Countless films based on AI taking over life as we know it often depict the end of the world, but did you know AI is evolving at an alarming rate? In fact, Stephen Hawking, Elon Musk and even Bill Gates share a fear of the very thought of an AI takeover.
1. Humanlike appearances
This artificially intelligent machine named Yangyang bears a striking resemblance to Sarah Palin, but she’s just a robot right ? Yanyang can shake your hand or even offer you a hug! Developed by Hiroshi Ishiguro a famous Japanese robot expert together with Song Yang, a Chinese professor of robotics, actually she’s is named after Song Yang’s daughter Yang Haunting.
Of course Yangyang isn’t the only robot that looks like a human being, Nadine, another intelligent robot developed by the Nanyang Technological University (NTU) actually works as a receptionist there! Nadine can smile, shake hands, make eye contact and meet and greet guests. She can also remember previous guests and talk to them based on conversions they have had in the past.
And we all have heard the story about Sophia Robot who became the world’s first robot citizen, she was given citizenship of Saudi Arabia. Now this is huge!
2. Understanding human behaviour
We’ve all got a Facebook account right ? The world’s most influential social media platform is already a massive part of our daily life. Did you know that every time you use Facebook you are interacting with a form of artificial intelligence? It’s true Mark Zuckerberg revealed that Facebook is using AI to understand human behaviour.
Analysing human interaction on Facebook, the AI can then recommend many feeds that we might be interested in. It doesn’t stop there either, Zuckerberg has big plans to integrate AI into others areas such as medicine. Don’t panic yet, for now Facebook’s AI can only recognise pattern behaviour, but you can be sure that the boffins at Facebook are working on smarter, faster AIs as we speak!
3. Robots can become our lovers or even soulmates
Remember Her? In this film the main character falls in love with a robot. Well this controversial subject could actually happen in real life, and very soon too! In 2015 a report by a futurologist Dr. Ian Pearson stated that human-on-robot sex will eventually become more popular that human-on-human sex by 2050.
4. They already feel emotions
We already know that the main thing that separates humans from robots is emotions. Robots have intelligence, in fact most are a lot smarter than we are already, but they can’t feel right ?. Wrong, scientists are already working on AI that can feel emotions similar to ours.
The Microsoft Application and Services Group in Asia have already created an AI program that is said to be able to feel emotions. The program can also talk to us in a much more human way. Named Xiaoice she answers questions very similar to a 17 year old girl would. She is capable of lying, being mean, being impatient, being sarcastic, getting angry or becoming embarrassed.
For now Xiaoice is just a concept and provides a fun insight into what can be done, but Microsoft will develop this project more, already they are developing a self learning and growing addition.
5. Weapon of mass destruction
Remember Terminators Skynet? The US military has proposed a budget of around $15 billion to give them a military advantage over China and Russia. Of course to do this they will use artificial intelligence, in particular autonomous machines that are capable of deep learning. Perhaps in a few years time we will see terminator like killer robots on battlefields.
Meet Atlas, a bipedal humanoid robot developed by Boston Dynamics in 2013. Atlas is 1.8-meter (6 ft) tall and originally he was designed for a variety of rescue and search tasks. He and “his friends” of course could save many human lives, but as we have seen in the films killer robots that can think for themselves could also provide a threat to us.
6. AI is learning right and wrong
Scientists are developing methods to prevent the AI Takeover too. By teaching AI right and wrong the robots could be more empathetic and human. Murray Shanahan, a cognitive robotics professor at the Imperial College, London believes this is the key to preventing AI from terminating us all!
Experiments using stories to install human ethics in AI are already taking place, just like we read stories to our children to teach them. Of course this also adds danger, many humans despite knowing right from wrong still are capable of terrible things. So what will prevent AI going down the same path of some of these terrible human examples? What if the films are true and AI realises that humans are the problem on earth and Terminates us all?