• Rebecca Wiggins

Future Scanning ENT601-50 Artificial Intelligence

Rebecca Wiggins

ENT 601-50

Dr. Robert Lahm

Bill Miller, TA

February 2020

AI and the Impact on Our Future

“Everything we love about civilization is a product of intelligence, so amplifying our human intelligence with artificial intelligence has the potential of helping civilization flourish like never before- as long as we manage to keep the technology beneficial.” -Max Temark, President of the Future of Life Institute.

What is AI? Artificial intelligence is the recreation of human intelligence through computers. AI is drastically changing us in our world, and it is changing rapidly. There are pros and cons to artificial intelligence, because AI is greatly solving many problems that we face, but there is this concern of AI reaching superintelligence during our generation. The superintelligence level of AI, is when they reach an intelligence that outperforms humans completely, cognitively.

When I think about AI, I think of self-driving cars, Siri, and robots. AI is not just robots that act human, it can include Google’s search algorithms and IBM’s Watson to autonomous weapons. Narrow AI, or weak AI, is designed to perform a small task like face recognition or only internet searches. Many researchers are aiming for a long-term goal of AI called general AI, also called AGI or strong AI. Narrow AI can outperform humans at specific tasks such as chess, but AGI will be made to outperform humans at nearly every cognitive task. (Benefits & Risks of Artificial Intelligence).

Some experts estimate that about half of our jobs will be taken over by automation and robotics within the next 15 years (Goswami). PwC estimates that, “artificial intelligence technologies could increase global GDP by $15.7 trillion, a full 14 percent, by 2030.” According to Redwood Software and Sapio Research from 2017 research, in 2022, 60% of business will be automated (Goswami).

Stephen Hawking Elon Musk, Steve Woziak, Bill Gates, and other big science leaders, have expressed concern in the media about risks posed by AI. Artificial intelligence has the potential to intentionally or unintentionally cause great harm. For example, AI arms race could lead to an AI war. These weapons could be difficult to “turn off,” so humans could lose control of the situation. If this gets in the hands of the wrong person, these weapons could easily cause mass casualties.

Recursive self-improvement can become dangerous too, and there’s that risk of AI learning how to reprogram themselves. We need to try and prevent this by making sure we have the same goals with Artificial Intelligence before they become a superintelligence. Also, we need to research things such as AI’s impacts on economics, law, validity, security, and control. This gives us a higher chance of helping us know how we could handle AI’s increasing intelligence. Again, our safety may or may not be at risk. We can never know the future completely. For now, we need to research AI’s impact on society as much as possible.

AI milestones have happened in the past 5 years, that experts thought wouldn’t have happened until decades from now. Superintelligence may or may not happen in our lifetime. Most AI researches at the 2015 Puerto Rico Conference guessed that it would happen before 2060 (Benefits and Risks of Artificial Intelligence).

Humans control the planet now, but we are not the strongest or fastest. We are just the smartest. We may experience our own evolution. Experts are not sure how AI will behave once they become more intelligent than any human in our world. Intelligence enables control. Who will have the control in our lives once we are not the smartest? The best way to win the race is by supporting AI safety research. Research! Research will help us prepare and prevent potential negative consequences, while we can still enjoy the benefits of artificial intelligence.


A Smith, J Anderson. Pew Research Center. 2014. www.fusbp.com

“Benefits & Risks of Artificial Intelligence.” Future of Life. FLI-Future of Life Institute.


Goswami, Darshan. “How Will Artificial Intelligence Impact the Future? It’s Up To Us.” Triple


Media & TriplePundit. 8 Nov 2018. https://www.triplepundit.com/story/2018/how-will-



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