5 Influential People in the World of Science & Tech Speaking Against AI

Chaitanya Tapase

When Apple introduced Siri to the world, it opened the eyes of the world to Artificial Intelligence (AI). Siri was going to be everyone’s personal digital assistant, always available to your beck and call. The year was 2011 and in the 5 years since, we’ve seen a whole lot of AI products hit the shelves around the world.

Be afraid, be very afraid | Usa-Pyon / Shutterstock.com
Be afraid, be very afraid | Usa-Pyon / Shutterstock

Before We Begin, Let’s Talk AI

We now have digital assistants in our pockets, in our living rooms, in our cars and pretty much everywhere. And AI can make a more advanced version of AI. It all seems to resemble Skynet a lot. But Internet of Things (IoT) is already here, not in the distant future. We’ll see more proof of that when we get to the videos below.

But, is AI really that worrisome? Why would Tony Stark invest so much in it, if it really was bad? Okay, maybe not the best guy to give an example of, let’s see what others have to say about the state of AI.

1. Stephen Hawking: AKA The Smartest Man on the Planet

While writing A Brief History of Time, Stephen Hawking was once credited with settling the God debate, inferring that his theory proved that the Universe had no creator. Such is the influence of the man on everything related to Science, that he is seldom labelled as the smartest person alive.

So when he has anything to say about AI, we have to sit back and listen. And here’s his take on how AI could spell the end of the human race. (Good stuff from 4:05 onward).

2. Bill Gates: AKA The Richest Guy in Tech

Whether he is still the richest man on the planet is debatable, but he certainly is the richest man in the world of tech. With pioneering the Windows OS from the early ’90s, Bill Gates has since a lot of change in the world of technology, first hand. Heck, he’s built quite a bit of it himself.

So, when he speaks about AI, or anything on tech, it is worth noting. The interviewer in this video from Fox follows the answers given by Stephen Hawking in the previous video. However, she didn’t really probe him enough, but there’s no denying that Bill Gates sees the danger of AI. Maybe it’s just a word of caution, but on further probing, I’m sure we would’ve seen him speak a lot more against AI.

3. CGP Grey: Educator, Podcaster & YouTuber

If you’ve not heard of CGP Grey, then you should probably first take a look at his subreddit. The sheer size of his subscriber base will give you an idea of his influence over the influence he has over YouTube and podcasts. He has touched on several interesting matters over the years, but his take on AI was particularly difficult to watch.

The title of the video itself should give you a clue of what’s to follow. But you should definitely not judge a book by its cover, or a YouTube video by its title. Once you watch it, you’ll see where CGP is coming from and that his observations are not opinions but facts and figures with historical precedence.

Although you might balk at the idea of being compared to working horses, slowly and steadily the video makes you realize how smarter technology is the only way to go. And how we’re going to be replaced by it. Not just skilled professionals, but creative people too. Professor Hawking was the appetizer, but Professor Grey has served us the entrée.

4. Elon Musk: Guy Behind Tesla and SpaceX

Tesla is the game-changing company of this decade and SpaceX might be just that in the near future. But even he has said on several occasions that we need to be wary of AI. Although his view is that ‘Advanced AI in the wrong hands’ is bad and it ‘shouldn’t be controlled by one country or one company’ there is still much to worry about.

Because some of the most exciting companies in AI are being acquired by big companies like Google and Apple. And if only these 2 companies end up controlling the most advanced AI in the future, what would that mean to all of us as a collective? Have a look at the video and ponder on that question deeper. (Good stuff from 11:02 onward).

5. Sam Harris: Neuroscientist and Skeptic

For tech-lovers, Sam Harris might not be a name they easily recognize. But if you’re also a Science-lover and have watched a whole lot of YouTube videos around the existence of God, then Sam Harris is as familiar as Roger Federer to Tennis fans.

Sam recently gave a TED talk and it revolved entirely on the dangers of AI. Not just that, he also showed how the ‘far off future’ may actually not be that far off. And we need to prepare for advanced AI. Now.

ALSO READ: The Secrets of Life: 4 Amazing Videos by Kurzgesagt That Try to Unlock Them

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Chaitanya Tapase has varied interests in Technology from Android to Windows to DSLR Photography. On weekends, you'd find him catching up on TV Shows like Game of Thrones and enjoying House Music.