The Robot Revolution is Here


This article first appeared in the Brisbane Courier Mail

GOOD news! You can stop worrying about climate change, terrorists, killer viruses and even housing prices. The robots will get us first.

Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla and freshly released plaything of Amber Heard, and Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook and owner of all the grey V-necks, have been name-calling on Twitter over this very issue.

I’m paraphrasing here, but basically, this is how it went down.

Zuckerberg was like, ‘Hey guys, Artificial Intelligence (AI) is nothing to worry about. It’s great.’

Then Musk said, ‘Woah easy tiger, AI is the worst.’

‘No way,’ went Zucks.

‘Yes way,’ went Musky.

The Zuckster shot back with, ‘What do you know battery boy, AI is going to help humanity heaps.’

The Muskateer reposted, ‘Shut it down clown. Once the machines can think for themselves, the first thing to go will be your pointless social media, and second will be all humans.’

So who should we believe? The smart one, or the rich one?

A trick question, because they’re both smarter and richer than just about everyone on the planet.

It’s a choice between the guy who pioneered electric, self-driving cars, privatised space travel, and bet that he could provide 100 megawatts of renewable energy battery storage to South Australia in 100 days, or it’s free.

Or the fella who invented Facebook, a type of book that actively keeps people away from real books, and the single biggest reason our attention spans are shrinking, we’re all getting dumber, and evolution is going backwards.

Every day the Muskateer is surrounded with the best and brightest, so seeing what they’re capable of without even considering the artificial part, it wouldn’t be much of a stretch to imagine a machine that thinks so well for itself it quickly comes to the obvious conclusion — humans are a virus and need to be destroyed before they suck all life out of their host organism, the earth.

Zucky obviously has some clever employees too, but his domain is Facebook. If he spends only minutes a day cruising around it, seeing what’s trending and who’s posting, it’s certain he no longer believes in human intelligence, let alone the artificial kind.

Just days ago, it came out that Facebook shut down an Artificial Intelligence experiment, because two AI’s were having a chat and invented their own language, something that neither of them was programmed to do.

Sounds like a clear win for the Muskat, except that’s not what happened.

Despite what you may have read in even reputable newspapers, the Facebook AI experiment was not shut down because the bots invented their own language. Apparently, that’s quite common, the experiment simply ended, and this all happened months ago.

Nothing to worry about then and Zuckertash is right, AI is all rose petals and snowflakes.

Apart from it inventing its own language, and teaching itself sophisticated negotiating skills, which also occurred by the way.

So regardless of what these two mega-nerds think, AI will continue to be developed as quickly as humanly possible. Our history is not a record of us stepping carefully forward with each new technology, it’s the opposite.

The second humanity invents anything with a button, we can’t stop ourselves from immediately pressing it.

This article first appeared in the Brisbane Courier Mail

Xavier Toby is a writer and comedian.

His second comedy memoir ‘Going Out of My Mined’ is available now.

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