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Is Artificial Intelligence a threat to humanity?

Is Artificial Intelligence (otherwise known as A.I.) a threat to humanity? Top scientists and A.I. experts contrast strongly on this issue Elon Musk, Bill Gates and other big names in business, technology and sciencehave openly expressed fears regarding A.I. and the possible threats to humanexistence. Yet the evolution and integration of A.I. in our societies and daily lives israpidly advancing a lot quicker than experts project and worse still its advancement continues to be unchecked!In my opinion, the evolution of A.

I. threatens our very human existence.

“I think we should be very careful about artificial intelligence. If I had to guess at what our biggest existential threat is, it’s probably that”, (Musk, 2014).

How does the evolution of A.I. threaten human existence? For one thing, the evolution of A.I. threatens to deny many of their means of livelihood and a purpose for living. Without jobs or a means to provide for self and family will lead to so many becoming impoverished, and so many social vices.

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One research, by Oxford University researchers, (2013) projects that many jobs will be taken over by machines. The expectations are up to (47%) of American jobs losses to be precise.Also, another research by Boyle, et al., (2009) opine that greater purpose in life is associated with a reduced risk of all-cause mortality. Therefore, we can safely assume that reduced purpose equals to increased mortality.

Another is the introduction of A.I. to the development of lethal autonomous weapons is becoming an ever increase threat in that it is rapidly leading us into another dimension of a dangerous global arms race which unchecked threatens global peace and human survival.

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As described by one analyst: The A.I. scenario seems nostalgic to events at the close of the 2nd world war where scientists warned the US government that unless effective global policies were put in place, a nuclear attack against Japan will aggravate a global arms race for nuclear supremacy. Unfortunately, their advice was not taken seriously. Present day nuclear threats from countries like North Korea for example, are outcomes of the U.S. failing to heed their advice (Ruta, 2018).

Thirdly, the question of if the machines will eventually outsmart us, and/or develop independent consciousness or feelings is a likelihood that can spell grave doom for humanity. Many A.I. experts agree the possibility of the emergence of a super intelligent A.I. with superhuman capabilities. Of course, evolution says that the smartest and most adaptive species are the ones who survive best and rules!, (Tegmark, n.d.).

This very possibility might just be a valid prelim to a some of our most dreaded science fiction nightmares. Others with different views may argue that such concerns are unfounded, or remote. Let’s consider some of their possible counter opinions: They are those who imagine that the development of a Super-Intelligent Artificial Intelligence machine would probably take more than a hundred years plus from now to achieve; or might even be impossible altogether. However, a survey carried out on a group of top global A.I. experts during the 2015 Puerto Rico A.I. conference, revealed that the average projected possible time expected to achieve this is 2045, (Tegmark, n.d.).

I imagine that this might even occur sooner especially as history has often proven how the pace of development outpaces expert’s projections in this generation. For example, consider how the internet’s evolution far exceeded expert’s projections. Others may argue that A.I. is absolutely safe! I find this reasoning particularly flawed. In fact, we do not even need a Super-Intelligent A.I. (one that has evolved to the point where it might have developed dangerous human emotions such as anger, jealousy or hate) before possible A.I. threats become apparent. All that is presently required for catastrophic situations is for a supposedly good but powerful A.I. to fall in to the wrong hands. Take for example, huge fatalities at global scale may occur due to the brewing A.I. arms race.

Alternatively, A.I. disaster may occur in the case of incomplete goal alignment between A.I. and ours. For example, a powerful A.I. machine may have been programmed to reverse the extinction trend of many plant and animal species; but then it realizes the only way to achieve its goal is to wipe out human race. In fact, experts conclude that total human / A.I. goal alignment is a difficult feat to achieve, (Tegmark, n.d.).
A third argument may be that it is impossible for computers to control humans. Well, According to foremost A.I. authority Tegmark, (n.d.), states, that’s a myth. The smarter party wins control. That is why much larger, and stronger animals are subject to human control.

A final conflicting view may stem from the idea that the emergence of a Super-intelligent A.I. can only lead to beneficial outcomes. They may even argue that it is improbable that the same smart machines that has brought us so many benefits, efficiencies and ease could ever turn against and eventually harm us.

However, while it is true that the advancement of A.I. has added much value to our world and increased our ability to achieve our daily goals, the truth is – such benefits also come with obvious side effects. Take social media for example, many studies, present day urban lifestyles and common sense indicate the negative impact certain technologies and social media is having on human relationships.

In addition, such technologies can become addictive. A study carried was out by conducting in-depth interviews with active social media users including male and female respondents between ages 28-73. Outcomes of this investigation revealed that: 60% of people using social media reported that it has impacted their self-esteem in a negative way. Also, 50% of respondents reported social media having negative effects on their relationship, Silva (2018).

It therefore appears that humans are becoming more machine like as we interact more and more with machines in our everyday life. In addition, Barrat, (2013) cites:Man’s continued dependency, and constant advancement of A.I. intelligence will eventually lead to its development of survival and competitive instincts which would lead it to eventually compete with man and of course, they may become more astute, stronger, and more enigmatic far beyond our imaginations.

Finally, as I compute these looming A.I. related challenges, I fail to see any effective consensus management to regulate the A.I. naissance. The absence of proper legislation greatly amplifies the threats of this A.I. phenomenon a red-flag that we are already losing the A.I./human battle before it even started! As Dietterich, (2015) observes, The growth of the effectiveness and ubiquity of AI methods has also stimulated thinking about the potential risks associated with advances of AI. Meddling with the depths of Artificial Intelligence for quick human benefits might prove to be catastrophic – especially as its current pace of technological advancement is developing light years ahead of our true comprehension of its complexities; and our ability to manage them. I posit that the evolution of A.I. threatens our very human existence.

References (Harvard)

  • Barrat, J. (2013) Our Final Invention: Artificial Intelligence and the End of the Human Era. New York: Thomas Dunne Books/St Martin’s Press.
  • Boyle, P., Barnes, L., Buchman, A., and Bennett, D. (2009). Purpose in life is associated with mortality among community-dwelling older persons, Psychosomatic Medicine, 71(5), pp. 574-579.
  • Dietterich, T., (2015) Benefits and Risks of Artificial Intelligence, Medium [Online]. Available at: (Accessed: 7 March 2019).
  • Hawking, S., Russell, S., Tegmark, M., and Wilczek, F. (2014) ‘Transcendence looks at the implications of artificial intelligence – but are we taking AI seriously enough?’ The Independent, Vol. 2014, No. 05-01
  • Marcus, G. (2013) Why We Should Think About the Threat of Artificial Intelligence, The Newyorker, [Online]. Available at: (Accessed: 6 March 2019).
  • Gibbs, S., (2014) Artificial intelligence is our biggest existential threat, Tech section of the Guardian, 27th August [Online]. Available at: (Accessed: 6th March 2019).
  • Ruta, F. (2018) Do the benefits of artificial intelligence outweigh the risks?, The Economist, [Online]. Available at: (Accessed: 6 March 2019).
  • Silva, C. (2018) Social Media’s Impact on Relationships and Self-Esteem, Thrive Global [Online]. Available at: (Accessed: 6 March 2019).
  • Tegmark, M. (2017). Life 3.0: Being Human in the Age of Artificial Intelligence. New York: Vintage Books.

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Is Artificial Intelligence a threat to humanity?. (2019, Dec 19). Retrieved from

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