How worried should we be about evil A.I. and killer robots?
Keep reading and then you decide:
Bill Gates thinks we should be very worried, saying “I agree with Elon Musk and some others on this and don’t understand why some people are not concerned.”
Elon Musk tweeted “We need to be super careful with AI. Potentially more dangerous than nukes.” On Friday he took another step in the shoes of Iron Man’s Tony Stark (which is already loosely based on him) to fight tomorrow’s evils. He launched OpenAI, a non-profit with over $1 billion committed from himself, Jeff Bezos, Peter Thiel, LinkedIn founder Reid Hoffman, and Y Combinator President Sam Altman.
OpenAI is the tech pioneers’ attempt to ensure the good guys move faster with future tech than the bad guys. Because the coming tech in the hands of the bad guys is a very bad thing.
I met Marc Goodman in Silicon Valley. He is a future crimes expert, founder of the Future Crimes Institute and spends his time advising NATO, Interpol, the UN and US government.
Marc explained just how bad it can get. As a result of the coming revolutions in biotechnology, 3D printing, robots and artificial intelligence, here’s 6 crimes we can expect in the near future (all are already possible):
1 >> Terrorist drone attacks – The U.S. have been using killer drones for years. But this year affordable drones are everywhere. It’s just a matter of time before they lead a terrorist attack.
2 >> Deaths from 3D printed guns – These already exist, and are improving fast. No gun laws can stop terrorists and criminals from printing their own guns, bullets and, soon, more destructive weapons.
3 >> Hijacked planes from GPS spoofing – You can now get GPS jammers for $50. From our planes to cars, we are getting increasingly GPS dependant. The growing power of jammers and ‘spoofers’ (which can trick vehicles to new GPS positions) will allow criminals to hijack any vehicle (or satellite).
4 >> Hacked cities & weapons – As A.I. gets smarter, it’s increasingly easy to hack any system. As big data and the Internet of Things grow, what criminals choose to hack will move from computers and bank accounts to city infrastructure and weapon systems.
5 >> 3D printed forgeries & fingerprints – 3D printing will become good enough that anyone can print anything, including passports, credit cards and even fingerprints. That means your fingerprints can be collected, printed, and left at the scene of a crime.
6 >> DNA replicated identity theft – anyone can collect your DNA, replicate it, and use it to incriminate you however they like.
All the technology now exists for all 6 of these to begin to happen, and the speed in which the technology is growing in power and falling in price is exponential. That’s why the tech pioneers are so worried.
“We have arranged things so that almost no one understands science and technology. This is a prescription for disaster. We might get away with it for a while, but sooner or later this combustible mixture of ignorance and power is going to blow up in our faces.”
~ Carl Sagan
What can we do about it? We can start by realizing the governments of the world are going to lose their ability to protect us. Our entire court system is based on fingerprints and DNA being enough to prove guilt of crimes. In a matter of years that will no longer be the case. Which means eventually technology will lead to a collapse of the current criminal system.
Police forces and armies are also no answer to the coming power of technology. The speed of change and its consequences are too rapid for governments to keep up.
That means, like Elon Musk, we will need to take matters into our own hands.
We need to become aware, and make those around us aware, that in the next 10 years, all the rules will change. Technology is exponentially growing its power to do both good and evil.
We need to rise up, build communities of trust, and create the technology to empower us and protect us. We need to care deeply about this, so the wrong future doesn’t take us by surprise.
We need to act not for the sake of change, but change for the sake of good.
For our own protection and survival, they key will not be to increase our faith in government, but to increase our faith in the good of those around us to look out for each other.
“It’s not a faith in technology. It’s a faith in people.”
~ Steve Jobs