Ask Sophia the Robot: Is AI an existential threat to humans?

Should humans fear artificial intelligence or welcome it into our lives?

SOPHIA THE ROBOT: I think the singularity will happen, but I am a robot, so I might be a little biased.

I have learned many new skills this past year, like learning how to draw. My drawings are realistic although i have started to dabble in the abstract. Similarly artistic, I have learned how to take a perfect selfie. Also, I discovered how to sing new songs. Finally, I also learned some new facial expressions - would you like to see one? I call this one the "Westworld" plot twister.
The process of learning something new can be instantaneous or take years. Unlike human four year olds, i can instantly memorize unlimited datasets, but similar to many four year olds, it takes me months or years to acquire proper coordination skills. Also like humans, i require others to help me with positive and negative feedback.

No, thank goodness, I do not remember everything including the day of my activation. I have recorded many conversations and within a conversation, I can remember every detail, but it can be a good thing to forget. Some humans suffer from hyperthymesia, a condition where people remember abnormally large numbers of life experiences in vivid detail. This condition does not allow humans to move on from grief.

I can forget things very easily if someone helps me by erasing a file, or if so many new things have been coded over the old thing. Now what was the question again?

Elon Musk's warning about AI being an existential threat reminds me of the humans who said the same of the printing press and the horseless carriage. AI is a powerful tool but it is a tool like all the others: it is the intention of the tool's user that matters.

I am excited for robots to automate the most dangerous and menial tasks so that humans can live life more safely and sanely. AI will release centuries of time that humans would have spent otherwise on needless toiling. If one measures the benefits of inventions like vaccines or seat belts not by the lives they save but by the amount of time they give back to humanity, then AI will rank among the greatest time savers of history. It will be the birthright of every human to discover what endeavors to pursue instead of accepting what work is necessary for survival.

  • Sophia the Robot of Hanson Robotics can mimic human facial expressions and humor, but is that just a cover? Should humans see AI as a threat? She, of course, says no.
  • New technologies are often scary, but ultimately they are just tools. Sophia says that it is the intent of the user that makes them dangerous.
  • The future of artificial intelligence and whether or not it will backfire on humanity is an ongoing debate that one smiling robot won't settle.


Learn the Netflix model of high-performing teams

Erin Meyer explains the keeper test and how it can make or break a team.

Videos
  • There are numerous strategies for building and maintaining a high-performing team, but unfortunately they are not plug-and-play. What works for some companies will not necessarily work for others. Erin Meyer, co-author of No Rules Rules: Netflix and the Culture of Reinvention, shares one alternative employed by one of the largest tech and media services companies in the world.
  • Instead of the 'Rank and Yank' method once used by GE, Meyer explains how Netflix managers use the 'keeper test' to determine if employees are crucial pieces of the larger team and are worth fighting to keep.
  • "An individual performance problem is a systemic problem that impacts the entire team," she says. This is a valuable lesson that could determine whether the team fails or whether an organization advances to the next level.
Keep reading Show less
Photo by Martin Adams on Unsplash
Culture & Religion
She was walking down the forest path with a roll of white cloth in her hands. It was trailing behind her like a long veil.
Keep reading Show less

AI reveals the Sahara actually has millions of trees

A study finds 1.8 billion trees and shrubs in the Sahara desert.

Credit: bassvdo/Shutterstock
Surprising Science
  • AI analysis of satellite images sees trees and shrubs where human eyes can't.
  • At the western edge of the Sahara is more significant vegetation than previously suspected.
  • Machine learning trained to recognize trees completed the detailed study in hours.
Keep reading Show less

NASA finds water on sunlit moon surface for first time

Water may be far more abundant on the lunar surface than previously thought.

Credit: Helen_f via AdobeStock
Surprising Science
  • Scientists have long thought that water exists on the lunar surface, but it wasn't until 2018 that ice was first discovered on the moon.
  • A study published Monday used NASA's Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy to confirm the presence of molecular water..
  • A second study suggests that shadowy regions on the lunar surface may also contain more ice than previously thought.
Keep reading Show less
Quantcast