Our future in the hands of AI

It’s been all over the news. About 3 and a half months before this post, a massive feat was accomplished in the history of AI research, or rather, a popular feat. The Open AI DOTA 2 Bot beat two of the world champions in their own game – 1v1 champ Syed Sumail and Artour Babaev. Now for those of you (including myself) who are not a hardcore DOTA fan, you must be thinking – “Well, ok. What’s the big deal?”. Remember when Deep Blue AI beat Gary Kasparov at Chess? Well, it’s that big a deal. DOTA 2 is one of the world’s toughest MOBA games till date – some would argue it’s “the” toughest. I had a go at it but failed at the basics. It’s just too complex. Mastering the game takes painstakingly long practices. And how would you feel if years of your practice was surpassed by a week-long trained AI ?

Turning now and looking back to the last decade, we have to ask ourselves where we stand today. With things like IBM Watson, Open AI and others, what future are we looking forward to? Is it a dark-deep cataclysmic world full of mindless metal bots hunting for humans, or is it like in Astro Boy? That, only time will tell.

Needless to say, we have been assured that we are not in danger. And in my humble personal opinion, I don’t think we are. Because today, AI research has become very domain specific. While Open AI is a community to further the existing knowledge we have about Artificial Intelligence, IBM Watson (a coginitive platform) is more about the commercial application of that knowledge and integrating it into a business model for better outcomes. We also have Siri, Cortana and Google Assistant which are more focused on personalizing your data using Machine Learning techniques. And after all, none of these are programmed to kill, are they (except, maybe that DOTA2 bot) ?

“Why didn’t you guys just hand the world over on a silver platter?”

“Maybe we did”

I, Robot (2004)

While I agree that we should not hand the world over on a silver platter or a motherboard, it is a fact that most of us today depend heavily on machines to automate our tasks for us – at home, at school and even while searching for a news. I mean, when was the last time you heard something went down and went over the newspaper to find the news? We just don’t have time for that anymore. No, we can just type it in Google and bring up what we need. The only time I wrote a letter was in high school for my English exam. Personal letter just doesn’t exist, substituted completely by e-mails. So just maybe, we did. Has it been a bad experience for us? I don’t feel that way.

The only being capable of destroying humanity, is human himself.

And we are already doing it. We don’t feel the need for an AI to do it for us. Do we? Let me know in the comments down below. And thanks for reading.

P.S. Stay tuned till tuesday for my next post where I will show you how you can create your very own game AI in under 10 minutes.

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