What is a plausible path (if any) towards AI becoming a threat to humanity? originally appeared on Quora: the place to gain and share knowledge, empowering people to learn from others and better understand the world.
I don’t think at AI will become an existential threat to humanity.
I’m not saying that it’s impossible, but we would have to be very stupid to let that happen.
Others have claimed that we would have to be very smart to prevent that from happening, but I don’t think it’s true.
If we are smart enough to build machine with super-human intelligence, chances are we will not be stupid enough to give them infinite power to destroy humanity.
Also, there is a complete fallacy due to the fact that our only exposure to intelligence is through other humans. There are absolutely no reason that intelligent machines will even want to dominate the world and/or threaten humanity. The will to dominate is a very human one (and only for certain humans).
Even in humans, intelligence is not correlated with a desire for power. In fact, current events tell us that the thirst for power can be excessive (and somewhat successful) in people with limited intelligence.
As a manager in an industry research lab, I’m the boss of many people who are way smarter than I am (I see it as a major objective of my job to hire people who are smarter than me).
A lot of the bad things humans do to each other are very specific to human nature. Behavior like becoming violent when we feel threatened, being jealous, wanting exclusive access to resources, preferring our next of kin to strangers, etc were built into us by evolution for the survival of the species. Intelligent machines will not have these basic behavior unless we explicitly build these behaviors into them. Why would we?
Also, if someone deliberately builds a dangerous and generally-intelligent AI, other will be able to build a second, narrower AI whose only purpose will be to destroy the first one. If both AIs have access to the same amount of computing resources, the second one will win, just like a tiger a shark or a virus can kill a human of superior intelligence.
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