There has been a lot of hype around artificial intelligence and how it can replace people at their jobs. With the advancement in artificial general intelligence, we are constantly increasing the possibility of a computer system smarter than humans. In the light of recent events, we can say that founders and managers across the world are quite possibly apprehensive and excited to see such intelligent solutions in existence. From Facebook to Google to IBM, all major tech giants are performing rigorous R&D in machine learning and artificial intelligence. Elon Musk, founder and CEO of Tesla and SpaceX also expressed his views on the capabilities of artificially intelligent solutions. Recently, he was invited to the National Governors Association (NGA) Conference held between 13-16th July on Rhode Island. Let’s see what he discussed about AI.
Elon Musk expressed strong views about Artificial General Intelligence (A Computer System that is intelligent across all the activities). With the current state of advancements in tech, we are able to achieve narrow AI i.e. algorithms that can outperform humans in a specific repeatable activity like playing chess and handling data entry. The next natural step is developing a system that can outperform humans across a wider sphere of more complex activities, thus reducing the need of humans across a range of jobs and for those with a more vivid imagination, becoming a threat to our existence.
According to Elon Musk, the regulation on the development of artificially intelligent solutions needs to be proactive, rather than reactive. What we are accustomed to do is wait for a problem to crop up, become substantial enough to cause public panic, form a regulatory body and then form governance rules. This might not be the optimum solution in this case. In the case of airplanes or cars, this can be a minor threat as it can cause harm to a section of society but artificial intelligence is such that it can cause risk to the survival of human race.
The increase in competition in the IT industry has led to a race to launch platforms and solutions with ever increasing artificial intelligence capabilities. There is a need for guidelines and a regulatory body to check that these innovations continue to have a positive, rather than a negative influence on our lives.. AI governance is the need of the hour and if something can out-do humans then the day might not far when science fiction turns into reality.
We have the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to handle aircraft development and innovation. Security tests and guidelines are followed before launching any aircraft for a consumer product. No doubt, regulation hinders innovation, but would you prefer slower development of aircrafts or risk traveling in an airplane that is not fully tested? Being creative within constraints is better than risk creating something can be potentially dangerous.
As we have seen that even when we are far from achieving complete artificial intelligence we are making our best efforts to keep the risks at bay. Elon Musk and many other great entrepreneurs have the vision to not only guide, but also control the development of AI systems. Where innovation takes us will probably remain a mystery but we sure can take the best steps to prevent a disaster.