The future president of the British Science Association, Professor Jim Al-Khalili, warned in a briefing before this week’s British Science Festival in Hull that artificial intelligence will challenge humanity in the future.
Al-Khalili, a physicist at the University of Surrey, explained why he thinks that AI must be better regulated and that it’s all “happening too fast.”
Cyber Attacks, Unemployment, Lack of Transparency
In his statements, he explained that today’s pressing matters are the future of AI:
“If Russian cyber hackers were able to meddle with the 2016 US elections, then what is stopping cyber terrorists from hacking into any future AI controlled power grids, transport systems, banks of military installations. Our government has a responsibility to protect society from potential threats and risks.”
He added that people become nervous about AI not being regulated enough, and robotics and autonomous systems will increase job losses:
“Robotics and autonomous systems are predicted to bring about job losses, primarily affecting workers in low-skilled roles, and there is still little research on how the future effects of automation might vary across the UK. We are now seeing an unprecedented level of interest, investment and technological progress in the field, which many people, including myself, feel is happening too fast.”
He warns that the full potential of AI could benefit humanity, only if it’s transparent and engages the public, explaining that with no regulations from academics, the Government and industry, the technology could become “’uncontrolled and unregulated,” and used by a few powerful companies.
Prof Al-Khalili explains that he wants to see AI being used, but it must be regulated fast. He wants to see AI in the school curriculum and is aware that now it’s part of our everyday life through virtual assistants like Alexa, Siri, Google Assistant and so on.
On September 4, Prof Al-Khalili had launched a documentary called “The Joy of AI.”
He concludes that AI will “transform our lives in the coming decades even more than the internet has over the last few decades,” but we have to “make sure we’re ready for it.”
Andre Blair s is the lead editor for Advocator.ca. He holds a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Toronto, and a Master of Science in Public Health (M.S.P.H.) from the School of Public Health, Department of Health Administration, at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Andre specializes in environmental health, but writes on a variety of issues.