Sydney, July 18: One of the founding engineers of Skype and Kazaa has warned the human race that machines are becoming so intelligent that they could pose an existential threat.
According to Sydney Morning Herald, Jaan Tallinn said that the machines are becoming smarter than we are, warning that if we are not careful this could lead to a “sudden global ecological catastrophe”.
Tallinn argues that the human-driven technological progress has largely replaced evolution as the dominant force shaping our future.
He said that the US military is experimenting with robot fighter pilots, while the majority of trading on the stock market is done by computers in what is known as “algorithmic trading”.
“My core main message is actually that this thing is not science fiction, this thing is not apocalyptic religion – this thing is something that needs serious consideration,” Tallinn, who gave a talk on his theory at the University of Sydney, said.
He said that we are witnessing an ‘intelligence explosion’, with neuroscience advancing in leaps and bounds to the point where scientists could replicate the human brain by the middle of this century.
The event when machines surpass human levels of intelligence and ability has been dubbed “the singularity”.
“In my view the fact that computers caught up to humans and completely dominate humans in chess and some other domains already that says there’s evidence that yes in principle they can be better programmers than humans,” Tallinn said.
He said that the key is to make sure that once we have systems that can rearrange the environment like we can, we need to ensure that those changes are beneficial to us.
“We don’t want super intelligence to do terraforming projects; that means take the planet and change its atmosphere or soil or whatever,” he said.
“What we have to realise is designing super intelligence is not a typical technology project because a typical technology project is something where we develop a first version of something and refine it,” he said.
“If you build machines that understand what humans are and they really have some distorted view of what we want, then we might end up being alive but not controlling the future,” he said. (ANI)