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Killer Robots Are Just One Or Two Decades Away, Ex-Google Boss Says

Giant Killer Robot Crew.Eric Sonstroem/Flickr

One of the biggest sources of concern by a lot of people in the tech and science sectors these days is the possibility of machines gaining advanced intelligence and then wiping out humanity from the face of the planet. Tesla CEO Elon Musk is one of the most prominent figures warning people of the dangers of artificial intelligence. According to former Google top dog Eric Schmidt, these fears may come to fruition in 10 to 20 years.

Schmidt recently spoke at the Munich Security Conference where he touched on the subject of killer robots while speaking about how technology is impacting democracy, Defense News reports. With the rise of Russian interference in elections all over the globe, it was a rather hot topic among technologists and political experts.

“Everyone immediately then wants to talk about all the movie-inspired death scenarios, and I can confidently predict to you that they are one to two decades away. So let’s worry about them, but let’s worry about them in a while,” Schmidt said at the time.

The former Google boss’ lack of concern with regards to killer robots seems to stem from his confidence that AI present far more benefits for things like improving the state of the health sector than a threat to human life. Of course, he did caution innovators not to hand over all control to intelligent machines and that humans should remain in control in terms of making decisions.

As Interesting Engineering notes, however, actual death is not the only threat that AI pose. In terms of real danger, job displacement is at the forefront of the capabilities of intelligent machines. Scientists already expect advanced AI to replace human workers in several fields, including language translation and basic transportation in the next decade alone. Given 50 years, there would hardly be any job left for humans, except those that require high technical skills.

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