI advances, so too should proper oversight.

A robot uprising is no longer a thing of science fiction.

No, seriously. The rise of Cylons, Centurions, droids – pick your artificial intelligence – is now such a concern that an entire research division is devoted to monitoring it.

The Future of Humanity Institute at the University of Oxford in Great Britain (FHI) has produced more than 200 peer-reviewed publications with over 5,500 citations. All expound upon the threats associated with advancements in AI.

Artificial intelligence – also known as "machine learning" – refers to the development of computer systems capable of performing tasks that normally require aspects of human intelligence (such as visual perception, speech recognition, decision-making, and translation between languages). Apple Inc.'s (Nasdaq: AAPL) Siri and self-driving cars like Alphabet Inc.'s (Nasdaq: GOOG, GOOGL) – formerly Google Inc. – are current examples.

In 2015, AI reached peak buzz status after concerned scientists, researchers, and academics issued a collective warning on July 28. Those involved include Tesla Motors Inc. (Nasdaq: TSLA) founder Elon Musk, Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, and top scientist Stephen Hawking.

artificial intelligence

In January 2015, dozens of artificial intelligence experts signed an open letter calling for research on the societal impacts of AI.

In an open letter presented at the International Joint Conferences on Artificial Intelligence in Buenos Aires, they warned a military artificial intelligence arms race could soon develop if preventative measures are not taken as soon as possible.

In fact, they believe a global arms race is "virtually inevitable" if major military powers push ahead with AI weapons development.  Military AI is indeed being developed. For example, the tech is already used to predict the military strategies of Islamic extremists.

Such innovations would not be possible without two other hot-button developments in tech: Big Data and the Internet of Things (IoT).

The increasing interconnectedness of these three is another reason threats posed by unregulated AI have become a reality…

You see, with the rapid expansion of the IoT comes a massive volume of big data. AI is used to process, store, and make sense of that information.

But the idea of providing a machine capable of learning with unfathomable amounts of data stands to turn a scary science fiction plot into reality…

Join the conversation. Click here to jump to comments…

  1. Greg Czora | January 14, 2016

    Hi, Anyone who takes this article seriously ought to read this book:

    … and then decide. The book is a step by step counter argument to the premise of this article. You may disagree with the book, but at least you will be aware that there is a strong case can be made that the premise of the article is just more popular, contradictory hogwash.


  2. melvin | January 17, 2016

    great newsletter:

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