Are We Creating Our Own Demise? AI Advances May Make Science Fiction Reality


Science fiction has given us more than enough examples of why creating artificial intelligence may be a bad idea. In fairness, it’s also given us several examples of this type of technology helping us.

More often than not, however, we tend to remember the tales about machines taking over the world and eradicating the human population.

So why on earth would scientists continue to try to produce artificial intelligence? Is it because those are just stories, and there’s no chance they can really happen? Technology has shown us time and again that ideas once thought to be impossible are not only possible, but popular.

Maybe it’s just the ever-present, motivating drive behind the human race. The one question that man would almost give his life to answer: Can I do this?

We’re a curious species. It’s what’s gotten us to where we are today. Pushing the boundaries of impossibility has given us modern marvels that even our grandparents have a hard time believing right before their eyes. Technology has experienced more growth in the last 100 years, and even in the last 50, than all recorded history put together. The question is, however, will this rapid advancement be the precursor of our doom?

Too Much of a Good Thing?

Scientists, researchers and inventors are always trying to come up with the next big thing. Even now we have electronic devices that can tell us how to get from point A to point B. Who needs a map anymore? We have robots that will vacuum our rooms for us. Vehicular technology allows some cars to take control in dangerous situations and bring the car to a stop.

All of these are examples of primitive artificial intelligence. And, even though these technologies work within human programmed specifications, who is to say that one day they won’t start thinking for themselves, just as we’ve seen in countless movies?

How do we know if a harmless search for an India background check won’t one day lead conscious computers to attack anyone associated with a private investigator company because we’ve programmed them to believe invasion of privacy is harmful to humans?

Yes, it sounds like a ludicrous idea now, mostly because we are nowhere near that point yet. But, with the rapid, exponential progression of our technology, one would be unwise to dismiss the idea as one of paranoia or extremism.

We can already “talk” to many of our electronic devices and have them talk back to us. One goal of many innovators today is to perfect that technology. With future developments, it is entirely possible we will succeed in creating a self-aware robot or device.

The consequences of succeeding to that end are some that must be considered if we are to preserve our species. In an attempt to simplify our lives, we could be making prisoners of ourselves. Let us not race to create new technology just because we can without first exploring and considering every possible consequence of our actions.

This post was written by guest blogger Shane who likes to blog about science in the future, from artificial intelligence to the technology used in an India background check.

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