With the progress of artificial intelligent systems, some people worry that as robots become stronger and smarter, they may one day rebel against people and win.
Is it possible?
I don’t think that to rule over people, robots need to rebel.
All robots need is to simply wait until humans become stupid enough, and ultimately give up their ability to think, outsourcing all thinking to the machines.
A friend of mine, who is a university lecturer in Russia, told me that one of his students used a calculator to multiply one by one.
She got an answer 1.1 because she pressed “.” instead of “*”.
My friend told me that student wasn’t weak but, whenever it comes to numbers, she is helpless without a calculator.
Since her childhood she got used to do any calculations only with a calculator.
Counting needs practice. Those people who still can count without a calculator often take this ability for granted and forget that it took them a lot of practice in their childhood before they learned to count well.
That student has learned Mathcad at the university so now she can take derivatives, integrals and even solve differential equations.
Mathcad replaces a calculator for her when she needs something more advanced than 1 * 1.
Software like Mathcad gives you an illusion that you can solve complicated equations without learning any theory about them.
You just type in your formulas, press “Enter” and get the result.
But like in this 1 * 1 example, the result can be wrong if you do it without thinking.
The problem with humans is that the more technology they get the more they rely on it and the less they want to think.
Why count in my head if I have a calculator that does it faster?
Why study calculus if I have software that does it all for me?
Now, computers can solve harder problems, and I predict that soon people, instead of thinking, will just ask their software all their questions.
Why think if my smart-phone is so intelligent? It keeps much more data than I do in my memory. It works faster than my brain. It is powered by the latest artificial intelligent techniques. So, I better just ask it and trust its answer.
However, thinking, like counting, needs practice.
The more you think, the better your thinking ability is.
The less you think the more difficult it is for you to think.
I predict that people will outsource more and more thinking to machines, so they will gradually unlearn how to think.
Then, the time will come when intelligent machines — the only thinking creatures left in the Universe — will rule over humans, animals, trees, and other organisms that live without intelligence.