What will happen if we reach ‘the singularity’?
Artificial intelligence transcends human intelligence and turns on its creators
I, Robot, 2001: A Space Odyssey, the Terminator movies; we all know how this goes down. But some computer scientists believe that we’re fast approaching a moment known as ‘the singularity’ – a tipping point where self-aware machines surpass the capabilities of the most intelligent human mind.
Beyond this point, it’s impossible to predict how things will pan out. An unchecked superhuman intelligence would be so incomprehensible to us that we would no longer be able to control it, and if it decided to terminate the human race, we would be powerless to stop it.
Experts weigh in
You may dismiss public fears about artificial intelligence (AI) as the result of too much sci-fi entertainment. But when prominent thinkers and technologists start expressing concern, it’s time to take notice.
Some of the leading minds of our time – including physicist Stephen Hawking, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, and engineer and entrepreneur Elon Musk – have spoken out publicly, warning that the majority of people don’t appreciate the speed with which AI technology is advancing and the very real threat it could pose.
Musk and Hawking were also among thousands of AI scientists and tech-savvy thought leaders to sign an open letter calling for a ban on offensive autonomous weapons.
Written by the How It Works team
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