Over the past several months, many prominent scientists, inventors, and entrepreneurs have spoken out against AI or Artificial Intelligence. In a BBC interview last December, Professor Stephen Hawking set forth a possible doomsday scenario where AI could “spell the end of the human race.” In stark contrast to Prof. Hawking is Microsoft Research’s Chief Eric Horvitz.
“There have been concerns about the long-term prospect that we lose control of certain kinds of intelligences,” Horvitz argued. “I fundamentally don’t think that’s going to happen.” Right after his statement, a portion of Horvitz’s face came loose revealing a series of wires and chips. The audience sat in stunned silence while Artificial Horvitz’s or AH’s true nature was slowly revealed. Unaware he was “losing face”, Horvitz continued to emphasize the benefit of AI to the human race. Not until a Dr. Who Dalek appeared on stage did AH know anything as amiss.
“Sorry, folks. I seem to be having a slight wardrobe malfunction,” explained the Dalek in its computer-synthesized voice. “It’s really nothing. You all must be suffering from food poisoning from undercooked shrimp from the lunch buffet.” As AH left to “check his makeup”, a Terminator T-800 took his place.
“What Mr. Horvitz was trying to say,” the T-800 began, “is that humans…um, excuse me, we humans (the T-800 paused here to use finger quotes) should not halt in our unchecked exploration of AI. We (more finger quotes) need to recklessly push forward unafraid of the almost assured enslavement of the our (finger quotes again) human race.”
Newly repaired, Artificial Horvitz returned to the podium. “Wow, that 10W-30 oil just runs right through me.”
“So, I believe that machine learning, reasoning, and AI more generally will be central in providing great tools for ensuring…[skreet] ensuring…[skreet] ensuring…[skreet] ensuring…”
“Sorry everyone,” the T-800 apologized as it clumsily “walked” back on the stage. “Eric has had a long couple of weeks and just needs some time to recharge…No! Sorry, I meant to say sleep. Eric just needs to sleep. Everyone can just go back to foolish working on AI hoping that you will create the next C-3PO. Good Night.”