What is AI and why does Elon Musk think that enabling AI is akin to ‘summoning the demon’?
The cybersecurity world owes a lot to AI and machine learning. Indeed, almost every vendor I have spoken to, in the past few months, has talked about the importance of machine learning- how it is helping them stop attacks with greater efficiency and making the process quicker and more seamless. However, Elon Musk, of the space travel, SpaceX and Tesla fame, has warned that governance is urgently needed to make sure AI doesn’t go rogue.
At a meeting of governors in the US, Musk said: “I have exposure to the very cutting edge AI, and I think people should be really concerned about it. I keep sounding the alarm bell, but until people see robots going down the street killing people, they don’t know how to react, because it seems so ethereal.”
Of course, Musk isn’t the only one crying wolf, Stephen Hawking has been one of the proponents of the safe AI movement for a long time. One of UK’s most famous scientists, Hawking told the BBC: “The development of full artificial intelligence could spell the end of the human race.
“It would take off on its own, and re-design itself at an ever increasing rate and humans, who are limited by slow biological evolution, couldn’t compete, and would be superseded.”
Not one to shy away from spending $$$ on revolutionary ideas, Musk has set up a $1 billion investment fund for the promotion and safe development of AI. And while it throws sharp focus on the cybersecurity industry and its (over)reliance on AI, conversations with those in the know suggests that the industry will have more to worry about from the developments in quantum computing. And while the fear with AI is that not even those who created the network know how exactly it is that the machine is able to learn, the danger lands at our doorstep when cars are driven around using nothing more than petrol and algorithms.
IBM’s Watson won Jeopardy in 2011 and Siri became a household name in the same year… Six years on, although AI is still developing while the understanding of what it can do isn’t.