Superintelligent AI Might Be Uncontrollable, But Should ­We Worry?

As an international team of computer scientists using theoretical calculations have shown that it would be fundamentally impossible to control a superintelligent AI ­ — whether such an AI will harm humanity is not conclusive. AI advanced enough to menace humanity is probably still a long way away.

A problem without a solution

“A super-intelligent machine that controls the world sounds like science fiction,” said study coauthor Manuel Cebrian, Leader of the Digital Mobilization Group at the Center for Humans and Machines of the Max Planck Institute for Human Development. “But there are already machines that perform certain important tasks independently without programmers fully understanding how they learned it. The question therefore arises whether this could at some point become uncontrollable and dangerous for humanity.”

The doomsday scenario can wait

All of this remains a theoretical debate for now, since AI advanced enough to threaten humankind is probably generations away. AI has been around for over 60 years; however, it is only recently that it has come to be considered as a technology that can have a dramatic effect on so many aspects of human development.

An innovative future with AI

In the long term we will see a shift towards strong AI, with systems’ intellectual capability being indistinguishable from human intelligence. AI must overcome its current, and basic dependency upon human supervision, for it to become applicable to broader domains containing less predictable situations.

Insurance made simple.