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Robot Revolution: 40% Fear Wipeout By Machines

Robots will be "as important as the rise of homo sapiens", but can humans share the planet with super-intelligent machines?

By Tom Cheshire, Technology Correspondent

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Almost half of Britons fear that robots could one day wipe out humanity, according to an exclusive Sky News survey.

And more than six out of 10 people in the UK think the Government should protect jobs from being taken by robots, our survey suggests.

The results reveal the anxieties felt by ordinary people about the coming robot revolution.
The technology is advancing fast, while the debate over how it will affect all our lives has been loud and inconclusive.

Many have predicted unemployment due to increased automation. Others argue that new categories of jobs will be created.
Prominent figures including Professor Stephen Hawking and Bill Gates have also warned about the threat that "super-intelligent" computers could pose to humanity.

Others, such as Google's director of engineering, Ray Kurzweil, believe that this so-called singularity could lead to undreamt-of benefits for society.

Professor Nick Bostrom, director of the Future of Humanity Institute at Oxford University, told Sky News that it would be "tragic" if super-intelligence were not developed.

"It is the keyhole we need to travel through in order to realise our ultimate potential," he said.

But Prof Bostrom also urged caution.

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He said: "If we one day develop machines that are superior to us in terms of general intelligence, then this machine super-intelligence might be in a very strong position to shape the future according to its preferences.

"And hopefully those preferences will be aligned with ours and it will be a great win.

"It will be something as important as the rise of homo sapiens.

"If and when this happens, it is so important that it is worth trying to start to work on the problem even decades in advance."

Andrew McAfee, a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, told Sky News that the robot revolution "is happening right now".

"It's making us a great deal better off, a great deal wealthier," he said.

"The challenge is that there is no law saying that as that pie grows, it's going to be divided up in a fair way. We're seeing some of that with the growth of inequality.

"We need to make smart choices with policy, with education and a lot of areas to make sure we continue to divide up this growing pie in a way that makes sense for people.

"These large technology transitions always require smart societal and smart policy changes, they don't just happen on their own and magically make everything okay."

:: Sky Data interviewed a nationally representative sample of 1,711 Sky customers online 21-24 August 2015. Data weighted to the profile of the population.

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Robot Revolution: The Future Is Happening Now

Whether you welcome a robotic future or fear for the existence of humanity, the revolution is already under way.

Tom Cheshire
All this week on Sky News we have special coverage on the Robot Revolution - how robots will transform our economy, society and personal lives.

Another title we considered was The Robot Future. But it became clear during our reporting that there is no single robotic future.
For some it’s unsettling: robots will take our jobs, lead to greater inequality and perhaps, if they become smarter than humans (what scientists call super-intelligent) displacing us as the dominant force on the planet.

According to a Sky News survey, more than half of us think the Government should protect jobs from being taken by robots, and most of us fear robots could eventually wipe out humanity. Bill Gates and Stephen Hawking have warned of these dangers.
Grim, but the other future is a lot more optimistic: one where robots relieve us of drudgery, take care of us at home and make us much more productive as a society: a new industrial revolution and a second machine age.

In this version, machines becoming super-intelligent is the best thing to happen to humanity. Exponentially smarter than us, they will come up with innovations we cannot dream of - whether that’s nano-robots that can repair individual cells in our body, allowing us to live forever, or eventually uploading our minds to the internet, and existing as purely digital beings.

Both these futures are rather old, in fact.
In 1965, John Good, a pioneering computer scientist, wrote that a super-intelligent machines would be humanity’s "last invention". Two years later, the hippie poet Richard Brautigan dreamed of "a cybernetic ecology where we are free from our labours … and all watched over by machines of loving grace".

What’s new is the huge advances made in robotics and artificial intelligence, especially over the last 15 years. Driverless cars, unmanned aerial vehicles, humanoid bipedal robots, speech recognition - even your Amazon recommendations - are all powered by AI and are only just the beginning.

Robot Revolution is our attempt to make sense of it - where we are now, and where we are going. We’ve been around the world to see the most interesting robots and speak to the most interesting researchers.

Our specialist correspondents are looking at the huge changes being wrought in their fields: Afua Hirsch on economy, Thomas Moore on the impact of robots on health, Lucy Cotter on the future of entertainment and Ed Conway on the data behind the revolution.

Online and on mobile we’re offering closer takes on the robots themselves, as well as an interactive look at how you might be improved (or not) if you were a robot.

Another reason Robot Future didn’t work as a title is because the future is actually happening right now. The robot revolution is already here. Tune in to see what that means for you.

 

标题:Robot Revolution: 40% Fear Wipeout By Machines   、Robot Revolution: The Future Is Happening Now

作者: Tom Cheshire

来源:SKY NEWS

链接:http://news.sky.com/story/1544448/robot-revolution-40-percent-fear-wipeout-by-machines

http://news.sky.com/story/1544464/robot-revolution-the-future-is-happening-now


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