Letter: We have a new Trojan horse, but this one we’re sending to ourselves

FILE - In this March 6, 2017 file photo, Britain's Professor Stephen Hawking delivers a keynote speech as he receives the Honorary Freedom of the City of London during a ceremony at the Guildhall in the City of London. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham, File)

In ancient Greece, as the story goes, the Greeks built a huge gift for the Trojans, their enemy whose walls they could not penetrate. A beautiful giant horse, which the Trojans gladly rolled into their city. You know the rest.

Today we have a new Trojan horse, but this is one we are sending to ourselves. Beautiful on the outside, with promises of better medicine and cleaner energy. However this Trojan Horse, called artificial intelligence, has a very dark side which will become increasingly apparent over the next few generations. Geoffrey Hinton, called the “Godfather of AI” for inventing the neural pathways AI computers and robots use to learn and write their own programs, recently quit Google to warn people of the dangers of AI. I strongly suggest you watch several Youtube videos where Hinton discusses the potential calamities, which range from 300 million jobs lost in the U.S. and Europe, to becoming overwhelmed by AI and possibly wiped out as a species. Meanwhile, the people developing AI will become billionaires, at the expense of our future, focusing on the shiny bright side of AI.

Stephen Hawking said in 2017 that artificial intelligence could become the “worst event in the history of our civilization.” I strongly suggest you delve into why he said this, because he is right. Basically he and Hinton and other AI developers have said AI will likely reach a point where AI is in charge and humans do their bidding. It sounds like scifi but Hawking, Hinton, Nick Bostrom, and others are deadly serious and very grounded in reality. It is looking more and more like a self-built Trojan horse.

Gordon Johnston West Valley City

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