Throughout and, co-founder of Google’s DeepMind, Shane Legg;

Throughout humanity’s existence, there has always been significant advancements in our technology, that completely change the way we live our lives. Artificial intelligence (or ‘AI’) is the next stage in our development that will present us with a series of formidable challenges, alongside enormous benefits; and it is this wide range of possible outcomes that we have to consider and prepare for. The fast approaching arrival of ‘superintelligence’ will be the most consequential event in human history, that if we get wrong could spell the end of life as we know it, however if we succeed, it will improve our lives exponentially beyond our imagination. In this essay I will be discussing the beneficial aspects of AI as well as the many pitfalls of this technological phenomena. Artificial intelligence has been defined as: “Intelligence displayed by machines, that perceive their environment and take actions that maximize its chance of success at some goal.” We can gain a better understanding of this definition by breaking it down into two questions: ‘How do we determine intelligence?’ And ‘does intelligence necessarily mean conciousness?’ To answer the first question, the flexibility of human intelligence has long been a feature we consider to set us apart from the rest of nature. While other animals do ‘think’, none can juggle abstract concepts, manipulate language into poetry or engage in significant self-reflection. One of the most popular recent definitions is by German computer scientist Marcus Hutter and, co-founder of Google’s DeepMind, Shane Legg; they state that: “intelligence measures an agent’s general ability to achieve goals in a wide range of environments” However, this definition can be used to describe two very different types of artificial intelligence: artificial general intelligence (AGI) and artificial narrow intelligence (ANI), which are also known as strong AI and weak AI. 


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