“What will become of human consciousness?”
The former U.S. Secretary of State, Henry Kissinger, is warning against the threat of “unstable” artificial intelligence in a new essay in The Atlantic. He says the rapid rise of machines could lead to questions humanity is not ready to tackle. “What will become of human consciousness,” Kissinger asked, “if its own explanatory power is surpassed by A.I., and societies are no longer able to interpret the world they inhabit in terms that are meaningful to them?”
Up to this point, humans are reported to have only reached “limited” A.I., where machines have mastered chess and other complex games. The same machines would be useless if used to play Monopoly. But this, according to Kissinger, already shows the intimidating nature of A.I. AlphaZero, a computer program designed by DeepMind, Google’s A.I. wing, achieved a level of skill that took human beings 1,500 years to attain.
For Kissinger, there are three particular areas humans should be worried about: “unintended results,” where A.I.’s goals depart from its creators; building an ethical A.I.; and whether A.I. will be able to explain its objectives to its creators.