Artificial intelligence and dangerous robots: barking up the wrong tree

Klaus Rohde

Some famous people, among them the eminent physicict Stephen Hawking, have warned of the danger posed by artificial intelligence which may soon surpass that of humans and take over the world, making us superfluous and dispensable. But is this indeed so?

My answer: intelligent machines (robots, computers) can indeed turn out to be extremely dangerous, but largely because of the dangerous uses to which they are put by humans. For example, look at drones as they exist at this moment: fairly simple and certainly not highly intelligent relative to how they could potentially be in the not too distant future, nevertheless extremely dangerous if used for the wrong purposes in warfare or even in civil life. Drones have several times got very close to civilian airliners and disaster was just avoided. However, nobody would dream of attributing an intelligence approaching that of humans, or feelings like an urge to take…

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