Rendering of human on geometric element technology background represent artificial intelligence Getty Images

Preventing an AI Apocalypse

The view that AI-driven machines will outsmart humanity, take over the world, and kill us all – a staple of dystopian science fiction – is easy enough to dismiss, given that humans remain firmly in control. But many AI experts take the apocalyptic perspective seriously, and they are right to do so.

NEW YORK – Recent advances in artificial intelligence have been nothing short of dramatic. AI is transforming nearly every sector of society, from transportation to medicine to defense. So it is worth considering what will happen when it becomes even more advanced than it already is.

The apocalyptic view is that AI-driven machines will outsmart humanity, take over the world, and kill us all. This scenario crops up often in science fiction, and it is easy enough to dismiss, given that humans remain firmly in control. But many AI experts take the apocalyptic perspective seriously, and they are right to do so. The rest of society should as well.

To understand what is at stake, consider the distinction between “narrow AI” and “artificial general intelligence” (AGI). Narrow AI can operate only in one or a few domains at a time, so while it may outperform humans in select tasks, it remains under human control.

To continue reading, please log in or enter your email address.

To read this article from our archive, please log in or register now. After entering your email, you'll have access to two free articles from our archive every month. For unlimited access to Project Syndicate, subscribe now.

required

By proceeding, you agree to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy, which describes the personal data we collect and how we use it.

Log in

http://prosyn.org/2KfM2Gw;

Cookies and Privacy

We use cookies to improve your experience on our website. To find out more, read our updated cookie policy and privacy policy.