Opinion: Is Elon Musk right about artificial intelligence being dangerous?


Since the 1980’s, AI, in robot form, has been depicted in such classic films as “Blade Runner,” “The Terminator,” “I, Robot,” “Wall-E,” and “Robocop.” And of course, “WarGames.” 

The idea that robots can somehow come alive and do harm, is a reality in the movies. There is also the concept that a machine can be loyal, love, and even have its heartbroken. 

The ability to think and to be conscious are signs that a “being” is truly alive. Having “feelings” and emotions is also a good indicator that we aren’t dealing with inanimate objects. To date, artificial intelligence hasn’t produced a real-life machine.

We are starting to see AI machines that look like they can both think and feel. And they may be thinking better than humans and feeling differently than we expect.

Regardless, at the center of these debates and discussions lies the question: Can machines ever come to life? Is it possible for them to have emotions, morals, consciousness, perhaps even a soul?

It has been said that if AI comes alive it is thanks to its programmers. Somewhere tucked into the future there may be an algorithm that creates a loving, thinking, consciousness. Or even a soul. 

An AI future

In the hi-tech sectors, many of the players are coming together in groups like the Partnership on AI, Machine Intelligence Research Institute, and The Future of Life. The greatest minds of tech meet in these modern-day think tanks to problem solve the worst-case scenario and imagine the amazing benefits of an AI future.