Let's talk about the future. Time is constantly moving forward, something we can't stop no matter how hard we try. With human curiosity being what it is, we push our technological advances further and further every day. It's a beautiful thing because we can use these advances to save lives, and so much more. We're doing things that just one hundred years ago would have been thought impossible. There are deep space probes taking pictures of Jupiter, and here on Earth, we're closer to quantum computing than we ever dreamed. It's easy to get caught up in all of the hype, but there is so much to be excited about.
Take AI, or Artificial intelligence, for example. Computers are becoming smarter thanks to our efforts, and while it's saved us a lot of work, some people see it as a danger. To begin, as computers grow more intelligent and capable of learning and remembering things, we run the risk of seeing jobs sourced to machines. It's not an altogether unreasonable growth, as robots can't complain (yet). As the field of AI grows, we could see robots taking more and more jobs and having more influence. Bill Gates has supported the idea of a "robot tax," which in theory would help to ease the burden of companies switching to automation, and possible deter them altogether. "Right now, the human worker who does, say, $50,000 worth of work in a factory, that income is taxed and you get income tax, social security tax, all those things. If a robot comes in to do the same thing, you’d think that we’d tax the robot at a similar level" (Gates).
Bill Gates isn't the only one afraid of the possible outcome of AI. Elon Musk, superstar of the technological world, has had a lot to say about artificial intelligence. "I think we should be very careful about artificial intelligence. If I had to guess at what our biggest existential threat is, it’s probably that. So we need to be very careful" (Musk). Musk has kept a close eye on the developments in the AI field, which can't be hard to do with his influence. So when Elon Musk says things like the following statement about AI, it's something to think about. "With artificial intelligence we are summoning the demon. In all those stories where there’s the guy with the pentagram and the holy water, it’s like – yeah, he’s sure he can control the demon. Doesn’t work out." He's right, because there is so much we could gain from AI, but we aren't entirely sure of the costs yet.
With artificial intelligence, there is so much to consider. In my personal opinion, I don't think we have anything to fear from AI, so long as we are all open and honest about the possibilities and limitations of the technology. The biggest fear is that the movie scenarios will come true and robots will turn on us and enslave us all or kill us. I might just be too open-minded, but I think that so long as we establish rules for treating AI with respect and without fear, we have nothing to be afraid of. Artificial intelligence is just that, something we create that can learn. So if it learns from us, and we teach it that we are afraid, it will develop fear in the same manner. At some point in the development of AI, it will come to a point where it can make rational decisions based on input that we supply. So let's not give artificial intelligence a reason to fear us, by establishing the ways in which we interact with it now, and making sure everyone in the industry understands it thoroughly.