Tesla has been at the forefront when it comes to adopting AI techniques and with the slick move of indigenously building an AI-enabled chip for autonomous driving, Tesla stepped up the game. But ironically, their CEO Elon Musk has been bluntly declaring AI as a threat.
‘…One which is even greater than nukes.’
In 2014, Elon Musk posted a tweet and then deleted it within a matter of few minutes. Yes, it was about Artificial Intelligence and pretty much that’s when this happened-
Stick around to read the entire now-deleted comment.
So, Elon Musk clearly mentioned a timeframe, which effectively ends in 2019. Consequently, the question arises:
Should we be wary of AI?
AI, the intelligence possessed by machines without them being programmed explicitly can be broadly classified into 2 major types: Weak or Narrow AI and Strong AI.
Weak AI is one which is designed to perform one particular function, specifically- like categorising tumours as malignant or benign. Siri is another example.
Strong AI which is also referred to as Artificial General Intelligence is one which is as smart and creative as you and me, which is unlikely to happen. Strong AI is aimed at possessing human-like cognitive abilities, one which confronted in a hostile environment will be able to produce human-like problem-solving abilities, which, as I said before, is unlikely to happen.
To be as blunt as Musk, Strong AI does not exist. Yes, there are people working explicitly on making it happen but there hasn’t been any actionable progress so far.
So, the recurring question is when will strong AI be a part of our lives? Estimates range from 5 to 500 years. So should we along with the Tesla founder be worried about Strong AI?
Now, irrespective of whether you are awaiting the dawn of Strong AI or are afraid of it, you will have to wait maybe for another century to witness any of it.
There are arguments to back that up as well. To start off with, we barely know how a brain functions. Scientists have spent more than a decade trying to model the brain of the nematode worm in a computer.
Fun fact: The nematode worm has just 302 neurons in comparison to the 100 billion neurons in humans.
So, this dismisses the chances of the human brain being modelled any time soon.
Enter human conscience- we have devices to measure temperature, but devices cannot feel the warmth or the cold. The conscious and subconscious; we barely know the ‘algorithms’ behind them so creating a model to mimic the same is outright impossible.
How close is Elon Musk’s prediction to reality?
The basic idea behind the term artificial intelligence revolves around a recursive concept- take a series of past data, derive insights, model it, and make predictions about the future. A constant review and repeat technique, that’s it.
Artificial Intelligence is here to make our lives easier. With machine learning and deep learning techniques, we are now able to detect cancer cells, do face recognition, convert images from 2D to 3D, fix images, even the military uses a variety of such learning algorithms today.
So why are we still lured into believing that AI will take over? Will AI rule? A research hints that the single most reason is the belief of people that humans are machines.
‘Humans are machines, just Carbon-based instead of Silicon-based’
After a series of strenuous attempts, we still haven’t been able to understand how the human brain works, the conscious, sub-conscious and a whole lot of abilities which are unique and ‘human’.
Believe me or not, seeing a robot do the same is still not close to reality.
As promised, the entire now-deleted comment.