Growth or Sustainability: Setting priority

Much has been talked about Robotics and Artificial Intelligence since last two decades. Research in these two fields has led to development of machines and algorithms that can perform intelligent behavior with minimal human intervention. Amalgamation of the two has started changing our world very rapidly leading to a pathway for fourth Industrial Revolution. The duo is slowly changing the workforce, Transforming Government, making health care “much more accessible and more affordable”, changing the nature of art and also developing personalized way of translating speech and text in real-time basis.

Despite of all good, there are inevitably lots of negative consequences, which must be contemplated soon, to be better equipped to mitigate and manage all challenges.

Legendary physicist Stephen Hawking shared this ominous warning as: "Success in creating effective AI could be the biggest event in the history of our civilization, or the worst. So we cannot know if we will be infinitely helped by AI or ignored by it and sidelined, or conceivably destroyed by it.”

The pace of progress in artificial intelligence robotics is incredibly fast and irreversible. And the time is not far off when systems would handle any task that intelligent humans could perform, and most likely beat us at each of them.

The risk of these super-intelligent machines is not only in physical terms but also emotionally. This can be better understood through the concept of intelligence explosion. This simply means that someday these upgradable intelligent computer running software-based on artificial intelligence agent whom we can refer as “Smart Robots” would replace human beings. And this would happen through a chain reaction, somewhat like a nuclear reaction, by which these “Smart Robots” will continuously improve themselves, resulting into formation of a new generation of many intelligent and multi-abled robots. This exponential growth of machines can be refereed as an "explosion" in intelligence.  

Technology forecasters and researchers believe that at such a point of time the human existence may come at stake. This phenomenon is named as singularity which was first explained by John von Neumann. He explains it as the future point in time which would result in unforeseeable changes to human civilization.

Thus it can be interpreted that AI enabled machines are much more than just another industrial revolution. It is something that transcends humankind and life itself. The Human race may struggle for survival. And so it’s the time we must ponder before proceeding any further that what is more importance the growth or sustainability.