Should we fear AI?

Great read!
AI has the special property that it’s easy to imagine scary science fiction scenarios in which artificial minds grab control of all the machines on Earth, and enslave its pitiful human population. That’s not very likely, but there is a real concern that AI’s will gain the ability to perform certain tasks without we humans having any real idea how they are doing them. … That raises the prospect of unintended consequences in a serious way.
It is absolutely right to think very carefully and thoroughly about what those consequences might be, and how we might guard against them, without preventing real progress on improved artificial intelligence. — Sean Carroll, cosmology and physics professor, the California Institute of Technology

AI will likely get rid of a lot of jobs
I am worried about the impact on employment as more and more niches are filled by technology. (I don’t see AI as fundamentally different from so many other technologies — the borders are arbitrary.) Will we be able to adapt by inventing new jobs, particularly in the service sector and in the human face of bureaucracy? Or will we have to pay people to not work? — Julian Togelius, computer science professor, New York University

AI is not going to kill us or enslave us. It will eliminate some jobs rather more rapidly than we know how to deal with. Some of the pinch will be coming to white-collar workers too. Eventually we’ll adjust, but the transitions resulting from major technological changes are typically not as easy as we would like. — Tyler Cowen, economics professor, George Mason University
How to get ready for AI
There are issues society needs to prepare for. One key issue is how to prepare for significantly reduced employment due to future AI technology being able to handle much of routine work. In addition, instead of concerns about AI being “too smart” for us, the initial rollout of AI technologies more likely poses a concern in terms of not being as smart as people think such technology will be.

Early autonomous AI systems will likely make mistakes that most humans would not make. It’s therefore important for society to be educated about the limits and implicit hidden biases of AI and machine learning methods. — Bart Selman, computer science professor, Cornell University

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