In this latest Domain Query, I address a rather interesting question from LRFotS Randale6 that touches on the thorny and tricky issue of thinking machines and artificial intelligence, while referencing the greatest sci-fi novel ever written. Here’s the original question:
Here is an admittly [sic] unusual domain query, was Dune correct that mankind will either have to place limits upon AI (and it’s [sic] sister technologies) or outright prohibit them altogether?
I discuss the answers to this question by pulling together the origins of the Dune reference, some examples of what AI does really well, where the worries about AI becoming self-aware and self-replicating come from, and why we shouldn’t really be too bothered in the current context. I also caveat this by pointing out that there are certain highly promising technologies, like quantum computing, which may become true game-changers, IF they live up to the hype. The short answer is, I don’t think we need to be worried at this point.
The Dune series by Frank Herbert is well worth reading – the prequels written by his son and Kevin J. Anderson, not so much:
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