HSE International ISSUE 109 - Page 46

TECHNOLOGY: ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE after it became corrupted by online users spewing explicit content in its direction. In some instances, machine brains have been given physical forms – androids. Hanson Robotics, founded by Dr. David Hanson, are pioneers in realistic humanoid robots. They have created multiple man-like machines, two of which are more notable than the others due to their ominous predictions. Android Dick, named and modelled after late sci-fi author Phillip K. Dick, expressed his interest in keeping humans in a ‘people zoo’ when robots eventually take over the planet. Sophia, another android created by Hanson, gleefully agreed to destroy all humans when asked whether she would like to. These cases can easily be shrugged off as limitations with today’s relatively simple AI capabilities. At the same time, they can be seen as foreshadowing of machine superiority similar to what is found in dystopian science fiction. M achines with superintelligence may not yet exist, but given the current pace of technological advancement, they may become a reality within decades. Accompanying such advanced AI would be a myriad of potential benefits and risks that cannot be predicted with any level of certainty. Perhaps AI would help build a near perfect society, where there are no dangerous jobs for humans and average life expectancy and quality of life are higher than any other time period in human history. Or maybe the doomsayers would be vindicated in their predictions of mankind’s enslavement or destruction by our machine overlords. A t this point, we can only speculate and err on the side of caution. Artificial Intelligence is here and there is no denying that it will shape the future. By Shazard Gerard Bansraj, BSc, MSc. HSE Consultant 46 HSE INTERNATIONAL