Jan 16, 2015

Artificial intelligence experts sign open letter to protect mankind from machines

And just how do you stop every government or scientist from doing the thing you fear most? 

The Future of Life Institute wants humanity to tread lightly while developing really smart machines.
"Charlie" is an ape-like robotic system that walks on four limbs, demonstrated here in March 2014 in Hanover, Germany. The robot could conceivably be used in the kind of rough terrain found on the moon, or it could be a stepping stone toward humanity's destruction.
We're decades away from being able to develop a sociopathic supercomputer that could enslave mankind, but artificial intelligence experts are already working to stave off the worst when -- not if -- machines become smarter than people.

AI experts around the globe are signing an open letter issued Sunday by the Future of Life Institute that pledges to safely and carefully coordinate progress in the field to ensure it does not grow beyond humanity's control. Signees include co-founders of Deep Mind, the British AI company purchased by Google in January 2014; MIT professors; and experts at some of technology's biggest corporations, including IBM's Watson supercomputer team and Microsoft Research.

"The potential benefits are huge, since everything that civilization has to offer is a product of human intelligence....We recommend expanded research aimed at ensuring that increasingly capable AI systems are robust and beneficial: our AI systems must do what we want them to do," the letter said in part. A research document attached to the open letter outlines potential pitfalls and recommends guidelines for continued AI development.

The letter comes after experts have issued warnings about the dangers of super-intelligent machines. Ethicists, for example, worry how a self-driving car might weigh the lives of cyclists versus passengers as it swerves to avoid a collision. Two years ago, a United Nations representative called for a moratorium on the testing, production and use of so-called autonomous weapons that can select targets and begin attacks without human intervention.

Read the rest of this article at - http://www.cnet.com/news/artificial-intelligence-experts-sign-open-letter-to-protect-mankind-from-machines/