THE FUTURE OF HUMAN/ROBOT RELATIONS

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WE WILL HAVE TO WORK WITH AI

It seems, that man has been at odds with machine for years now. Many of us love kicking the vending machine when it won’t give us what we want or kick the car when it won’t start. A lot of people more than once have considered throwing their computers out the window when it freezes or malfunctions in some other irritating manner. How we react to programs that are smarter than we are will play a role in shaping our future.

However, in the age of rapidly rising AI we have to ask ourselves whether we can truly handle working or collaborating directly with machines whose intelligence may soon rival ours. At some point a lot of ethical issues regarding AI in the workplace will have to be hashed out. For the moment it is unclear how closely to us advanced AI will look. It will depend on whether we reach the general intelligence threshold via the whole brain emulation route or if we develop neuromorphic AI. The former could prove to be very human like, the only difference would be, it could run on fast hardware and possess a huge memory capacity. The latter, on the other hand, could resemble something so strange that we would hardly recognize it as an intelligent entity.

THINGS HAVE TO CHANGE

Regardless of how it goes, what is crystal clear is that our relationship with machines is going to have to change, robots will have to be treated better, and that there is no way around this. On one hand, it seems we have made progress in that area considering that we already have a robot citizen of Saudi Arabia. On the other hand, incidents of human on robot violence show we have not made as much progress as we might think.

For example, HitchBot, a hitchhiking robot who was attempting to get all the way across the US and shed some light on how humans would treat a traveling robot was found decapitated after only 2 weeks. Those interested can read more about HitchBot’s story here.

Reports like this shed some light on how humans view robots at this time. Not to mention all the studies that show humans having serious issues trusting robots and a hard time relating to them.

future - hitchbot

Hitchbot was found decapitated after only weeks of traveling in the US.

AI WILL STIR UP ANGER WHILE GETTING RID OF JOBS

While AI will create many jobs these jobs will require applicants to learn new technologies quickly and will not be easy to perform. AI will destroy many lower end jobs that people have relied on for decades to support themselves. For a long time the overall net effect will be an increase in the number of jobs, but it’s not so simple. The worker displacement will be huge and this will cause a lot of anger to be directed towards AI. Dealing with this will be no easy task.

THE FUTURE OF THE WORKFORCE

All of the things we have mentioned so far warrant some cause for concern. If humans are not able to set aside their anger, resentment, and aversion to robots than we will have nothing but problems in the future. By the year 2025 AI powered programs will perform nearly half of all productive activities in the workplace. According to top experts in the field we may be able to reach general intelligence threshold by mid century.

What must be done first is drawing a clear line between a conscious and intelligent machine and a high end AI computer program that does not possess these qualities. In the case of the former there will be a lot of things to work out such as what rights will they have or will not have? Obviously in the case of the latter we just have an ordinary computer program that is owned by whoever created it but who will own the autonomous and generally intelligent AI?

Now it must be pointed out that not everyone believes that AI will ever become conscious. We will publish a series of posts in the near future tackling this question. However, the conclusion after much research is that AI will become conscious and will possess general intelligence, it is only a matter of time. The future of AI will be full of surprises.

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