Google’s DeepMind entranced the world this month as it beat Lee Se-Dol at the ancient game of Go. The computer program thrashed the world’s top player and prompted many to start to think about what the future will look like with artificial intelligence.
Nearly half of UK citizens expressed concerns about driverless cars in a recent poll, so what will society think when GPs are replaced by diagnostics machines and all of our food is harvested by cold metal fingers? We’re creeping into uncharted territory quicker than we once thought, and as we venture into it, the question is: Who is responsible if everything goes wrong?
The legal sector is already preparing for the rise of intelligent robotics as they look into the moral and legal responsibilities of the manufacturer. In the highway code it states that you mustn’t stop if an animal crosses the road as it may be more dangerous to stop, but if a driverless car hits someone’s pet as it pulls out of a driveway, who becomes responsible for that animal’s death? Furthermore, how do pet insurers cope with this new situation? And when that death is a child not a pet, will the manufacturer be held responsible for the death and will there be a rise in cases of corporate manslaughter? Such legal and moral debates will become inevitable as the progress of technology speeds up at an alarming rate and we really have to ask who is accountable for artificial intelligence gone wrong.
At this point in the development of artificial intelligence there are more questions than answers. But one thing we do know is that by 2050, 50 percent of manual jobs will belong to robots, according to a study by the Bank of England , causing a loss of employment but also creating new robotic science career paths for the next generation. Machines will be able to not only scan our bodies for ailments, but also diagnose them using masses of data and smart trends which will lead to the streamlining of healthcare and medicine.
With the current applications of AI, we may not yet need to worry about whether Google or Apple is responsible for the misdiagnosis of your suspicious rash, but for now, we can all sit back and watch a deer programmed with artificial intelligence navigate the world of San Andreas in Grand Theft Auto. The project is the brain child of gamer Brent Watanabe who is live streaming the deer as it makes intelligent decisions in an online world. All donations for his project will go to The Humane Society of Seattle/King County.