The so-called artificial intelligence revolution is at the forefront of many people's minds, with many believing that machines could one day attempt to take control of humans.
Are these concerns legitimate? Should we be worried that machines could try to eliminate us? For many people, these fears stem from popular media, such as the Terminator films in which Skynet, a self-aware super computer network, battles Resistance forces led by John Connor.
"I don't think a fear of an AI revolution is warranted. In my mind, all of the advances in AI so far have greatly benefitted humanity, and I think that will continue to be the case," said Frederick Maier, associate director for the University of Georgia's Institute for Artificial Intelligence, in an email with Tech Times.
Those who should seemingly know what they're talking about then reinforce these fears.
Elon Musk, an entrepreneur known for co-founding PayPal and Tesla motors, recently donated a whopping $10 million to the Future of Life Institute (FLI), which is running a research program aimed at keeping artificial intelligence beneficial to humans.
Maier's suggestions do not mean that artificial intelligence could never be used against humans. In fact, according to Maier, the only way that artificial intelligence could kill humans is through the use of it by other humans.
"If there is danger, it's that the technology will be used by one group of people to harm another group of people. The danger is not that our toasters and cars will collude to wipe us out, Terminator-style," continued Maier.
Are Elon Musk's donations unfounded? Should he have saved his money for his project to create global Internet using small satellites? Perhaps not. While we might not ever face a war between robots and humans, that does not mean that precautions should not be taken. In fact, precautions should absolutely be taken.
"It's still worth thinking about potential dangers, though, and research groups like the FLI do just that. This seems to be an appropriate response given the state of AI technology. I don't think anything more drastic is warranted," said Maier in his email.
The benefits of artificial intelligence are huge. Like other technologies, there are always fears that it can be used against the greater cause of humankind; however, that's why researchers such as Maier and organizations such as the FLI exist -- to ensure ways for artificial intelligence to continue being beneficial to humans.
Should we worry about an artificial intelligence revolution? No -- there are plenty of smart people making sure it never happens.