What will happen when AI outsmarts humans?

(Originally published on my newsletter — here are previous ones)

I decided to spend some time learning more about the state of Artificial Intelligence. We just launched a Call for Speakers to find the leading experts in AI. We will invite a few to our upcoming Paris April 11–12 Leade.rs event. Make sure to buy your tickets now as we’re about to increase the price (500 euros for two days right now, ask us for our startup price).

Please contribute by suggesting great AI speakers, it only takes a minute, your recommendation will be attributed to you and the list of the best AI speakers is public and updated as we hear from you.

Okay, so what did I learn?

Everything is getting smarter. Basic AI is already here. It flies our planes on autopilot, plays video games and beats humans at chess and Go.

Better yet, AI can now teach itself to play a video game. How long will it take until it teaches itself to take over the world? Remember, AI already produced a brief financial crash.

AI is accelerating at an incredible pace, so quickly it’s said that AI should exceed our own intelligence between 2040 and 2060. Yes, even if “the brain is the most complex object in the known universe” (Nick Bostrom). “In our world, smart means a 130 IQ and stupid means an 85 IQ — we don’t have a word for an IQ of 12,952.” (Tim Urban in his must read AI story)

How bad could it be?

The train won’t stop when it exceeds our intelligence. Who knows what will happen when machines exceed our brains. There is no way to predict what the consequences will be for us.

Stephen Hawking says the development of AI “could spell the end of the human race”

Yes, that bad. But wait, it could be good.

Experts believe there is a 52% chance that it’s going to be good. Experts are people who know more and more about less and less, so let’s trust them for a minute.

Okay how good?

“Artificial Super Intelligence (ASI) could solve every problem in humanity” says Tim Urban. It could “halt CO2 emissions by coming up with much better ways to generate energy that had nothing to do with fossil fuels. Then it could create some innovative way to begin to remove excess CO2 from the atmosphere. Cancer and other diseases? No problem for ASI — health and medicine would be revolutionized beyond imagination. World hunger? ASI could use things like nanotech to build meat from scratch that would be molecularly identical to real meat — in other words, it would be real meat. Nanotech could turn a pile of garbage into a huge vat of fresh meat or other food. Better yet, Artificial Super Intelligence could allow us to conquer our mortality

People think the chances of AI taking over the world are high enough that there is even a consortium between Apple, Amazon, Facebook and Microsoft. Reid Hoffman and Pierre Omidyar have invested $27m to fund Ethics and Government of AI research.

There’s been a lot of money raised and many companies acquired in AI space in the last 12 months. Self driving seems to be where most of the funding is going.

I’m going to follow the experts. We’re connecting with them one by one. Expect a curated Leade.rs collection soon.

If you have some time, you should read The AI Revolution: The Road to Superintelligence part 1 and part 2. Watching the TED Talks on AI is great too.

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Entrepreneur, pilot, kite-surfer and paraglider. Subscribe to my new newsletter http://loiclemeur.substack.com

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