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AI apocalypse - an end of civilization?

Time for deep thinking about deep learning!

Shahnoor Khan
29th May 2018
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“The development of full Artificial Intelligence could spell the end of human race” – Stephen Hawking

“A.I. could create an ‘immortal dictator from which we can never escape” – Elon Musk

So where does the fear lies? They both have opined their vision for AI technology from a dimension they both were very well located. Firstly, what is the purpose of using, developing and building AI technology, if it is to automate, ease my day to day life, give me and my company progress (good, if without cutting human jobs) help me improve my living, help me professionally and personally, help me save time, help me do things error free and help me being very well organized then in that context AI is just great and has been supremely great as far as our lives in the modern 21st century are concerned.

I've knives set at home that can be used as a lethal weapon to harm any human or animal, but the sole purpose of using knives rests within kitchen, the place for knives is kitchen and the job of knives is to cut the fruits and vegetables only. I never bring the knives in my bedroom or living room as they don't belong there.

Just like that, I would never want technology now or 20 years from today to digitize and IoTize knives to analyse its performance or analyse flush tanks and showers, or be digitally monitored or controlled through AI. Please help me get off the fear of everything you call it “smart” and digital if they carry even an iota of danger to harm me or my loved ones.

I can still use the stone age ways of cutting fruits, meat and vegetables without bothering about further improving it by any means of adding tech to it, as I do not see the necessity and need of AI being imposed to anything and everything I use today, I can still use my original intelligence and common sense bestowed upon me by my lord to ensure I do not waste water, that I use my hands and body to do some chores to ensure I let my heartbeat pump some blood for me and that I do not have to use technology means to control or keep an eye on everything and anything that I touch and use today. I do not want technology to control me, I would want absolute control of everything around me that I use and touch.

If AI technology is assisting me in any which way, it is just great but if it is threatening me with my life and privacy then I don't want it. I do not want my water tank to be controlled by hackers or hackers control and switch off electricity supply to my home and virtually sneak into my "unwanted smart home" and made my life miserable.

It’s high time we need to think, ponder and reflect how much of technology do we actually need today and tomorrow and how much can be avoided? Will we ever be able to allow thinking this way in the modern 21st century at a time when AI is already reaching its epitome of advancements? Will we ever be allowed to think and make a law on the development and usage of technology? Can we ever have technocrats as our elected lawmakers who ensure that any technology being proposed to be developed and implemented in our lives and industries will have zero impact or potential to compromise, harm and jeopardize human lives?

Should I feel happy or scary seeing what Google AI is doing with its virtual personal assistant making phone calls on my behalf to book an appointment with my Barber, Doctor or at a restaurant? What would happen if my phone's security is compromised? What would happen if my phone is being controlled by a hacker of which I've no clue? Is technology making me dumber and itself smarter? Why would I want to be so lazy to make a 1 minute call to book any appointment? Why would I want Amazon to guess my waist size using algorithms and deep learning from the last order that I made? Why can't I simply select my current waist size and hit on order?

What Boston Dynamics did with their running and jumping robot has only made the opinions of Stephen Hawking and Elon Musk coming true. When computers and industrial revolution began in their time a similar air of threat and suspicion was felt by large to be only proven wrong because those voices came out of suspicion but today we can resonate of what is coming to us through AI.

None oppose technology and its developments but it’s time to think and ponder, how much of technology do we need in our lives and in our industries and how much can be avoided? I don't like extra cheese on my pizza, and I want my crust to be thinner, I do not want oodles of cream on my cake I want it simple, I prefer fresh seasonal fruits and not colas.

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