….it could also be the last”.  D’oh!  In an article published yesterday in The Independent, Steven Hawking (et al.) lay out some of the benefits to be reaped from the development of Artificial Intellligence (AI) and some potential downdsides:

One can imagine such technology outsmarting financial markets, out-inventing human researchers, out-manipulating human leaders, and developing weapons we cannot even understand. Whereas the short-term impact of AI depends on who controls it, the long-term impact depends on whether it can be controlled at all.

It’s a short article and worth your time to click over and read the whole thing.  Go ahead, I’ll wait….back? OK, good.  It seems that some very serious thinkers believe there’s a possibility that if AI is developed, human beings could become second-class citizens to it.  Subjugated by a servant of our own creation – that’s some serious irony right there. But…I wanted to tie this into our earlier discussion of “what makes humans human” and “do animals have rights”?  The answers to those questions are usually decided by “the biggest kid on the block”.  Right here, right now that means humans, people.  What if we get knocked down a notch and are no longer the deciders?  Because in a possible post AI future, machines might be asking the question: “Do living things (humans, “organic beings”, “meat machines”) have rights?  Are we going to like the answer?


I'll bet this is how it goes down

I’ll bet this is how it goes down