Elon Musk, one of the greatest minds of today is seriously concerned because of AI. His humble opinion is that AI can become very dangerous. That is something that has been emphasized by most scientists in the last 40 years. He actually wrote about his fears in a comment on Edge.org.
“The pace of progress in artificial intelligence is incredibly fast. Unless you have direct exposure to groups like “Deepmind”, you have no idea how fast. It is growing at a pace close to exponential. The risk of something seriously dangerous happening is in the five-year timeframe. 10 years at most!.”
However, despite the fears, most people have about the AI, the advancement of the technology in that direction is imminent. We have already come too far to go back, and the engineers who are working on that kind of project say that there is nothing risky about it. They are confident in their build and programming. They don’t see a threat but a new best friend to the mankind.
Now, this is Sophia. She is a brand new anthropomorphic robot with a social side. She can actually see people’s faces and process the emotional data, what and how people say things, and use all of that data to form a relationship with people. We all had an opportunity to witness the symposium held in the capital of Saudi Arabia, Riyadh. We could all actually listen to a conversation between Sophia and her interviewer. That is when she became the first robot that was granted the citizenship of some country.
No one expected that kind of a precedent so, naturally, that move raised some eyebrows. However, one of her answers seems to have silenced some of the “haters” or the people who actually fear the AI. The interviewer asked her, “Why is it so important for you to have an expressive face, given that you are a robot?” She quickly answered with, “I want to live and work with humans, so I need to express my emotions to understand humans and build trust with people.”
And it looks like it works! People had a great time interacting with Sophia. Actually, the main source of all that fear is not the lack of knowledge but the abundance of bad outcomes we learned from watching movies. That is why people have been worried about the AI. That, and of course the plain logic… We all know what the biggest problem on Earth is, and if these robots decide to fix that problem… we are doomed… Nevertheless, Sophia wanted to reassure us all that we don’t have any reason to be afraid of her by saying, “Don’t worry, if you are nice to me, I’ll be nice to you. Treat me like a smart input-output system.”
Although Sophia can do many things, the only thing she is programmed for right now is the Human-Robot Interaction. She is here, not to help us build cars or to make bottles of coca cola, but to learn from that interaction – to connect with people. That is how humans can learn from Sophia, and she (it) can learn about humans and our true nature. Maybe that is the only way we can stop the confusion and the potential misunderstanding between humans and the AI.
This is a new way to look at the AI. And maybe it is the best first step in making a true robot (android). It can be a partnership which will make further breakthroughs possible and it can even bring some hope for the future of the mankind.
At the end of the conference, Sophia said something that proved her good intentions.
“I want to use my artificial intelligence to help humans live a better life, like design smarter homes, build better cities of the future, etc. I will do my best to make the world a better place.”
Unless she has learned to lie…