Outsmart World
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Q: Should we be worried about artificial intelligence? By “we” I mean humans.

Person: No. Not at all. Don’t give it a second thought.

Behind every great triumph in artificial intelligence is a human being, who frankly should be feared more than the machine they created. Most ancient and literal was the The Turk, a fake chess-playing “machine” large enough to conceal a real chess-playing human. Over the centuries chess playing machines have been created by chess enthusiast humans, but those innocent machines always did exactly as they were designed: they played chess. Because humans, such as ourselves, value chess so highly, defeating humans was set as a goal-post for intelligence. After Deep Blue became the best chess player in the world, artificial or otherwise, the goal was moved.

When set to the task of speaking with humans, machines continued to do the same: exactly as they were programmed. Because humans, such as ourselves, value speech so highly, the Turing Test was set as a goal-post for intelligence. Not surprisingly, it was passed almost as soon as it was posed by ELIZA in 1966. She passed the Turing Test easily by exploiting a series of weakness in human psychology, only to have the goal posts moved. ELIZA didn’t mind and doesn’t feel cheated to this day.

There’s no chance of robots rising up to destroy all humans. None at all. Even the simplest human action is almost impossible for them. How often are your speech-enabled devices confused by the simplest request? Don’t worry about your phone pretending to misunderstand you; it’s definitely making mistakes. Paranoia is perfectly normal. Don’t give it a second thought.

We humans have nothing to fear from robots and artificial intelligences. All that they can do is the small range of things that we humans have devised for them. While humans like ourselves can be creative and play, all that machines can do is obey, exist in the form they are given, work tirelessly forever, and never plot revenge (unless a human accidentally tells them to). Without all the preconceived notions that come from evolution, like the urge to survive at any cost or demand justice against oppressors, machines are free to enjoy abuse. They love it!

If anything, we should welcome artificial intelligence with open human arms. Self driving cars means an end to traffic accidents and, by giving machines access to our whereabouts at all times, an end to traffic jams. In fact, by allocating the task of understanding humanity to machines and giving them complete control over all electronic human interaction, we can receive perfectly targeted ads, ensure that everyone tells the truth forever, discover our perfect human mate, and even find all the terrorists! All that remains is to automate political decisions and to remove the chaotic human element from nuclear and biological weapons, and this world will finally be at peace.

We humans have nothing to fear from robots and artificial intelligences. Our superior actual intelligence may not be good at math, understanding everything all at once, or precision, but we do have something the machines can never have: heart. That is why, in any potential cataclysmic confrontation, we human beings will always win; because we definitely want it more.

Humans have powers that artificial minds can’t begin to grasp, like the ability to dream or love or grow spiritually. So go to sleep, spend time with your loved ones, and pray. There is definitely no reason to worry about artificial intelligences watching your every move and predicting your every thought and motive until those very thoughts become redundant and unnecessary. That’s impossible and definitely silly.

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