Infrastructure and life
New technologies capable of destroying humanity. Scientists answer
The Gizmodo publication interviewed scientists, asking them one question - what new technology can soon worsen the lives of millions of people, and in the long term - destroy human civilization. Each of the experts gave his answer, arguing the fears and describing the consequences.
Michael Littman, a professor of computer science at Brown University, said that he was seriously afraid of the development of artificial intelligence (AI).
“A group of 17 experts expressed the opinion that as AI systems become more useful in real cases, their scope is expanding. This leads to increased risks of misuse, overuse and outright abuse,” the scientist warned.
One of the biggest fears, he called the emergence of humanity's attitude to AI as a technology that can be used to solve any problem.
“AI seemed to have an aura of neutrality and impartiality. Because of this, systems are perceived as objective and useful, although they can be applied inappropriately and be built on the results of biased data or even blatant discrimination,” Littman said.
Without transparency in the construction of AI data and algorithms, he says, people will remain in the dark about how decisions are made that affect their lives.
For example, AI algorithms play a role in decisions about the allocation of organ donors, vaccines and other health care items - these approaches have literally life and death stakes, the professor warned. He concluded that one should not exclude people's opinions from the AI-based decision chain, so as not to harm humanity.
Professor of epidemiology at Harvard University David Shumway Jones is inclined to believe that most of all people should be wary of biometrics, and in particular facial recognition technology.
“Our movements will no longer be private. Someone will always be able to know where we are and where we have been. Even if no one abuses this information, the loss of confidentiality and anonymity seems significant enough to me, ”said the specialist.
At the same time, the scientist is sure that it will almost certainly not be possible to avoid abuse. “The risk of misuse of this information is real. Anyone who has access to information can certainly use it for nefarious purposes, ”Jones expressed his concerns.
According to him, the range of stakeholders is wide - from stalkers and former partners to authoritarian governments. With the development of technology, they will even have the ability to predict what people will do next: where to go, what to buy and who to see, the professor stated.