Breaking Down the AI Debate

Everyday Uses vs. Far Reaching Future Implications

Within a week, you likely use AI every single day. AI allows your smartphone to predict what you’ll say next in your text message so it preemptively gives you suggestions. (MIT Technology Review) Speech recognition on Alexa, Siri, or Cortana allow us regular people to feel like we have a personal assistant.

There’s nothing scary about that right?

The aforementioned uses are minimally invasive. Many may argue that the conveniences they provide outweigh the risks.  However, I implore you to consider the worst case-scenario. What  if these more assertive applications of AI went haywire?

  • Flying drones that assist with military operations or your amazon prime delivery,

  • The roomba (robot vacuum)  it’s okay you just don’t want to vacuum nobody’s judging you

  • Automatic car control (because you flirted with your driving test administrator and now you have a license but can’t parallel park)

Are you nervous yet?

Some huge players in the tech industry believe you should be.

Power Players in the AI debate and Arms Race:

Player

Bio

Stance on Advancements in AI

Elon Musk

Co-founder, CEO and Product Architect at Tesla, overseeing all product development, engineering. Yes, the Elon Musk who just began building a supertain (hyperloop) that would complete one-way trips from DC to New York City in 30 minutes. He is also the co-founder and CEO of SpaceX. You know, that company that’s turning space travel into a tourist industry.

PUMP YOUR BRAKES

Since 2014, this Tesla titan has taken a hard stance warning of human extinction and doomsday at the hands of AI. Most recently, he took on Mark Zuckerberg calling his “understanding of AI limited” in defense of his position.

Straight from the Horse's Mouth:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KdTTeR4TyMc#action=share

Jeff Bezos

Ever heard of Amazon?

Of course the co founder and CEO of one the world’s largest and most profitable AI dependent conglomerates has an opinion on the AI debate. He should.

FULL SPEED AHEAD

Since Amazon’s inception, Bezos's vision and support of the potential of AI has been clear. When discussing the future of his own company, he sees “staffless stores and self automated delivery vehicles” as soon to come. (CNBC)

Mark Zuckerberg

This Facebook CEO has become a household name thanks to bio-pics on the big screen and his ability to be visible on the social media platform he created. He’s so comfortable with AI that he built an in home assistant named Jarvis for his family using tools accessible to every Facebook user (Fast Company) .

FULL SPEED AHEAD

Zuckerberg welcomes advancements to AI and sees no real potential danger in them. He’s quoted as being extremely “optimistic” about the future developments in AI citing examples in healthcare and traffic safety. He even publicly challenged Musk’s position during a Facebook live interview session.

"Every time we improve our AI methods, all of these systems get better. I'm excited about all the progress here and it's potential to make the world better."(CNBC)

Demis Hassabis

If you don’t recognize this name or face it’s kind of okay. But not really. This child chess prodigy turned video game developer is now a cofounder and CEO of the fastest accelerating companies in AI. His company, DeepMind, sold to Google for over 400 million pounds (Business Insider) making it Google’s largest European acquisition to date.

His most impressive AI achievements include AlphaGo an algorithm for ancient Chinese board game “Go”. In spring of 2016 the algorithm was able to beat the number one seeded player in the world.

FULL SPEED AHEAD

Hassabis is all in. Coming from a family of technophobes, he’s clearly an outlier. His company is pushing artificial intelligence and artificial learning technology faster than any and he sees no end in sight.

Sergey Brin

Cofounder of Alphabet inc. GOOGLE’S parent company. You know Google? The best and most widely used search engine in the world. Alphabet Inc. has spent some of the most money in the world on the development of AI technologies.

ON THE FENCE

Admittedly, Brin himself has shared that he was not initially interested in the team of AI developers down the hall from his office. However at a recent appearance at the 2017 World Economic Forum in Davos Brin said technology's evolution is "inherently chaotic" and changes require debate about the proper ways for society to adjust. (Chicago Tribune)

Sources:

1. Artificial intelligence is growing so fast, even Google's co-founder is surprised  

http://www.chicagotribune.com/bluesky/technology/ct-artificial-intelligence-google-brin-blm-bsi-20170119-story.html

2. Elon Musk just burned Mark Zuckerberg in a tweet about AI

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/elon-musk-mark-zuckerberg-spar-on-ai-2017-07-25

3. The incredible life of DeepMind founder Demis Hassabis, the computer whiz who sold his AIlab to Google for £400 million

http://www.businessinsider.com/the-incredible-life-of-deepmind-cofounder-demis-hassabis-2017-5/#lee-sedol-was-left-stunned-but-he-hasnt-lost-a-game-since-ever-since-the-defeat-hes-been-improving-his-game-by-practising-on-the-alphago-algorithm-31

4. At Home With Mark Zuckerberg And Jarvis, The AI Assistant He Built For His Family

https://www.fastcompany.com/3066478/mark-zuckerberg-jarvis

5. MIT Technology Review : Our Fear of Artificial Intelligence

https://www.technologyreview.com/s/534871/our-fear-of-artificial-intelligence/

6. Mark Zuckerberg doubles down defending A.I. after Elon Musk says his understanding of it is ‘limited’

http://www.cnbc.com/2017/07/26/mark-zuckerberg-defends-a-i-again-continuing-debate-with-elon-musk.html

7. Amazon is leaving smaller retailers in the dust

http://www.cnbc.com/video/2017/07/24/amazon-is-leaving-smaller-retailers-in-the-dust.html