Microsoft executive Harry Shum confidently predicts that in 20 years everyone will have an artificially intelligent robot “alter-ego” that will know everything about them.
Shum, who is Executive Vice President of Artificial Intelligence & Research at Microsoft, told Business Insider that artificial intelligence will become more integrated in our daily lives as it becomes more sophisticated.
Asked, “What can someone expect 20 years from now in terms of a daily experience with AI?” Shum made a somewhat dystopian prediction that everyone would have a robot assistant that in essence would be a carbon copy of themselves.
“I think predicting the future is always hard, but one thing Brad and I firmly believe is that the ultimate form of AI is a digital assistant —a digital assistant that really understands you, and with your permission knows everything about you,” said Shum.
“Internally we use the words “alter ego” — really a second self. I think that a lot of AI capabilities will be developed in 20 years. There’s already so much progress with reading and writing, and things like guiding people through solving math equations, and AI will be able to help us do a lot more,” he added.
Current virtual assistants like Amazon Alexa have raised privacy concerns amidst fears that they could be recording people’s conversations, but the idea of an AI assistant that functions as a kind of clone of its owner is on another level.
Experts like Elon Musk and Stephen Hawking have warned that artificial intelligence could advance to a stage where it is capable of redesigning itself, leading to the extinction of humanity.
Back in August, Musk tweeted there was “vastly” more risk in the development of AI than the risk posed by North Korea, alongside an image that read, “In the end the machines will win”.
Hawking struck a similar tone years previously, telling the BBC, “The development of full artificial intelligence could spell the end of the human race.”
The professor said humans would eventually be “superseded” by robots who would almost certainly decide to wipe them out.
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