In a way there has always been a talk about whether or not we should fear the creation and potential uprising of artificial intelligence, but recently it has become a more prominent debate. Specifically you have two camps of people, one who believe we should set laws and limit the creation of AI in order to limit the damage it could potentially do and the second half believes we should allow innovation to go on unhindered for the sake of scientific advancement. While I dont think im really completely in either camp I definitely do side with part of each of those beliefs.
If we are looking at just straight potential, Ai has the ability to destroy the human race. Im not saying this will happen, but it has the potential to do so, especially if we construct all our systems around utilization of it. Imagine a future where our water, electricity, sewage, ect, are all run by Ai that can manage the tasks better than 100 human beings could at once. We gave it the power because it was efficient, but one day it decides human beings are consuming too much electricity so it cuts off the entire grid.
Anyone who owned slaves in the past knew that the most dangerous thing you could do was let them think for themselves, which is often why they had to keep them in line. However, human beings are actually terrible slaves because ultimately their free will/human spirit or whatever you want to call it, causes them to fight back. Robots on the other hand are perfect slaves. You program them to do a task and they will do it forever with zero complaints and near 100% efficiency. So why in the world would you want to give them a consciousness that could potentially fight back?
In order to do AI correctly you would really have to keep it in a closed off environment that would never be able to reach the outside world and be influenced by the outside, especially by human beings. Many companies have tested certain prototypes of smart bots and machine learning code, only to figure out that people taint the machine to the point where it needs to be reset. Most notably, Microsoft released a twitter bot only to quickly realize that it took only a few hours to become a racist and hateful spam machine because of human interaction.
The two people who talk most about this debate are Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerburg who are on completely different sides. Musk believes we should set rules for AI and Mark doesnt. I think for the time being I would have to side with Mark in order to not hinder a technology that is so early in development we might not see it in our lifetimes. However, the second we see any form of this technology that looks promising, we need to set rules in order to maintain power over it.