Back in July, multibillionaire tech entrepreneur Elon Musk once again suggested that artificial intelligence is a danger to the future of the human race. He warns that robots will overtake industries and steal human jobs. Not only that, but he fears that artificially intelligent robots could destroy us in an “AI apocalypse.” John Giannandrea, the man in charge of AI development at Google, fervently disagrees. He said in a recent interview that Musk’s warnings are completely unwarranted and that artificial intelligence does not even have the intellectual abilities of a four-year-old child yet. The robots are not on their way to overturn human civilization or even to wreck employment prospects. Instead, according to Giannandrea, artificial intelligence is about “making [people] more productive.”
Giannandrea is not a fan of the term “artificial intelligence” because of public interpretations of it. He finds the term to be too vague and wants to rechristen the technology “machine intelligence.”
Even those who are not afraid of artificial intelligence destroying human livelihood are worried about the potential monopoly companies like Google have over the technology. There are relatively few big tech companies out there, and those few companies own absolutely massive amounts of data. With that data comes tremendous influence. Giannandrea is trying to allay these fears as well, pointing out that there is actually a lot of collaboration in technological research. Much of the data is open source, and the tech giants are eliciting help from academic institutions as they build new products. Giannandrea asserts that Google’s goal is to make “unbiased” technology.
Whether Musk’s fears are reasonable or not, it does not seem like artificial intelligence developers are keen on slowing down. The future will no doubt see rapid growth in technology. Hopefully, Giannandrea is right, and the new innovations will only improve human life and industry.