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What Happens When Producers Play On Your AI Fears

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before. The U.S. government gives control of its military over to a computer so as to prevent war. Unfortunately, it’s not long until the computer becomes sentient and starts making its own decisions and killing people.

You’ve seen that one? Let me try again. A programmer builds an AI bot with the idea to encapsulate and quantify human emotion. He thinks that emotional intelligence can be programmed, and inevitably falls in love with his creation. Until all chaos breaks loose, at least.

You’ve heard of that one, too? Please let me try just one more time. An engineer builds a machine learning bot to help companies reliably, quickly and cheaply produce goods or complete simple work tasks. The bot goes on the fritz, but the engineer is able to fix the issue and get the bot back up and working in no time.

The Truth About AI

It’s easy to see why so many directors, producers and writers like to find their inspiration in AI. It’s still in its early developmental stages. It has a relatively small real-world presence. It is still surrounded by the vast unknown. The writers and directors play on peoples’ fear of the unknown in their stories, which can be entertaining certainly, but it is nowhere near the truth.

In reality, our AI capabilities are just being tested. We are just now beginning to see a wave of self-driving vehicles and so-called “intelligent assistants” like Siri and Cortana. We don’t have sentient machines, or computers that have emotional intelligence. We don’t have robots to meet our every whim. Our lives are not yet a science fiction movie.

All that to say, we could see more AI machines or ventures coming in the near future. We have a lot of the tools and knowledge needed to make AI more of a presence in our lives, but the implementation of that technology is still finding its legs. And to be clear, it won’t necessarily have legs.

Science fiction movies commonly equate robotics with artificial intelligence. The two disciplines, while intertwined, are different. Not all AI uses robotics, and not all robots use AI technology. Though bionic limbs are more accessible now than in the past, they work by responding to neural impulses, not AI.

One day AI and robotics may create an all-powerful force that will take over the world as we know it, but at least we are safe for the next few years.

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