The era of AI-powered robots is already here
What comes to mind when you think about ‘Artificial Intelligence’ (AI) or robots? Though everyone will have their own answer, many millennials and even younger boomers are likely to recall the classic Sci-Fi movie ‘Terminator’.Martin Ford, the author of the 2015 New York Times bestseller, ‘Rise of the Robots’, notes that “It is a common media mistake to associate concerns about robotics and lethal autonomous weapons with films like ‘Terminator’.”The idea of a war between humans and robots has long been a core theme in Sci-Fi. Currently, however, given the limitations of modern AI, it’s hard to imagine AI having the free will necessary to attack humans. Many experts have written off the notion as far-fetched. In Ford’s opinion, the 2017 short film ‘Slaughterbots’, which depicts hundreds of miniature drones attacking the US Capitol Building, is closer to reality. In the film, the drones are fitted with facial recognition technology that allows them to target and attack specific politicians in an unmanned kamikaze-like mission.The film was produced by Professor of Computer Science, Stuart Russell and his team at UC Berkeley, and featured solely AI technology that already exists and is in use. Russell made the movie specifically to warn the public about the ways in which AI could be deployed as part of lethal weaponry."This isn't a future concern," Ford said of the film. "We should be more concerned about what humans will do with weapons (like drones) that aren't smarter than an iPhone but aren't afraid to identify and track targets," he emphasizes.Ford's new book, 'Rule of the Robot,' is a realistic depiction of how AI can advance and what that means for the future of robots and humanity.What follows are excerpts from The Miilk’s interview with him.