Cool! Super-intelligent machines could destroy all mankind ‘within decades’

From the dystopian writings of Aldous Huxley and HG Wells to the sinister and apocalyptic vision of modern Hollywood blockbusters, the rise of the machines has long terrified mankind.

But it now seems that the brave new world of science-fiction could become all too real.

An Oxford academic is warning that humanity runs the risk of creating super intelligent computers that eventually destroy us all, even when specifically instructed not to harm people.

  • just a thought

    Relax. There’s nothing to worry about. By the time the lefties and islameofascists are done with us, there won’t be anything left for the machines to destroy.

  • Sir Roderick Spode

    I would be delighted to become “one with the Borg”, haven’t been resisting or anything. Seems like I can’t even get myself abducted. Aliens have the best candy.

  • David Murrell

    Good essay, but this debate has been going on for a while. There is the pro-conservative side — popularized by the “Terminator” movie series — saying that artificial intelligence (AI) is inherently bad, since AI robots will not have ethical code to be act good for humans. Then there is the pro-liberal side popularized by Steven Spielberg’s movie “AI”, where the humans in the movie were all depicted as being bad, and the AI robots were oppressed slaves. And in the end, when humans died out, the robots were depicted as being good.

    As the post points out, the idea of robots being programmed to do good is so much sci-fi fantasy. Look at the greed, nastiness and what-not that dominates the high-tech world as it is, with ultra-difficult programing requirements, vast amounts of hack attacks, and the huge array of nasty people on line. This is today. If this is the ethics of cyber-space today, could we ever think that the AI future will be any different?

    Today the recent “human rights” literature wants to bestow “human rights” onto the first AI robots with self-awareness. All of this is to prepare us for the Terminator world.

    Conservatives are losing the fight to the liberals, every day. Conservatives want to conserve what is good from the past; liberals want to destroy our Western culture and introduce new things, good or bad. The corporate media today glorifies each new technological development in robotics and AI Conservatives are giving a warning. Needless to say, conservatives will lose out.

    • Waffle

      Don’t worry David. Nature has a way of throwing a monkey wrench into the best-laid plans of men (and machines), like disease (think of the Bubonic Plague which wiped out a good chunk of European “civilization”) or giant meteors falling out of the sky. Or the Isis terrorists will behead us all faster than you can say Abracadabra. So don’t worry about Siri taking over.

  • WalterBannon

    Relax, we only programmed them to kill muslims…

  • canminuteman

    Damn, I knew I shouldn’t have used the self serve check out at the grocery store the other day. Aiding and abetting the enemy I was.

  • DD_Austin

    Well he proved he’s a typical british academic moron

    There is no such thing as AI, let alone thought, they’re all just bullshit buzzwords
    like multi-tasking, super user, user friendly and hacker.

    Computers are simply virtual electric engines , and have no more “thought” than your standard cuckoo clock going cuckoo on the hour, the clock goes cuckoo when a series of levers goes over, a computer puts of a series of milliamp signals on a chip or pin, and goes koko.

    A computer is just a cuckoo clock with a billion levers
    Killer Robots you bet, since 1944, thinking robots not a chance

    • FactsWillOut

      A brain is just a machine with a trillion switches.
      Ants have brains, too.

      • DD_Austin

        We understand computers and switches, we can build them
        we don’t understand brains, we can’t build them.

        Ants are a lot smarter than most people think, they can problem
        solve, machines can’t. Machine can’t just respond to whatever conditions occur, a programmer has to think up the condition,
        write the code, and test it before a machine can respond.

        The greater the variablity of the environment the less chance a
        machine has of matching a set of previously imagined conditions,
        with a programmed response.

        • FactsWillOut

          Look into neural networks.

        • FactsWillOut

          Don’t get me wrong, I think the article is pure BS. I tend to think that greater-than-human intelligence will come about as deeper and more intimate interfaces between man and machine, and not super-intelligent machines.

          • DD_Austin

            Like what the internet has done since 1990?

            Perhaps man/machinee getting smarter is finding out how really really stupid people really are

          • FactsWillOut

            We’re still the smartest things on Earth, no matter how stupid we look.

  • FactsWillOut

    We already have systems that can creatively out-perform humans in some fields, like genetically evolved circuit design.
    Also, intelligence does not imply free will.
    Picture a global system that manages and entirely automates freight and passenger movement. Such a system could be smarter than a person, but still not endowed with free will or self-awareness.

    • DD_Austin

      Did the computers design the algbra that drove the circuit design program?
      It a case of random design and test, thousands of failures and a few working

      designs and in some cases developing new designs

      A global system isn’t any smarter than a national system or a city system
      or a corner store cash register inventory system, number crunching capacity
      is not “smart” it is just big and fast.

      • FactsWillOut

        “A global system isn’t any smarter than a national system or a city systemor a corner store cash register inventory system…”
        A global or national system would have to react to weather, war, etc.

        • DD_Austin

          You mean reschedule shipments based on delays
          like Gantt charts used in world war 1

          • FactsWillOut

            Gantt charts could pilot ships around storms?

          • DD_Austin

            Why would you avoid a storm and delay delivery by days
            using extra fuel and days the ship could be delivering other

            Ships don’t avoid storms, in fact each week one container
            ship on the china-NA run sinks

      • FactsWillOut

        “It a case of random design and test, thousands of failures and a few working designs and in some cases developing new designs”

        Just like…evolution…that gave rise to…us.

  • FactsWillOut

    There already exist machines that can recognize male v/s female faces better than humans.

  • just a thought