In our previous posts, we discussed that there is an awareness that SAMs (i.e., strong artificially intelligent machines) may become hostile toward humans, and AI remains an unregulated branch of engineering. The computer you buy eighteen months from now will be twice as capable as the one you can buy today.

Where does this leave us regarding the following questions?

  • Is strong AI a new life-form?
  • Should we afford these machines “robot” rights?

In his 1990 book The Age of Intelligent Machines, Kurzweil predicted that in 2099 organic humans will be protected from extermination and respected by strong AI, regardless of their shortcomings and frailties, because they gave rise to the machines. To my mind the possibility of this scenario eventually playing out is questionable. Although I believe a case can be made that strong AI is a new life-form, we need to be extremely careful with regard to granting SAMs rights, especially rights similar to those possessed by human. Anthony Berglas expresses it best in his 2008 book Artificial Intelligence Will Kill Our Grandchildren, in which he notes:

  • There is no evolutionary motivation for AI to be friendly to humans.
  • AI would have its own evolutionary pressures (i.e., competing with other AIs for computer hardware and energy).
  • Humankind would find it difficult to survive a competition with more intelligent machines.

Based on the above, carefully consider the following question. Should SAMs be granted machine rights? Perhaps in a limited sense, but we must maintain the right to shut down the machine as well as limit its intelligence. If our evolutionary path is to become cyborgs, this is a step we should take only after understanding the full implications. We need to decide when (under which circumstances), how, and how quickly we take this step. We must control the singularity, or it will control us. Time is short because the singularity is approaching with the stealth and agility of a leopard stalking a lamb, and for the singularity, the lamb is humankind.

Source: The Artificial Intelligence Revolution (2014), Louis A. Del Monte