Artificial Intelligence (AI) looks like the next frontier that begs to be conquered as Sundar Pichai, Google CEO, claims it surpasses fire and electricity in importance.
Reports say that it is not that easy to make that bold claim given that without the other two, mankind would most likely struggle. Others are apparently aware that without fire and electricity, computers and other forms of technology would not even be available today. He noted that advancements with AI could help come up with a solution to a lot of problems that humanity cannot resolve on their own.
The Google executive was featured in a show hosted by Kara Swisher of Recode and Ari Melber of MSNBC. He cited that advancements in the technology are comparable to our discovery of electricity and fire. Just like the two mentioned before, once properly harnessed and with safety measures in place, machine intelligence can potentially benefit society and spur our progress forward.
Contradicting Other Views
Google is definitely serious with its plan to work on the evolution of artificial intelligence.
"AI is one of the most important things that humanity is working on. It's more profound than, I don't know, electricity or fire," said Pichai during the show last Friday, which is scheduled to air this week.
Other remarkable personalities in the tech industry such as Elon Musk, Bill Gates, and Steve Wozniak will presumably disagree and point out that advance AI can pose a serious threat to humanity. In fact, Swisher attempted to counter his statement and pointed out the benefits of fire over AI.
"But it kills people, too. They learn to harness fire for the benefits of humanity, but we have to overcome its downsides, too," he added.
Just like fire and electricity, if improperly handled and unattended, advanced AI can potentially be dangerous. However, if the application and control are optimal, machine intelligence, with its ability to process huge amounts of data, can possibly help cure cancer or even solve climate change, according to Pichai.
AI In Plain Sight
A good example of AI improving the quality of life of people is digital voice assistants like Alexa, Siri, and Google Assistant. Users no longer have to manually key in their queries but instead, rely on the built-in machine intelligence at the core of the device to meet their needs.
Sundar Pichai apparently understands that people are naturally concerned about artificial intelligence. However, in order to move forward, humanity should learn to accept the evolution of technology. Electricity and fire have their place in history that can be shared with AI in the right circumstances.