Artificial intelligence (AI) research is an endeavor that should ultimately help humans, but fears about AI and the development of smart robots in the news may hinder research on this important technology. Researchers who attended the AAAI-15 conference in Austin, Texas this week think that AI will empower humans rather than exterminate them and this way of thinking could set back research significantly if people take the idea that “full artificial intelligence could somehow bring an end to the human race” seriously, as Stephen Hawking said in a recent BBC interview. Many items in the news have raised ethical concerns about the development of AI, stating that the human race could essentially be opening Pandora’s box, but “for robots to become conscious of that they’re doing and reason in a way to overcome us, that’s really science fiction” says Lynne Parker, a division director in Information and Intelligent Systems with the National Science Foundation. Scientists ultimately believe that the fear of artificial intelligence is unfounded, and it could also hinder countless technological advances.
Contributor: Johanna Hartman