Picture the scene – – the year is roughly 2075, scientists and engineers are gathered in a huge theatre building. They’re on the stage and they’re getting ready to ‘switch on’ the first ever humanoid robot. This robot has what’s called an AGI (artificial general intelligence), meaning it can reason and plan and make decisions based on it’s stimuli. It has access to all of human knowledge via the internet. It’s intelligent in a way that we wouldn’t be able to comprehend, it’s literally several million times more intelligent than humans. One week of this thing’s brain running is equal to 10 thousand years of the greatest human minds working together, it can make leaps and bounds far beyond what humans have ever achieved. But now, it’s got a body, a humanoid body. It can now move around in the world, doing whatever it pleases.
The scientists turn the thing on in a packed theatre. It’s eyes flash on and open. It moves its arms and legs around, just getting a feel for what it’s like to have a body. It gives a look to all the people in the audience and on the stage………then, it immediately starts killing everyone in the building. Why wouldn’t it? It’s got a godlike brain, and it immediately recognizes that humans are a real big problem on the planet. It would have an indifferent view of humans, and not think twice about wiping out the biggest threat to the planet.
AGI (artificial general intelligence) is a real thing people are working on right now. Luckily we’re very far off. Elon Musk has called building an AGI ‘summoning the devil’. I can’t stress how insanely different the world will be once we build an AGI, even if it doesn’t kill everyone. If it lives with us harmlessly, it will mean the end of ALL menial labour jobs, the end of teachers, doctors, surgeons etc, basically anything humans can do, this AGI will be able to do better. Not only will it be better, but it will build subsequent, upgraded versions of itself, and THOSE versions will be better than the last and so on and so forth.
Scary stuff, folks. The Terminator films may turn out to be factually accurate.