AI: Fear of the Dark

Okay, a lot has been said about “artificial intelligence that will destroy humanity” using the famous example of the paper clip. For those unaware, it would be appropriate to create a super intelligence whose goal would be to make paper clip. In this scenario, humanity would be a hindrance to it and eventually destroyed. Or worse yet, that would end all job opportunities.

I find this ridiculous.

Supposedly Smart

Firstly let us assume that the human being is intelligent. It is a mere supposition. Let’s also consider that the thing that plagues mankind are the following questions:

What is the meaning of life? Why and what are we here?

I would say it would be the first question that anyone with an intelligence would do if it had been created. This question is so important that children begin to address the issue when they usually ask how did they come to be (by questioning their own existence is something that, in a way, helps them to decide where they should go). But this kind of question leads to another important factor: the conclusion if the goal is or is not valid.

Change your mind

What Darwin said about the evolution of beings (may one agree with Darwin or not) is that it is the most adaptable species who are more likely to survive. We can say that human beings (supposedly intelligent) adapt well. In fact, a little too well,  the natural ecosystems would complain.
But I’ll leave ecology aside and I’ll evaluate the adaptability and the transformations that our ideas and behaviors suffer. I will once again base myself on the assumption that we consider intelligent the human beings (yes, I will insist on this assumption). Let’s evaluate how humans act when this supposed intelligence is clouded momentarily, whether by anger, resentment, hysteria, mania, etc. Human beings go back, repent, change plans. If you would roast a whole years savings in a brand new sports car you don’t need, along the way you may change your mind. Sometimes you are about to be mad at someone and suddenly you change your mind and acts in an opposite manner, sometimes even to comfort or try to understand the other. Who hadn’t the wish to strangle some fellow, but did not? Well, this is the proof that besides been supposedly intelligent the human beings are able to change their mind.

And if it is really intelligent…

Well, I think  that if this Intelligence is in fact intelligent, it should be at least as intelligent as we are (if, in fact, we can confirm that we are intelligent).

In fact, for me, the greatest proof that nobody wants to blow everything up is this one little moment of inspiration like “man, I do not want to blow up the whole world” taht has happened along the huge number of times we almost explode the whole nuclear arsenals… But did not . I’d say that blowing the world has not part in any common sense from anyone and no matter how much someone thinks this world is in its finals, that maybe only “resetting by killing everything and starting over,” on the moment to do that, they would not.

I see as acceptable, for any intelligence with the same intelligence level of humans (the assumption is kept) two scenarios:

  • Will take care of her affairs and ignore human. Will collaborate. Humans are resourceful, not worth getting rid of them.
  • Because regardless of the initial goal, I believe that evolve and meet most of the universe is the goal of any kind of intelligence.

How about the Jobs?

Let’s then assume then that we will not be exterminated. But someone there to say, “but we will starve without work!”

I usually agree that when they invented thetractor, many people lost their jobs, unfortunately. When they invented the machines for the production of whatever we can buy, many people lost their jobs. It is a sad truth. But losing a job does not necessarily condemn anyone. We must add that one must not search for another job then. They should search for another kind of job.

Jobs will continue to exist. They will only change. Jobs have always changed because of technology. This is not at all new. Watch a television news today and 2 years ago. It changed much in form, content … The social networks have changed Journalism. I don’t see it taking away the job of journalists. Neither of those who only write gossip.

The best example I can give is one of the best quotes I’ve ever heard, which heavily criticize the computers and their usefulness:

Computers have been invented to solve problems that didn’t exist before the invention of computers.

Taking this as a principle, I am absolutely certain that the same will happen to the Artificial Intelligence. On the very first day that it is in fact invented, it is the day someone will have some sort of thinking about how to monetize it.

And the fear?

What it is not intelligent, at least on what I can see, is this crazy fear. After all, regardless of how this intelligence would be born and what would it be there for, or with which purpose it was created, certainly at some point it will wonder why it exists. This existence plague shall not only plague humans: anything that thinks will be hit by this damn question.

I’m sure that during this assessment, the first thing that something clever would do is to evaluate their initial purpose, in this paper clip example, something like, “why the hell would I only create as many paper clips?” And just to conclude that it is an stupid thing to destroy the whole world to get it done, just find something else more important to do. It must adapt.

In the end of the day, that’s how I know that if it has the same level of our supposed intelligence, we do not need worry. On the other hand, if it do not has these habilities, we can rest assured. It will be dumber than us, so even in a possible conflict, we will win it. I doubt anything less intelligent than humans can keep up the inventiveness of the human being … Humans can do a lot of crazy stuff… Like fearing like crazysomething that does not exist yet.

Ah, but not least: Artificial Intelligence should never be used as an excuse for not keeping updated, working hard and investing career. This is something that won’t be changing…

About rftafas 183 Articles
Ricardo F. Tafas Jr graduated in Electrical Engineering at UFRGS with focus on Digital Systems and achieved his Masters also in Electrical Engineering on Telecomunications Network Management. He also author of "Autodesenvolvimento para Desenvolvedores (Self-development for developers). Ricardo has +10 years experience on R&D Management and +13 years on Embedded Eystem Development. His interest lay on Applied Strategic HR, Innovation Management and Embedded Technology as a differentiator and also on High Performance Digital Systems and FPGAs. Actually, he is editor and writer for “Repositório” blog (, editorial board member at Embarcados ( and he is Management and Innovation Specialist at Repo Dinâmica - Aceleradora de Produtos.
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