For decades, our conversations about AI have been shaped by the same fears and concerns that were expressed in vintage issues of Omni magazine. And while many of these fears have yet to materialize, there is no question that the technology continues to evolve at a breakneck pace.
Some experts believe that AI is already on a trajectory that will lead to human extinction, while others say that it will simply take over mundane tasks and free us to pursue more imaginative pursuits. Regardless of the specific outcome, there is no doubt that AI will change our world significantly.
In addition to revolutionizing industries such as healthcare, finance, and entertainment, AI can also be applied to a variety of assistive technologies. Using voice recognition, natural language processing, and computer vision, AI has helped improve the functionality and accessibility of various devices for individuals with disabilities.
For example, a robotic exoskeleton built by a team led by Stanford University professor Amnon Levy has improved the mobility of paraplegics and quadriplegics by allowing them to stand and move their arms in unison. Another assistive robot, developed by MIT researchers, is helping deaf people communicate with the world around them. In addition, an AI-powered computer has enabled blind people to read a screen with their hands.
These advances are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to integrating AI into our lives. As technology continues to advance, it’s not hard to imagine a day when an artificial intelligence (AI) system will be as sophisticated as the human brain. These “bioprocessors” will likely consist of a molecular latticework that can grow and reproduce, enabling it to become more complex and intelligent over time. They will process data in network-fashion, like the living brain, rather than in the rigid, linear style of earlier computers. They could restore sight to the blind and hearing to the deaf, replace damaged spinal nerves, and give the human brain memory and number-crunching power that rivals today’s most powerful computers.
But even as this transformation happens, some of the most brilliant minds in AI are concerned that it is not advancing on a path that is aligned with human interests. In an open letter published last year, a group of prominent AI scientists warned that their research may ultimately lead to the annihilation of humanity. The signatories noted that while they were not certain their work would do so, there was a one in 10 chance or higher that it would.
The world of AI is a dangerous and exciting place. It is a field where the stakes are so high that it should be subject to the same level of oversight as nuclear weapons. But it is proceeding virtually without scrutiny or regulation. This is no accident. Nearly half of the smartest researchers in the field believe that there is a 1 in 10 chance that their life’s work will contribute to human extinction. This is a huge risk to take, especially when we are talking about systems that are already capable of generating rudimentary movies and stunning fake photographs. omnivoid ai