The Real Threat of AI

They’re creating machines that could one day approximate and surpass human intelligence — a technological achievement that may come with as many complications as the advent of nuclear weapons.
- Farhad Manjoo, Can Washington Stop Big Tech Companies? Don’t Bet on It, NYT, OCT. 25, 2017

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People worry that developments in A.I. will bring about the “singularity” — that point in history when A.I. surpasses human intelligence, leading to an unimaginable revolution in human affairs. Or they wonder whether instead of our controlling artificial intelligence, it will control us, turning us, in effect, into cyborgs.

These are interesting issues to contemplate, but they are not pressing. They concern situations that may not arise for hundreds of years, if ever. ...
This doesn’t mean we have nothing to worry about. On the contrary, the A.I. products that now exist are improving faster than most people realize and promise to radically transform our world, not always for the better. They are only tools, not a competing form of intelligence. But they will reshape what work means and how wealth is created, leading to unprecedented economic inequalities and even altering the global balance of power.

It is imperative that we turn our attention to these imminent challenges. ...
Unlike the Industrial Revolution and the computer revolution, the A.I. revolution is not taking certain jobs... and replacing them with other jobs.... Instead, it is poised to bring about a wide-scale decimation of jobs....
- KAI-FU LEE, The Real Threat of Artificial Intelligence, NYT, JUNE 24, 2017

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