Critics concerned that AI advances could wipeout mankind

Global Business

Silicon Valley artificial intelligence investor Howard Love said he’s not concerned about advances in AI. But others are worried.

CGTN’s Phil Lavelle reports from San Francisco.

Tesla’s Elon Musk believes AI could start World War III. In the past he’s said mankind is summoning a demon with its pursuit of artificial intelligence. Astrophysicist Stephen Hawking said A.I. could spell the end of the human race. Even Russia’s President Putin says whoever leads in AI “could rule the world.”

Other experts call those concerns melodramatic.

“We have people at Berkeley who have been working on the grasping problem of picking up an item for 30 years,” Mark Nitzberg of the University of California Berkeley Center for Human-Compatible AI said . “And it’s just coming around the corner. So if we’re still working on getting a robot to pick up an object, a wineglass without breaking it, I think that feels like it’s still far off.”

AI is growing up and making mistakes in the public eye, including a farcical-like robot making a break for freedom to the ridiculous, such as an argument between a couple of Google Home Assistants. They also include self-driving cars running a red light or humans persuading a chatbot like Microsoft’s ‘Tay’ to promote genocide, racism and Nazis.

But also remember, AI is already all around us-blending into the background. We don’t notice it half of the time and a lot of people here are very excited about its potential.

“Just think about autonomous vehicles which use a fair amount of AI and will use more and more as they become more successful,” said Love. “You take the human problem out of the car transportation and how many lives are saved

This is just the next evolution of computers,” said Co-Founder Jamasen Rodriguez. “This is going to be the next Internet.”

Kylie is an AI assistant.

“A customer support agent will receive that question and within about 2-3 seconds, Kylie will generate an appropriate response,” said Rodriguez.

It helps service reps analyze customer questions then instantly start preparing the right answer.

“AI is all about understanding data,” said Rodriguez. “It can deduce patterns and figure things out that it would take humans quite a while to do.” He went on to say “The term AI is a moving target. AI, in the 80s was a computer than could do multiplication. In the nineties, it was perhaps the Internet. Today, it’s autonomous cars and conversational chatbots. But it won’t be able to take over the world or anything like that.”

Mark Nitzberg of the Center for Human-Compatible AI at University of California Berkeley argued those concerns are considered very, very far off.

A lot of tech companies feel they’re genuinely doing something that will change the world. They have a strong sense of optimism. And naturally, they all want to be first.

The question is: will that race lead to naivete or even Complacency. And if it does, will AI’s makers be able to reign it back in.

Shawn DuBravac discusses artificial intelligence

CGTN’s Rachell Akuffo spoke to Shawn DuBravac, president of Astra Insights, about advances in artificial intelligence.