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Anti-Robot Protesters at SXSW Warn of Artificial Intelligence Dangers

By    |   Monday, 16 Mar 2015 08:36 AM

Anti-robot protesters stormed the South by Southwest (SXSW) music and technology festival in Austin, Texas, on Saturday to raise awareness about the dangers of artificial intelligence.

"You say robots, we say no-bots!" was just one phrase the group chanted as they marched the streets will bullhorns and picket signs.

Yahoo News reported that the group, Stop the Robots, comprises 15 to 20 undergraduates at the University of Texas at Austin. At least some of them are computer programmers and engineers, and they say they are not anti-technology. Instead, they are concerned with artificial intelligence (AI) specifically, saying it could be humanity's undoing.

"Everyone thinks it’s an anti-technology group at first glance, and that’s kind of what we’re going for," said Adam Mason, one of the group's de facto leaders, in an interview. "But we’re actually for technology. We’re technologists that love technology and we foresee a future where technology is necessary for mankind."

In explaining the one big caveat for the cautious technology buffs, Mason said that, "The day that we start creating technology that follows a moral decision complex that's no our own is the day that we're in danger." Translation: when the machines become self-aware — like in the "Terminator" movies — they could seek to hurt humanity.

The group's thinking echoes similar statements made by high-profile thinkers like Microsoft founder Bill Gates, British scientist Stephen Hawking, and Tesla Motors founder Elon Musk.

Musk is so concerned about AI that in January he donated $10 million to the Future of Life Institute to make sure would-be killer robots remain benevolent as they develop.

"We have to be careful that we don’t let AI, or technology, take over human roles in a way that is counterproductive to humanity," said Mason.



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Anti-robot protesters stormed the South by Southwest (SXSW) music and technology festival in Austin, Texas, on Saturday to raise awareness about the dangers of artificial intelligence.
anti robot, protesters, sxsw
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2015-36-16
Monday, 16 Mar 2015 08:36 AM
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