MEC has reported on the impending revolution of autonomous (self drive/driverless/no driver) vehicles previously. Already we are seeing the technology built in to existing high end models such as the Tesla P85D and probably most people are aware of the Google self drive car.
The advances in the underlying technology seem to be advancing at a more rapid rate than most commentators thought possible just a few years ago.
It is doubted that Google will go in to car manufacture but will rather license the technology to automakers. It’s no surprise that Google bought London based DeepMind, arguably the home of the most talented AI experts on the planet, for $400 million back in January 2014.
DeepMind is not by the way, an entity created by a group of pan-dimensional, hyper-intelligent species of beings (whose three-dimensional protrusions into our universe are ordinary white mice) asked to come up with the Answer to The Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe, and Everything – that was Deep Thought ….oh, and the answer was 42.
With over a billion vehicles currently on the planet and each one fitted for autonomous driving it’s easy to do the maths about how much money is to be made – even at a modest $500 per vehicle that’s enough to buy up a lot of small countries. But does this type of Artificial Intelligence (AI) used to control vehicles have a more sinister side?
On the 4th Jan 2015 Elon Musk attended a conference in Puerto Rico of AI experts to discuss some of the worrying implications of the technology which he and Stephen Hawking have previously warned could spell the end of humankind. Yes it’s that scary!
Watch the video below to see just how smart this technology is in a very simple demonstration:
At the conference delegates signed an Open Letter pledging to develop AI for the ‘good’ (you can sign the Open Letter at this link). At the current rate of ‘progress’ if that’s the right word, things that seemed impossible just a few years ago are now advancing at a rapid pace.
Think voice recognition, instant translation, driverless cars and one that should have us all concerned – Killer Robots – yes the Terminator may be coming to a street near you ….. soon!
Despite the noble intentions of developing AI for the ‘good’ will the military industrial complexes of the world restrain themselves from their incessant lust of inventing new ways to kill? Will the attidutde of ‘well if we don’t somebody else will’ prevail? Take a guess.
This issue is so serious it’s time for everyone to begin to realise what is on the horizon and just a few short years away. With the right applications, AI can be the most bountiful blessing that humans have ever developed but are we as a species wise enough to play with those kinds of matches?