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Here we go again! More bad assumptions fueling new movies, fears…

by Tom Austin  |  January 29, 2015  |  Comments Off on Here we go again! More bad assumptions fueling new movies, fears…

In a recent article, the BBC has repeated fear stories like this:

“The Spectrum computer’s inventor Sir Clive Sinclair … [says] he believes it is unavoidable that artificial intelligences will wipe out mankind. Once you start to make machines that are rivalling and surpassing humans with intelligence, it’s going to be very difficult for us to survive. It’s just an inevitability.”

The hypothesis is that if we build machines that are as intelligent as humans and able to reproduce themselves and evolve themselves and maintain and repair themselves and support themselves, well, humanity is doomed.

I find the hypothesis doomed because we have no idea how to create such machines. (See some of my earlier posts on this.)

Worse, here come the movies about these unsupportable hypotheses. According to the BBC:

Several recent and forthcoming films have also focused on how people might handle the potential threat AI poses, including Ex Machina, Transcendence, Avengers: Age of Ultron, Chappie and Terminator Genisys.

And then the wave of hysteria will die out as well move onto another set of breathless, fear inducing memes.

Is it time for another Orson Wells to come along and tell the small town residents panicking over his radio broadcast that the War of the Worlds was fiction?

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Tom Austin
VP & Gartner Fellow
20 years at Gartner
41 years IT industry

Tom Austin, VP, has been a Gartner Fellow since 1997. He drives Gartner's research content incubator (the Maverick Program) and is leading a new research community creating research on the emerging era of smart machines. Read Full Bio

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