In your home (Alexa), on your phone (Siri), and on the roads (self-driving cars). The advent of “A.I.” is not a new phenomenon. It has been the inspiration for sci-fi books and movies, from Isaac Asimov’s Robot series to The Terminator and more recently, a virtual girlfriend in HER. But it feels like something bigger is happening and at a more accelerated pace than before. Google’s AlphaGo bested the world’s highest rated human player at Go, an ancient strategy game. In the healthcare arena, IBM’s Watson claims to prescribe specific cancer treatments based on a patient’s genomic profile. And recently, Elon Musk warned that AI poses a fundamental and existential threat to human civilization.
While technology developments powering the rise of A.I. can leave us breathless, there is also a growing concern by many that we may be going down the path of unintended consequences. At a minimum, it raises some serious questions. How does privacy co-exist alongside A.I. powered sensors? Is it right to replace human jobs with robots? What happens in a world where A.I. is weaponized and threatens to annihilate the entire human race? Do intelligent robots have rights?