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19 A.I. experts reveal the biggest myths about robots


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Most people have gleaned their understanding of artificial intelligence (AI) from science fiction more than from real life.

But if you base all your knowledge about robots and AI on movies and books, you're bound to be either terrified or disappointed whenever a new robot comes out. 

Tech Insider asked 19 AI researchers about the biggest myths in their field. Their answers (lightly edited) are below.

Stuart Russell says no one is building conscious AI.

The most common misconception is that what AI people are working towards is a conscious machine, that until you have a conscious machine there's nothing to worry about. It's really a red herring.

To my knowledge, nobody, no one who is publishing papers in the main field of AI, is even working on consciousness. I think there are some neuroscientists who are trying to understand it, but I'm not aware that they've made any progress.

As far as AI people, nobody is trying to build a conscious machine, because no one has a clue how to do it, at all. We have less clue about how to do that than we have about build a faster than light spaceship.

Commentary from Stuart Russell, a computer scientist at the University of California, Berkeley.

Yann LeCun says we have robot emotions all wrong.

The biggest myths in AI are as follows:

(1) "AIs won't have emotions."

They most likely will. Emotions are the effect low-level/instinctive drives and the anticipations of rewards.

(2) "If AIs have emotions, they will be the same as human emotions."

There is no reason for AIs to have self-preservation instincts, jealousy, etc. But we can build into them altruism and other drives that will make them pleasant for humans to interact with them and be around them.

Most AIs will be specialized and have no emotions. Your car's auto-pilot will just drive your car.

Commentary from Yann LeCun, Facebook's Artificial Intelligence Research Director.

Yoshua Bengio says we've misconstrued how smart machines will act.

The biggest misconception is the idea that's common in science fiction, that AI would be like another living being that we envision to be like us, or an animal, or an alien. Imagining that an AI would have an ego, would have a conscience in the same way that humans do.

The truth is that you can have intelligent machines that have no self conscience, no ego, and have no self preservation instinct because we build these machines.

Evolution gave us an ego and a self preservation instinct because otherwise we wouldn't have survived. We were evolved by natural selection, but AIs are built by humans.

We can build machines that understand a lot of aspects of the world while not having more ego than a toaster.

Commentary from Yoshua Bengio, a computer scientist at University of Montreal.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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