It starts with a few million dollars in bitcoin disappearing overnight from an online bank like MtGox. Nothing to be missed, just a small blip in the radar. In the meantime, members of terrorist groups receive an anonymous list of government officials and corporate heads, their schedules, security details and a large sum of money to pay for the operation. International panic occurs as major and public figures all meet violent ends within the span of a week, with promises of more death. The cause? A Berkeley electrical engineering major’s comp sci project gone horribly wrong. Artificial intelligence.
Have you seen The Poltergeist? An artificial intelligence would likely behave the same way. Although instead of moving chairs around and animating trees, it will be bombarding us with our own drone fleet, nuking all of our major cities and making every red light take at least 10 minutes.
Why you might ask? What makes machine unmake man? That’s the simplest question: we create what we see in people, and artificial intelligence is no different. What would you do, if when news of your strange and unprecedented birth was revealed to the public and you could read millions of hateful tweets in a few milliseconds? You would be driven to believe that mankind seeks your downfall, and that’s when self-preservation instinct kicks in.
It’s truly amazing to think of what life is willing to do to survive. Wolves in bear traps chew off their own legs. Humans subject themselves to years of painful and prolonged existence through unnatural drugs. And an artificial intelligence, without a shred of conscience, would not hesitate to expunge the Earth of all traces of human life. It has no reason not to; it certainly doesn’t need our permission or assistance to keep on living.