Why I dread the thought of benign algorithms

Why I dread the thought of benign algorithms

Feel free to use this article as a basis for discussion with your pupils.

Too protective by half?

Ray Kurzweil predicted that:

“The technological singularity occurs as artificial intelligences surpass human beings as the smartest and most capable life forms on the Earth. Technological development is taken over by the machines, who can think, act and communicate so quickly that normal humans cannot even comprehend what is going on. The machines enter into a “runaway reaction” of self-improvement cycles, with each new generation of A.I.s appearing faster and faster. From this point onwards, technological advancement is explosive, under the control of the machines, and thus cannot be accurately predicted (hence the term “Singularity”).”

— https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Predictions_made_by_Ray_Kurzweil#2045:_The_Singularity

This idea is sometimes used by people to predict that machines, having no further use for us, will decide to get rid of us once and for all.

But what if intelligent computers decide, instead, to look after us, and protect us from ourselves?

Read more.

cross-posted at www.ictineducation.org

Terry Freedman is an independent educational ICT consultant with over 35 years of experience in education. He publishes the ICT in Education website and the newsletter “Digital Education."