Monday, August 14, 2017
Who in the federal government is going to regulate artificial intelligence? I mean, these are the same jokers who can’t stop a bunch of teenage blackhats from hacking into the IRS, the Defense Department and their own respective parties’ email systems. And you want them to come up with a bunch of rules for AI? Sadly, the alternative is to turn the job over to the eggheads in the high tech community, but you won’t find much relief there either. The fact is that we don’t have any sort of unanimity among the design community as to how real the threat of self-aware AI actually may be and what should be done to prevent it from shutting down our civilization. The last time Musk raised this flag, Zuckerberg went after him with the opposite opinion.
The reason, I think, that Elon Musk is talking about AI is Google. Musk fears Google and thinks it's going to become even more powerful than it already is because of AI. If government can be enticed into regulating AI, that means they will regulate Google. Government regulation always screws things up and slows them down, and Musk would be only too pleased to see that happen to Google. But none of this means AI is going to evolve into something actually dangerous to humanity. It might well become something that gives Google even more market power, however, and that's something Musk would rather have for himself. Maybe Google should be regulated on antitrust grounds but probably not just because they have "smart" AI.