In May of 2017, a self-taught artificial intelligence called AlphaGo retired from competitive gaming after it dominated the world’s best go player 3-0. At the time, the impressive feat was thought to be a decade away. However, improvements in the field of machine learning are forcing experts across the world evaluate the potential impact of hyper-intelligent machines becoming a reality. Here are five real dangers that can come from rapidly advancing artificial intelligence.
1. Massive Job Loss
The rapid rise of artificial intelligence has caught enough attention to spark joint research between Yale and Oxford. The study was conducted by surveying hundreds of AI experts to get a grasp on realistic timelines we can expect machines to take over jobs, and the results were staggering. Experts expect machines to be capable of replacing retail and driving jobs by the 2030s. More impressively, projections have machines wielding the ability to write a New York Time’s bestselling novel by the 2050s and conduct medical surgeries by the 2060s. These projections don’t even take into account the impact of quantum computers.
2. Mass Extinction
While many people are afraid of machines taking over the world by force, being reliant on technology has a more hidden danger looming. Once machines have automated markets like driving and customer service, a solar flare from the sun like the one the world experienced in 1886 would be devastating. In fact, Congress recently released a joint statement declaring that an EMP would leave 90% of the United States population dead within a year. That number can only get worse once America’s workforce is automated.
3. A Robotic Army
The U.S. military has been conducting some scary research over the past decade, and the results have left those with an imagination to conclude that an army of robots will be fighting wars someday soon. Imagine a world where advanced machines conduct missions to take out the world’s most powerful criminals and armies with incredible speed and precision.
4. Advanced Cyberwarfare
Shutting down power grids, undetected hacking, and disastrous malware will be a breeze once any militia or government creates an army of hackers that are powered through quantum computing.
5. The Wall-E Effect
It’s time to get a little less serious and start contemplating what life would be like if everything was automated. When we think of what we love to do in our free time, we often cherish being active and connecting with others. However, having an advanced society that wraps us in technology has the potential to separate us from reality.
While these dangers are all real, there are positive benefits that can come from artificial intelligence. Experts are projecting break-throughs in space travel, medicine, and even security. Ultimately, machines can make the world a better place, but sometimes we can’t help but contemplate what can go wrong by creating super-human machines with the intention of using them for slavery.