A piece from an interesting website I found today was appealing. The website is Suvudu, which addresses a variety of topics of interest to TheoFantastique. In this case, Matt Staggs asks, “Could a Robot Apocalypse Really Happen?” In order to answer this he interviews P. W. Singer, author of Wired for War: The Robotics Revolution and Conflict in the 21st Century. Among the Q&A in the interview we find the following:
Could we ever possibly see a “terminator” type scenario with robots turning on their human creators?
You can’t write a book about robots and war, including even one that is actually a serious non-fiction book that is now on the recommended reading list for the US Navy and US Air Force, without wrestling with that question. The second to last chapter actually explores whether this is something to take seriously or not and what would be the actual preconditions for it to happen. Not to give it away, but the Terminator is less a risk than the Matrix. That is, not so much a worry of Keanu Reeves in leather pants, but us waking up to find ourselves in a world run by machines that we barely understand. Indeed, given everything from the use of over 7,000 drones in our military to the “flash crash” that hit the stock market last year (caused by AI malfunctions) to my reliance on an iPhone that I couldn’t even begin to tell you how it works, we may already be enmeshed in a matrix of technology of our own making.