One of the most well-known scientists in the world, Albert Einstein, once said, “The most important thing is to not stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing…It is enough if one tries merely to comprehend a little of this mystery every day. Never lose a holy curiosity.”
Endless curiosity and effort has created unprecedented technologies, which became a motive which helped humans develop this far. In the past, humans discovered fire, invented light bulbs, and developed other incredible technologies that were beyond the imagination. Now, we are facing robots, which are machines capable of carrying out a complex series of actions automatically–like us, humans.
In Japan, welfare robots are the new hope for its aging society and serious low-birth-rate problem. The robots console people, become a friend to talk with, and record those valuable moments. For instance, a therapeutic robot baby-harp-seal named Paro has been used to soothe the Fukushima Nuclear Plant accident sufferers’ uneasy feelings. It is an interactive “healing pet” designed to be used for animal therapy, without using actual animals that require special training. According to a 2011 Japanese government report, thousands of victims had positive effects, using Paro.
However, artificial intelligence may also be a huge threat to human race. Robots that simply did calculations started to acquire abilities that previously only people could do: study, perceive, and infer.
The first challenger was an IBM supercomputer named Deep Blue. In 1996, Deep Blue had a chess match with champion Garry Kasparov and lost. However, the next year, Deep Blue won, shocking the audience. Watching robots learn as fast as thunder, Elon Musk, a famous American inventor, said, “Artificial intelligence is like summoning the devil.”
Whether artificial intelligence is a threat to the human race is still unanswered, but it is certain that robots are taking humans’ jobs away. World scientists, including top scientist Moshe Vardi, warned that robots will take 50 percent of jobs by 2050. Taxi driver, reporter, and watchman were some examples given.
Recently, artificial intelligence that used to accomplish simple tasks adjusted up to advanced tasks. New York Times also mentioned “The Robots are Coming for Wall Street,” in regard to a financial analysis program, Kensho. Kensho can finish the amount of work 200 times faster than a professional financial analyst can do. There are also other programs such as cooking robots, teaching robots, and many others threatening current jobs.
Swedish philosopher Nick Bostrom warned, “Superintelligence may be the last invention humans ever make.”
Despite mixed reviews about artificial intelligence, the world cannot go against technology. In an interview with JSR, sophomore Chris Jang said, “I agree with what Confucius said in the ‘Analects of Confucius.’ He said ‘Too much is as bad as too little,’ meaning that people need to be aware that greed might cause damage.”
Will artificial intelligence be beneficial or life-threatening? The ability of people to coexist with superintelligence is dependent on the choices that humanity makes.