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Bench Talk for Design Engineers

Bench Talk


Bench Talk for Design Engineers | The Official Blog of Mouser Electronics

Worried About Artificial Intelligence? You Should Be- But Not The Way You Probably Think Warren Miller

How many times have you seen on the big screen the threat that artificial intelligence (AI) will wipe out or enslave humankind? It’s a lot, right? Should we really be worried about this with so many other disaster scenarios greeting us every day in the news- climate change, earthquakes, tsunamis, plagues, zombies and sharknadoes? Ok, maybe zombies and sharknadoes shouldn’t be included in a list of newsworthy worries, but maybe they do belong on a list that includes AI. I don't think the probability of an AI spawned robot apocalypse is much more than the chance of zombies or sharknadoes, but perhaps there are other worries, other than a robot apocalypse, that AI should have us thinking about.

Even rudimentary AI (maybe artificial almost intelligence, or AAI) is going to take lots and lots of computing power. Probably on the order of the computing power big data uses just to sort, search and categorize large data bases. This is going to be very expensive. So, clearly the ‘hosts’ of AAI will need to get a return on their investment. How will they do this?


We already see algorithms used for just a small edge in stocks and options trading. These AAI-like programs can make the difference between a profit and a loss in a fraction of the time a human could. Once the programs get better and are close to AI in strength, they will compete against each other in the marketplace. What a great way to inject Darwinian evolution in the AI environment! Marketplace AIs will get better and better, competing against both humans and other AIs, but very soon only the AIs will be winning.


So, don't worry about the AI robot apocalypse. Worry about AI ‘waking up’ and deciding it wants to own everything. Think how easy it would be for an AI ‘entity’ to make enough money to just buy us out. (And don’t get me started on the ease at which AIs could own all the bit coins out there). We won’t have robot overlords. We will just have AI landlords. And they will want their mortgage payments on time.

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Warren Miller is a contributing author at Mouser Electronics with over 30 years of experience in the electronics industry. He has had roles in product planning, applications, marketing and management for large established companies as well as startups. Currently he is President of Wavefront Marketing, a consultancy serving semiconductor, tools and intellectual property companies.

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