• Question: Do you think AI will ever take over the world or become influential to society? Such as become Prime Minister, or Member of Parliament?

    Asked by livvilivvilivliv to Anil, Blanka, Cees, Emma, Mike on 22 Jun 2012.
    • Photo: Michael Cook

      Michael Cook answered on 22 Jun 2012:

      Man! Top question. I like talking about this sort of topic to people.

      I don’t think an AI would ever take over the world, personally. The way we build and think about AI, it will take a long time to make one equal to us – and even when we do, I think it’s more likely that AIs would be like us. Most of us are nice people who want to work together. I think an AI would likely be the same!

      However, your second question – I think AIs could become very important in society. I have never considered the thought of an AI as an MP (that is a seriously cool idea, I will use that as an example in the future!) but I think AIs could become incredibly important to people. You will find AIs you trust, relate with, and rely on – just as with human beings today.

      Even something as simple as Siri (the tiny AI program in some iPhones) is loved by people. As they become cleverer, and easier to talk to, I think most people will find AIs very useful indeed.

      What do you think? Have you ever had an encounter with an AI?

    • Photo: Blanka Sengerova

      Blanka Sengerova answered on 24 Jun 2012:

      I think this questions will be appreciated by Mike, and I can see he has altready answered it! 🙂

      I guess AI has already come an awful long way from its humble beginnings. From a totally non-expert view I suppose it is easy to build a robot to do something practical like hoover or cook, which can be pre-programmed pretty easily. The more difficult part of AI is probably the ability to react to emotions and have emotions itself. To take over the world (and become PM) you’d presumably have to be able to read other people’s emotions? But maybe you are talking about a world where AI is the only inhabitant?

      I believe that the test for a successful AI unit is if a real person can talk to the machine and not be able to tell that they are talking to a robot. Have you ever talked to a robot, maybe at the end of the phone? The ones that tell you to press button 1, 2 or 3 if you want to do a certain task are pretty primitive but I think that the future ones will be much more advanced and able to hold a normal conversation with you and become a key part of society.

      What are you going to do if you come across a depressed robot?

    • Photo: Emma Trantham

      Emma Trantham answered on 26 Jun 2012:

      Good question!

      And one which I am definitely not really qualified to talk about so I’m glad that Michael and Blanka have answered 🙂

      Would you want an AI representing you in parliament?
      I’m not sure I would but I don’t think I have a good reason for that other than ‘it seems a bit weird’. Perhaps AI would make better MPs as they might be able to make more rational decisions??