Bill Gates thinks humanity should fear the rise of intelligent machines. In an “Ask Me Anything” forum on Reddit today, Gates explained that artificial intelligence will eventually pose an existential threat, but only after it makes life easier for us. Ironically enough, Microsoft’s managing director of research, Eric Horvitz, recently dismissed doomsday scenarios as “science fiction.”
In today’s Reddit AMA, Gates explained why he’s concerned about AI:
I am in the camp that is concerned about super intelligence. First the machines will do a lot of jobs for us and not be super intelligent. That should be positive if we manage it well. A few decades after that though the intelligence is strong enough to be a concern. I agree with Elon Musk and some others on this and don’t understand why some people are not concerned.
For those who haven’t been closely following the Twitter musings of Internet billionaires, Gates was referring to Musk’s recent remarks that AI is “potentially more dangerous than nukes.”
Interestingly enough, Microsoft’s Horvitz disagrees. “AI doomsday scenarios belong more in the realm of science fiction than science fact,” he explained in a blog post on Medium.
So it appears that those in charge of the products aren’t as concerned.
Readers who want to learn more about the potential benefits and harms to AI can read some thoughtful books on the subject here.