My thoughts on super intelligent AI

The text below started as reply while I was filling a survey on superintelligence but it grew so much that I thought it was good to share it here.

We should aim to create an AI to improve humanity, not to destroy it.

It’s easy to think that when a true super intelligent AI comes to life, that it will go rogue and turn against humanity. It’s what movies, books and games have been telling us for years, with all its dystopian settings. It’s also true that most of new technology comes from military developments, although, there has been a rise of new technology being developed by tech giants.

It’s uncertain which faction will be the first to achieve true AI. But one thing’s certain, whichever is the first, will be the one to decide its course and if it ends being created by the military, humanity improvement will be hardly the first priority.

With all that said, whether we get a good or evil AI it’s still to be seen.

The weight of the media will also be important in this. The content we consume influences and fills our imagination. It can also change our perception of the future and our decisions.

In this field there are some examples where fiction was turned into reality in a positive way. Star Trek, for example, gave us 3D printing and smartphones and Knight Rider gave us self-driving cars. Although these were just a few examples, it’s safe to say that series like these were an important influence to many people that decided to pursue a scientific or a technologic career, that eventually allowed us to have all these amazing technologies at our disposal.

Now, when it comes to AI represented in the media, things are not shown in such positive light. Most of the popular stories where AI is involved, put humans against the AI in a fight for survival. Movies like The Matrix, Terminator, 2001: Space Odyssey and many more, put AI in the villain spot.

Because of this, perceiving AI as something evil, that will destroy or enslave us, it’s almost a normal view and we should work to change that. It’s time for content authors to start producing stories where AI is viewed as benign thing to humanity. There’s still a long time before we achieve true AI (most opinions point to the middle of the century) so there’s still plenty of time to change public perception and to show AI in a positive light. Maybe it will influence some people to pursue a career in AI research and contribute to its development, hopefully, with good intentions.