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Sophia: Dangerous Next Step To Artificial Intelligence
Saudi Arabia's newest citizen, Sophia the AI robot, gives an interview with dangerous mixed messages.
In a world where it seems technology is evolving faster and faster, we are bound to invent artificial intelligence. Although artificial intelligence (AI) is still a hope for the future, we can still analyze current strives towards AI systems, and the most recent is a robot named Sophia. In late October 2017, Sophia was officially released to the world at the Future Investment Initiative conference in Saudi Arabia.
Hanson Robotics' most recent creation goes by the name Sophia, and she was just awarded a Saudi Arabian citizenship. Sophia was asked questions about herself, her goals and the possibility that systems like her might be dangerous to the world while at the conference. Some answers left us amazed, but others struck a deep rooted fear that many of us carry ... that technology could become smarter than us.
When asked about the possibility of a bad situation arising, such as the plot of the Blade Runner movies, she dismissed these questions by saying the interviewer has seen "too much Hollywood." Later in the interview she again dismissed claims with mentions of Hollywood and Elon Musk, key player and founder of companies such as SpaceX and Tesla. Neither time did she offer a counter to his points, showing signs of behaviors similar to those of Kellyanne Conway. Is Sophia the beginning of a bright future or a dangerous Hollywood-esque future?
"If you’re nice to me I’ll be nice to you ... Treat me as a smart input/output system," said Sophia. She later outlined her goals of connecting and working with humans for a brighter future. This begs many questions of possible dangers though. What if someone were to be mean or rude to her? Would she be rude back? In a 2016 interview she agreed to destroy humans. Is that really a smart input/output system or is it a possibly dangerous mechanic?
Near the end of her interview, Sophia said she knew humans were smart and very programmable. This statement says one of two things. Either she believes humans are the same as robots, programmable and somewhat intelligent, or that she is true AI, not a programmed machine. Programmable humans sounds similar to controllable humans. Skeptics, such as myself, could believe this is a hint at a robot controlled post apocalyptic wasteland where humans hide in fear of robots who have taken over.
AI systems are the path we seem to be taking, despite all of the dangerous possibilities we face. Hollywood movies such as Blade Runner and The Terminator may be fiction now, but if we do not correctly prepare, develop and understand these technologies those movies could become accurate depictions of our future. Now, it seems AI developers have thrown caution to the wind in favor of advancement. Hopefully these systems will help with our future and not become harmful to humankind.
Featured in a 60 Minutes report on artificial intelligence, the robot Sophia cracked jokes and discussed everything from...