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Robots to Destroy Human Race, Expert Warns

Robots to Destroy Human Race, Expert Warns

Wednesday, 9 October, 2019 - 05:30
File photo - A robot from the movie is on display for the premier of the motion picture Terminator 3 "Rise of the Machines" June 30, 2003 in west Los Angeles. (REUTERS/Mike Blake)
London - Asharq Al-Awsat
Expert professor Stuart Russell argued that unless a specific change is made in the development of AI, it could result in the extinction of the human race.

Russell explained that Hollywood's depiction of killer Artificial Intelligence robots misrepresented what the biggest concern should be. While on the BBC's Today Program, the AI expert said scientists and engineers designed AI with goal-orientated mindsets.

This, in turn, means that Artificial Intelligence programs will choose the easiest and simple methods to achieve their goals which could mean killing or eliminating humans. In order to stop robots potentially destroying the human race, Russell argued scientists could change the way AI is engineered so it doesn't focus on a goal-orientated mindset, the Daily Express reported.

Russell insisted that unless this changed, AI could lead to human extinction as we give it the tasks of solving complicated problems like crime and climate change.

"If you think about it, the way we build Artificial Intelligence is a bit like the way we think of a genie in a lamp. You rub the lamp and the genie comes out and you say I want this to happen. If the AI system is sufficiently powerful it will do exactly what you ask and you will get exactly what you asked for," he said.

"Now the problem with genies in lamps is the third wish is always to undo the first two wishes. This is because we are unable to specify the objectives correctly. So a machine pursuing an objective that isn't the right one becomes an enemy of the human race, an enemy that is much more powerful than us," he warned.

Russell stressed that "if you are going to build things that are much more powerful than on earth you make sure that they never have power over you and that is the question that we are trying to answer."

The Today Program host then asked for an example of Artificial Intelligence becoming an enemy of the human race. Russell replied: "I think the Hollywood meme is always that a machine spontaneously becomes conscious and then, of course, decides that it hates human beings and wants to kill us all."

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