What is the future of artificial intelligence (AI)? Will robots become as intelligent as humans? Or more intelligent?

Reading

Robots: friend or foe?

What is the future of artificial intelligence (AI)? Will it be possible for robots to be autonomous? If so, when will that happen and will it be a good thing? We asked four experts what they think.

 

A

I would say that we are quite a long way off developing the computing power or the algorithms for fully autonomous AI, though I do think it will happen within the next thirty or forty years. We will probably remain in control of technology and it will help us solve many of the world’s problems. However, no one really knows what will happen if machines become more intelligent than humans. They may help us, ignore us or destroy us. I tend to believe AI will have a positive influence on our future lives, but whether that is true will be partly up to us.  

B

I have to admit that the potential consequences of creating something that can match or surpass human intelligence frighten me. Even now, scientists are teaching computers how to learn on their own. At some point in the near future, their intelligence may well take off and develop at an ever-increasing speed. Human beings evolve biologically very slowly and we would be quickly superseded. In the short term, there is the danger that robots will take over millions of human jobs, creating a large underclass of unemployed people. This could mean large-scale poverty and social unrest. In the long term, machines might decide the world would be better without humans.

C

Personally, I think it’s fascinating to consider how we’ll speed up our evolution as a species by augmenting our bodies. Imagine if you could implant a computer inside our brain! Soon we’ll be able to do just that and enhance our mathematical ability, audiovisual perception and our memory, and this idea is only going to become more and more commonplace. AI is also popping up in the world around us. Recent developments include self-driving cars and drones carrying life-saving equipment to people at sea. Granted, there have been a few teething problems: one woman who was asleep on the floor had her hair eaten by her robot vacuum cleaner and there have been fatal accidents with self-driving cars. But progress always comes at a cost, and for me the advantages far outweigh the disadvantages.

D

I’m a member of the Campaign to Stop Killer Robots. Forget the movie image of a terrifying Terminator stamping on human skulls and think of what’s happening right now: military machines like drones, gun turrets and sentry robots are already being used to kill with very little human input. The next step will be autonomous ‘murderbots’, following orders but ultimately deciding who to kill on their own. It seems clear to me that this would be completely unethical and dangerous for humanity. We need to be very cautious indeed about what we ask machines to do.

 

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Discussion

Which of the points in the reading do you agree with? Do you see robots as friends or foes?

Comments

Rubicel93's picture
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Rubicel93 24 September, 2020 - 20:04

I agree with expert C regarding AI, whether they will be good or bad, I think it will depend on the type of society to which they are exposed, since the development in which these robots are developed will depend on these and often the progress is positive in favor of humanity and as well mentioned by this expert! Everything has a price and it will depend on us how much we are prepared to live with AI and the price that must be paid, both qualitative and quantitative

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Rusin's picture
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Rusin 24 September, 2020 - 08:53

I think AI will never be an enemy of our civilization. Robots have to be programmed so its impossible that they can be an enemy. Propably, in the future in every factory they won't be human workers because robots, who will replace them, are much cheaper and don't need to be paid every period of time so it's only one time expense.

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bjyxszd's picture
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bjyxszd 12 July, 2020 - 05:24

I think it depends on us whether robots become our enemies. If we use it on the right occasion and field, it will become friends with us. On the contrary, you have used the robot in the wrong place. For example, more and more robots have replaced humans. Then we will always become enemies with robots.

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Giovannichoi's picture
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Giovannichoi 26 May, 2020 - 14:22

I have a question here: In the "Check your understanding: multiple choice", the last question, the answer of 'Which expert gives their opinion about what will happen with the same level of certainty as D?' is wrong, I think. The answer is expert C, but C is the opposite of expert D. I thoght 'the same level of~ ' means that something is very similar with something. Can you explain why expert C is the right answer of this question? Please answer me!!!

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JoModerator's picture
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JoModerator 27 May, 2020 - 13:51

Hi Giovannichoi,

'The same level of' means 'the same amount of'. So, in this question 'the same level of certainty' means 'the same amount of certainty', in other words, which expert is as certain of their opinion as expert D. It doesn't necessarily mean that they have the same opinion - what matters is how sure they are that their opinion is correct. 

I hope that helps.

 

Best wishes,

Jo (LearnEnglish Teens team)

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Giovannichoi's picture
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Giovannichoi 26 May, 2020 - 12:09

I think the robots are our foes , unless we can control them well. If we cannot control the autonomous AIs, there are no more doubt that WE are being controlled by those. And acording to B's point that robots take human jobs and that can cause jobless in the future (That's could be possible I think). Perhaps, in the future robots will be as human's pets,and can make men be more antisocial and break their considerations to one-another. Asking me whether I see robots as friends or foes that rang a bit strange, let's just say they're like furnitures. Also I'm afraid to say that the most realistc scenario is that one depicted by Expert D. That is what I think after having seen that the best inventions, technologies and inprovements developed in the past have been mainly intended to cause damage, demolition and annihilation. Like it or not, we live in a selfish world where every nation want to be the mightest one. In the not too distant futere, fresh water will be an scarce resource that wil trigger wars. I am totally sure those wars will be waged by programmed robots.

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Nishat's picture
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Nishat 14 April, 2019 - 08:36

There is nothing unmixed good on earth. When it comes to AI, it is definitely good for human being. But I agree with the fact that if by accident , the robots become uncontrollable, it will bring disaster for us. So we must use and give orders to robots carefully.

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Youjiro's picture
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Youjiro 10 February, 2019 - 09:30

I'm optimistic about AI. Researching AI started after world war 2 at a college such as MIT,Stanford and Carnegie mellon. History of AI is same computer science. computer like a smartphone,PC is getting smaller and getting chipper then 20 year ago.That is why computer is busted our life.Every one has computer nowadays.but AI Robot is used in factory, air plane,bad environment .AI is just program written by C language at first time. autometion of our life will be more common.autopilot of air plane is biggest job for AI.
Nowadays Tesla motor challenge automation pilot for public cat. This is biggest challenge for AI and computer science in computer history .

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Zoezoe's picture
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Zoezoe 5 March, 2018 - 15:27

Personally the evolution of AI is a huge thing. We should be really cautious. In the future we should be able to use the AI as much as we need and think it is helpful. We should have measure. Jobs should be done by humans cause working is a part of life. We shall not exclude working and assign robots to do them. AI is supposed to make our lives easier, better and not to threat them.

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Gera35's picture
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Gera35 6 January, 2018 - 19:06

I agree with the opinion that robots will be good for our future life. All innovation technologies had discussion when they arrived but at the end the world is better everyday. For example, we live now 84 years old and it was impossible some years before, it is consecuence of innovation in medicine.

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Mariabdr's picture
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Mariabdr 15 December, 2017 - 10:05

Nowadays, their skills of Robots have been evolved sharply.As a result, the advantages are obvious. The rise and more efficient in factories where humans will get tired after doing the same thing repetitively.
Besides, Robots can serve food or products, to carry material from one place to another.
On the other hand, If Robots do several jobs,the ratio of unemployment will increase quickly.
It must be said that society should have the control in technology.
In my opinion that a robot could surpass the Human Intelligence is shocking.

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MARIAJL's picture
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MARIAJL 14 December, 2017 - 20:45

I am totally agree with the first two opinions. From my point of view, both of them are related to. In both opinions, they coincide with the point if machines have more power or intelligence than humans, we can be destroyed.
I think that depending on the use that we make of them, they can turn into friends or foes. In some fields,like medicine, they are very essential for the progression of diseases, treatments, etc. However, in other aspects, machines can be superior to humans.
The consequence of that is, for example, the lost of employment because robots are sometimes quicker than us.
It is important to clarify that if this is possible, it is partly up to us.

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catastrophe's picture
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catastrophe 12 August, 2017 - 09:53

Honestly, every person seems to have a point. Like what A said, we might be in control of technology over those years, or not, considering how lazy human beings are. And according to B's theory, the robot population might overgrow human's. But that is very unlikely to happen, because the man who must have created it surely must know the way to destroy it. Unless he has amnesia, of course.
And thinking about C, it's just what the truth is. We are so blind as bats that we can't see the disadvantages just yet. But I hated the way she put it, though it talked some logic. And coming to D, well, I can say he's watching a lot of movies. But what he says is true, robots can be savage and damage the world.
So my opinion is that we won't last for long. So let's make the best of now. ✌ is sure to take over!!!!;))))

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FRANGOGA's picture
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FRANGOGA 11 August, 2017 - 12:17

Unfortunately, I'm afraid to say that the most realistc scenario is that one depicted by Expert D. That is what I think after having seen that the best inventions, technologies and inprovements developed in the past have been mainly intended to cause damage, demolition and annihilation. Like it or not, we live in a selfish world where every nation want to be the mightest one. In the not too distant futere, fresh water will be an scarce resource that wil trigger wars. I am totally sure those wars will be waged by programmed robots.

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DragonBlood's picture
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DragonBlood 11 August, 2017 - 10:23

I think most people would agree that robots can increase unemployment. For example, many factory workers have lost their job because now it is done by a robot. That's why I agree with to the text B.

It's a well-known fact that robots and technology have improved our lifestyle, but we should consider the possible consequences that can occur in the future. What's more important: the technological progress or employments? Personally, I think that robots are friends, until we make them our enemies.

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Lunanga's picture
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Lunanga 19 June, 2017 - 13:55

According to B's point that robots take human jobs and that can cause jobless in the future ( That's could be possible I think).
Perhaps,in the future robots will be as human's pets,and can make men be more antisocial and break their considerations to one-another.
Asking me whether I see robots as friends or foes that rang a bit strange,let's just say they're like furniture.

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