Leading Artificial intelligence scientist, Professor Toby Walsh has outlined a number of disturbing predictions for the future.
The Australian AI expert warns that we are “sleepwalking” into a future in which billions of machines and computers will be able to think.
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In his new book, Dr Walsh portrays a nightmare world where the machines will control every aspect of our lives within the next thirty years.
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The Mail Online reports:
Among the more disturbing prophecies, which could be taken straight from an episode of Black Mirror, is that people will live on as chatbots after they die.
The lure of virtual reality and the horrors of reality could also ensnare people into retreating into their deepest and darkest fantasies.
Dr Walsh’s vision for the machine world is outlined in a new book entitled ‘It’s Alive!: Artificial Intelligence from the Logic Piano to Killer Robots’.
In it he portrays a nightmare future where machines control every aspect of our lives, from transport and health to employment and entertainment.
The University of New South Wales professor of artificial intelligence said that by 2050, the year 2000 will look as old-fashioned as the horse drawn era of 1900 did to people in 1950.
‘We will have to learn when to say to computers: ‘Sorry, I can’t let you do that.’ It’s not enough for a machine to do a task better than a human. There are some decisions we simply should not allow machines to make,’ he told ABC.
Dr Walsh imagines machines with vastly superior intelligence taking over jobs and becoming people’s bosses at work.
He believes many tasks, from administration of workplaces like hiring and firing down to performing jobs themselves, will be automated in the future.
Many experts are already predicting that huge swathes of white collar jobs that involve repetitive tasks, like blue collar jobs before them, will be replaced by machines.
One report in March this year suggested that 38 percent of US jobs will be replaced by robots and artificial intelligence by the early 2030s.
Another claimed more than ten million workers in the UK could be replaced by robots over the next 15 years.
Dr Walsh predicts that the news will be written by AI bots and even your doctor will be a machine.
Fitness gadgets will monitor every element of our health, building on the wearable kit of today which can measure our pulse and sleep patterns.
Toilets could automatically take urine and stool samples and your smartphone’s camera could be used to identify skin melanomas and check your eyes.
Autonomous cars will mean that people will be banned from driving, in an effort to improve road safety.
In response to these external pressures and an increasing feeling of engagement with the outside world, the professor foresees people retreating from society and spending more time in cyber worlds.
The lines between cinema, computer gaming and virtual reality will become blurred, allowing people to create and explore their own fantasies.
Long dead movie stars like Marilyn Monroe could be brought back to life through hyper-realistic holograms and CGI avatars, and people will be able to star in their own films.
The lure of these virtual worlds could prove too much for some, with addicts choosing to spend all of their time away from the real world.
And Professor Walsh also envisages people acting out their darkest desires in their virtual bubbles on any avatar they can dream up.
‘This problem will likely trouble our society greatly,’ he added.
‘There will be calls that behaviours which are illegal in the real world should be made illegal or impossible in the virtual
As well as escaping reality into cyberspace, wars of the future will also be fought online he believes.
And it could offer the ultimate escape from death, with out consciousness being uploaded to the internet after we die.