Self-Aware Systems

Society International Talk: The Impact of AI and Robotics

On September 6, 2014, Steve Omohundro spoke to the Society International about the impact of AI and Robotics. Here are the slides as a PDF file.

The Impact of AI and Robotics

Google, IBM, Microsoft, Apple, Facebook, Baidu, Foxconn, and others have recently made multi-billion dollar investments in artificial intelligence and robotics. More than $450 billion is expected to be invested into robotics by 2025. All of this investment makes sense because AI and Robotics are likely to create $50 to $100 trillion dollars of value between now and 2025! This is of the same order as the current GDP of the entire world.  Much of this value will be in ideas. Currently, intangible assets represent 79% of the market value of US companies and intellectual property represents 44%. But automation of physical labor will also be significant. Foxconn, the world’s largest contract manufacturer, aims to replace 1 million of its 1.3 million employees by robots in the next few years. An Oxford study concluded that 47% of jobs will be automated in “a decade or two”. Automation is also creating arms races in high-frequency trading, cyber warfare, drone warfare, stealth technology, surveillance systems, and missile warfare. Recently, Stephen Hawking, Elon Musk, and others have issued strong cautionary statements about the safety of intelligent technologies. We describe the potentially antisocial “rational drives” of self-preservation, resource acquisition, replication, and self-improvement that uncontrolled autonomous systems naturally exhibit.  We describe the “Safe-AI Scaffolding Strategy” for developing these systems with a high confidence of safety based on the insight that even superintelligences are constrained by mathematical proof and cryptographic complexity. It appears that we are at an inflection point in the development of intelligent technologies and that the choices we make today will have a dramatic impact on the future of humanity.