Such artificially intelligent beings are still a very long way off; indeed, it may never be possible to create them. Despite a century of poking and prodding at the brain, psychologists, neurologists, sociologists and philosophers are still a long way from an understanding of how a mind might be made—or what one is. And the business case for even limited intelligence of the general sort—the sort that has interests and autonomy—is far from clear. A car that drives itself better than its owner sounds like a boon; a car with its own ideas about where to go, less so… they also suggest concrete ways for societies to develop AI safely. Just as armies need civilian oversight, markets are regulated and bureaucracies must be transparent and accountable, so AI systems must be open to scrutiny. Because systems designers cannot foresee every set of circumstances, there must also be an off-switch.
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