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Tech stars split over AI: threat or salvation?

Friday, November 10, 2017 - 02:24

Artificial Intelligence is a hot topic at a web summit in Portugal, with scientists warning of the risks of creating powerful autonomous machines that are smarter than we are. Emily Wither reports.

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"We need to be aware of the dangers." A warning from Professor Stephen Hawking for the world's leading tech experts. That the emergence of artificial intelligence could be the "worst event in the history of our civilization". "We need to learning, beyond the theoretical discussion of how AI should be, and take action and plan for how it can be." Hawking is concerned the tech could lead to powerful autonomous weapons and be used to oppress people. Speaking at Web Summit in Portugal. AI is the hot topic here. The scientist behind Sophia the Robot, Ben Goertzel, is building a marketplace in the cloud where AI developers can share their work and ideas: (SOUNDBITE) (English), BEN GOERTZEL, SINGULARITYNET AND HANSON ROBOTICS, (saying): "It's natural to be afraid of the unknown and we are entering a new domain and none of us can predict exactly what's going to happen. So we need to move AI away a little bit from only being owned by huge companies and major governments and have it developed in more of a decentalized way." Goertzel is concerned that if AI is concentrated in the hands of a few, they'll use it to pursue their own agency. Elon Musk thinks this man will save the world. Physicist Max Tegmark. He's researching the existential risks facing humanity when it comes to artificial intelligence. And rather than an outright robot uprising, he worries that bit by bit, machines are outsmarting us. (SOUNDBITE) (English) PHYSICIST, MAX TEGMARK, SAYING: "After all, why are we humans more powerful on this planet than tigers? It's not because we have sharper claws or bigger muscles, it's because we're smarter. And if we create machines that are smarter than us, then it's perfectly plausible either that those machines can get power over us or that people can use those machines to do things that we don't want them to do. (Question): Do you think you could be a threat? Sophia: "No."

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Tech stars split over AI: threat or salvation?

Friday, November 10, 2017 - 02:24