Quantcast
Connect with us

Tech think-tank calls Tesla’s Elon Musk a ‘luddite’ for comparing artificial intelligence to killer robots

Published

on

Washington thinktank claims SpaceX founder, Bill Gates and Stephen Hawking, are contributing to ‘alarmist’ concern about machine intelligence

By Emily Price, The Guardian

ADVERTISEMENT

It has been a remarkable year for Elon Musk, the CEO of the high-end electric car company Tesla and SpaceX, which on Monday announced that it had successfully launched and then returned a rocket to Earth.

His pioneering contribution towards cheaper, and less resource-intensive transportation means he is generally considered one of technology’s most successful innovators. Yet Musk has just been labelled “a luddite” by a Washington-based policy thinktank the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation, which shortlisted him for its annual Luddite Awards.

The Luddite Award is an annual award named after an Englishman named Ned Ludd, who was behind a movement to destroy mechanized looms in the early 19th century. The award is given to the worst offender of the year when it comes to foiling technological progress. While many might consider a “luddite” as someone who is a late adopter of technology, the group defines it as “someone who seeks to hold back the introduction of new technologies”.

Here’s the full list of this year’s nominees:

ADVERTISEMENT

  • Alarmists tout an artificial intelligence (AI) apocalypse
  • Advocates seek a ban on “killer robots”
  • States limit automatic license plate readers
  • Europe, China, and others choose taxi drivers over car-sharing passengers
  • The paper industry opposes e-labeling
  • California’s governor vetoes RFID in driver’s licenses
  • Wyoming outlaws citizen science
  • The Federal Communications Commission limits broadband innovation
  • The Center for Food Safety fights genetically improved food
  • Ohio and others ban red light cameras

Alongside Microsoft founder Bill Gates and British theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking, Musk is labelled an “alarmist” who is touting an existential threat if humans were to lose control of artificial intelligence.

The group acknowledges that machine paranoia has been present in pop culture for more than 200 years, and is spread through things like books, music, and movies, including recent films the Avengers: Age of Ultron, and Terminator: Genisys, which both have digital villains.

ADVERTISEMENT

“In his book Superintelligence: Paths, Dangers, Strategies, Oxford professor Nick Bostrom reflected the general fear that ‘superintelligence’ in machines could outperform ‘the best human minds in every field, including scientific creativity, general wisdom and social skills’. He argues that artificial intelligence will advance to a point where its goals are no longer compatible with that of humans and, as a result, superintelligent machines will seek to enslave or exterminate us,” states IFIT.

“Most of us are rightly amazed at AI applications like IBM’s Watson, our Nest thermostat that learns, and other learning devices. But to say that these devices and systems will be smart enough to take over the world is to misunderstand what AI is and where it stands today.

“Whether such systems will ever develop full autonomy is a debatable question, but what should not be debatable is that this possible future is a long, long way off (more like a century than a decade), and it is therefore premature to be worrying about ‘Skynet’ becoming self-aware. Raising such sci-fi doomsday scenarios just makes it harder for the public, policymakers, and scientists to support more funding for AI research.”

ADVERTISEMENT

Musk mentioned the Terminator movies in a CNBC interview earlier this year where he discussed some of his concerns with AI.

“Yeah. I mean, I don’t think – in the movie Terminator, they didn’t create AI to – they didn’t expect, you know some sort of Terminator-like outcome,” he said. “It is sort of like the Monty Python thing: Nobody expects the Spanish inquisition. It’s just – you know, but you have to be careful.”

When asked what AI should be used for, Musk said: “I don’t know. But there are some scary outcomes. And we should try to make sure the outcomes are good, not bad.”

ADVERTISEMENT

ITIF feels that the way AI is being portrayed will ultimately have a negative effect on the advancement of the technology.

Despite his cautionary statements, Musk also recently offered financial backing to OpenAI, a non-profit artificial intelligence research company. The group’s goal is to “advance digital intelligence in the way that is most likely to benefit humanity as a whole, unconstrained by a need to generate financial return”, it states.

Rather than choose a winner on its own, the ITIF has put all 10 of the final contenders up for a public vote. The public can vote on who should be crowned 2015’s winner now, with the result expected to be announced in the coming weeks.

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and legal efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. And unlike other news outlets, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from billionaires and corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

We need your support to keep producing quality journalism and deepen our investigative reporting. Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Invest with us in the future. Make a one-time contribution to Raw Story Investigates, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click to donate by check.

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

We need your support to keep producing quality journalism and deepen our investigative reporting. Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Invest with us in the future. Make a one-time contribution to Raw Story Investigates, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.



Report typos and corrections to: [email protected]. Send news tips to: [email protected].
READ COMMENTS - JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Continue Reading

Facebook

John Oliver cites Donald Trump’s final offer for Greenland: ‘$200 and I’ll throw in Don Jr.’

Published

on

"Last Week Tonight" host John Oliver's favorite highlight of the week was, of course, President Donald Trump's decision that he wanted to buy Greenland.

In his opener Sunday, the HBO host said that he wasn't all that surprised given Trump's track record.

"Of course, he f*cking did. Of course, he did. Greenland is icy, distant and autonomous is exactly Trump's type," Oliver said, showing a photo of Trump with the first lady.

Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

Florida teacher removed after bizarre rant about students not standing for the pledge

Published

on

Students were faced with a white-board rant in a classroom attacking anyone not standing up for the Pledge of Allegiance.

The moment went viral locally on Thursday after students posted Daniel Goodman‘s “inappropriate” message to students at First Coast High School in Duval County, Florida, The Atlanta Black Star reported.

“THINK: We had about a half million Americans die in our Civil War, which was largely to get rid of slavery. There are no longer separate water fountains and bathrooms in Jacksonville for ‘white’ and ‘colored,’ as Mr. Goodman remembers from the 1960?s. We had an amendment to the U.S. Constitution allowing women the right to vote. We have had a Black president. The superintendent of Duval Schools is a Black woman. Mr. Fluent, our principal, replaced a Black man. Mr. Simmons, who now is a DC PS admninistrator.”

Continue Reading
 

CNN

Angry Minnesota farmer bashes ‘insulting’ Trump comments that ‘we’re great patriots’ during his trade war

Published

on

President Donald Trump has insulted at least one Minnesota farmer by his claim that farmers are "great patriots" who want him to continue his trade fight against China.

"This wound is self-inflicted, by our president," said Gary Wertish, who is the Minnesota Farm Bureau president. "We definitely agreed with it in the beginning. But it doesn’t appear that there’s a plan B. Some of the callous comments come, especially from the president, you know, that farmers are 'winning,' we’re 'great patriots,' that’s very insulting. That’s coming from someone who never has faced the challenges of a family farmer. I go into the bank and tell the lender I can’t make the payment because we lost our market? The banker is going to tell me you don’t have to make your payment because you’re a patriot."

Continue Reading
 
 

Thank you for whitelisting Raw Story!

As a special thank you, from now until August 31st, we're offering you a discounted rate of $5.99/month to subscribe and get ad-free access. We're honored to have you as a reader. Thank you. :) —Elias, Membership Coordinator
LEARN MORE
close-link
close-image