Intelligence is power. We are smarter than dogs, therefore we keep them as house pets. Computers will soon be smarter than humans, so they may keep us as house pets (at least that’s what Elon Musk believes).
This claim isn’t baseless. In fact, I’m referring to The Singularity, which is the hypothesis that creating an artificial superintelligence will abruptly trigger runaway technological growth, resulting in unfathomable changes to human civilization.
Superintelligence doesn’t necessarily end humanity as we know it, even though it’s a widely spread doomsday scenario. Rather, it’s the upside potential of solving problems we haven’t been able to solve, that keeps researchers incentivized to create Artificial Superintelligence.
As we all know, with great power comes great responsibility. If the proper fail-safes and standards aren’t programmed into these superintelligent computers, we’ll be staring face-to-screen with the world’s greatest superpower.
As Sheng commented on one of my previous articles about the growing role of technology in religion, this superintelligence may quickly escalate to a power we generally associate with deity’s – a sort of god on earth:
Sheng’s thoughts (and the whole concept of superintelligence) sound like something straight out of a Marvel movie. That’s because it is:
Stark (Iron Man) and Banner (Hulk) discover an artificial intelligence and secretly decide to use it to complete Stark’s “Ultron” global defense program. The unexpectedly sentient Ultron, believing he must eradicate humanity to save Earth, eliminates Stark’s A.I. J.A.R.V.I.S. and attacks the Avengers at their headquarters. Ultron uses the resources in Strucker’s Sokovia base to upgrade his rudimentary body and build an army of robot drones.Avengers: Age of Ultron
With superintelligence, there’s really no telling how it’ll go about following its programming. And that’s if it decides to follow its programming at all.
There are so many “known unknowns” associated with this concept that it makes you wonder how we would handle a runaway situation like the Marvel film. For all of us who don’t have a state of the art lab like Iron Man, our only choice could be to act like man’s best friend and be a loyal golden retriever to the superintelligent AI.