There are two schools of thought on the future of Artificial Intelligence (AI). One school believes that AI is a great danger to mankind’s existence. These people believe that intelligent machines will rise up and subdue humans, even destroy us. These machines will be intelligent enough to make more machines of even greater intelligence and there will be no need to maintain a human population. The other school of thought believes that man will maintain control of intelligent machines no matter how smart they get. Machines don’t have wants like humans do so machines will never want to take over the world and control humans.
As contrasting as these two views are, I believe both of them are close to being right. I do believe that man will make AIs far more intelligent than humans are today. I don’t really see this as a danger, however, but more as our “manifest destiny.” That is, humans take too long to evolve (tens of thousands of years) whereas we can build new, more capable machines within a timeframe of months or a few years. We already use machines to handle processes too complex or intricate for humans to run. As technologies become increasing involved, only machine “minds” will have the memory, the speed, and the range of capabilities to keep things straight.
AIs show promise to solve many of our current engineering, mathematical, and scientific problems. Perhaps even more important, however, is their potential to solve the biggest problems facing mankind: our inability to stop lying to, cheating on, and killing one another.
I don’t think AIs will eventually raise up and smash humans and take over the world. Instead, I think human populations around the globe will become so fed up with their inept, corrupt governments that they will cajole scientists into making future AIs available to run the world’s government(s). Just as bitcoin could be a universal cash-equivalent, AIs could become a universal government-equivalent.
If all this turns out to be true, what will happen to mankind? I think we will eventually die out. Not because the AIs smashed us, but because of just plain boredom.
Then we will have fulfilled our manifest destiny.