The world doesn’t seem to stop talking about how wonderful and useful Artificial Intelligence (AI) is, but is that really true? A lot of voices from the tech world also propose the apocalyptic hypothesis that AI could reckon humanity as completely useless and be willing to either enslave us or destroy us, such as in the scenarios of many sci-fi movies such as The Terminator series with Arnold Schwarzenegger, Ex Machina, I, Robot, and a lot more.
One thing’s for sure: AI tools such as OpenAI’s ChatGPT, Google’s Bard, and many others have already made the lives better for many of us, and they will continue on that path. But Friedrich Nietzche, one of the most famous philosophers of all time, once said that comfortableness is the biggest enemy of mankind. If we use the benefits of Artificial Intelligence too much, by neglecting our evolution as a species, especially the intellectual one, that could pave the way to a dangerous comfortableness.
Let’s try to analyze some of the possible terrifying scenarios in which AI could take over the world, leaving humanity totally aside, and see if such possibilities are indeed feasible:
AI indirectly enslaving the world
Artificial Intelligence taking over our jobs represents a scenario that’s already happening to some degree. Many journalists, weather forecasts, and even financial experts see their jobs being threatened by the rise of AI tools such as ChatGPT. But if, over time, all of our jobs will be taken over by AI, guess what would happen? We would become enslaved by the world’s governments and totally dependent on them when it comes to our freedom, our hobbies, and even our food and shelter. The world’s leaders would do anything they want with us if, of course, AI won’t replace them as well.
However, it’s improbable to say at this point that AI would indeed enslave us, indirectly or directly, as humans are still needed in most of the jobs out there. Human interaction is much more important in life than many of us realize. That’s how commercial affairs work, for instance. Without human interaction, the economy would be almost totally useless. Humans are those who can make you buy or sell by presenting, supervising, or advising you.
AI destroying the world
A lot of people fear that AI androids will emerge one day and reckon humans as useless or even harmful. Androids would be willing to take over the world instead of us, which means that they’ll consider that we’re standing in their way. Therefore, they might be willing to get rid of us just as we get rid of spiders or cockroaches when those insects invade our houses. The good news is that such a scenario is improbable simply because Artificially Intelligent systems/robots don’t have desires of any kind, as they only act in the way humans want them to act.
AI is only beneficial (so far)
The good news is that Artificial Intelligence (AI) has only proven to be useful for the world if we rule out some naughty students who tried to cheat on their homework and exams with the help of ChatGPT. AI is everywhere nowadays, as it can generate responses to complex questions and problems, predict the weather, make us learn faster, improve Google search results, challenge us to the most difficult chess game of our lives, and even move around NPCs in our favorite video games. In other words, there’s no use being worried about the current dominance of AI, at least not yet. For the moment, it’s not used in harmful ways, at least not at a large scale.
AI is getting better and better
Although now we know that there’s no rational reason to be concerned about Artificial Intelligence, we can’t neglect the fact that AI chatbots such as ChatGPT or Google Bard are getting better and better. That’s the main reason why some tech experts are worried that AI could get out of control and become a true worldwide threat. But so far, AI doesn’t seem to have gone beyond ‘acceptable limits,’ which means that there are no rational reasons to be concerned. However, limiting the access to ChatGPT for our kids and students might still be a ‘must.’
In the end, none of the terrifying possible scenarios revealed above is feasible, and for one simple reason: AI doesn’t have a conscience, feelings, or desires. It just acts in the way we want it to act. And to believe that AI humanoid robots (aka androids), for instance, will somehow develop a conscience over time by accident as they are improved by their makers is purely science-fiction at this point. The real danger would be that AI could be used by various organizations and individuals deliberately to destroy and conquer their enemies. In other words, AI could be used for military purposes and to conquer others, but only if someone programs it to act in such a way. Hopefully, that won’t be the case, and we will all find ways to live together in peace.
It’s mostly up to those who develop AI systems to not give it any sort of consciousness, feelings, or desires. It’s obvious that if AI becomes much smarter and more powerful than us humans, no nation or political leader could have an interest in improving it with independent desires, feelings, or consciousness. Otherwise, humanity might sign its own death sentence.