Matt Miller admits his fears sound like the "ravings of a crank," but he's worried about how rapidly the concept of a artificial intelligence is entering everyday life and how little we humans have considered the possibilities of it running amok. "Are we creating machines that are destined to destroy us?" he asks in the Washington Post. It's not just Miller who's worried, however. He cites some big-name thinkers in the field similarly paranoid "that a toxic mix of artificial intelligence, robotics, and bio- and nanotechnology could make previous threats of nuclear devastation seem 'easy' to manage by comparison."
He notes that he ended a recent interview with author James Barrat with what he thought was a joke question about moving to a desert island in the event of catastrophe. Barrat's response? "It was alarming how many people I talked to who are highly placed people in AI who have retreats that are sort of ‘bug out’ houses” for just that reason. If nothing else, "it’s time to take this conversation beyond a few hundred technology sector insiders," writes Miller. President Obama can "kick-start the national debate" next month in his State of the Union address by appointing an AI commission. Click for Miller's full column.