There’s an epic struggle under way: a challenge to lead the world in A.I. — artificial intelligence. But this space race for the 21st century doesn’t seem to be getting enough attention from at least one of the world’s superpowers — the United States. Futurist Amy Webb tells the story of the world’s leading artificial intelligence companies, and the struggle between East and West in her new book, The Big Nine: How the Tech Titans & Their Thinking Machines Could Warp Humanity. We learn about China’s growing dominance in A.I., and how U.S. companies, in spite of stunning technological innovation, might someday fall behind. What’s at stake is nothing less than the future of power, governance, and freedom.
When we think of killer robots, images of the Terminator, Robocop, and other dystopian movies often spring to mind. These movies usually don’t end well (for the humans, at least). So it seems crazy that we would even consider building machines programmed to kill. On the other hand, some argue that autonomous weapons could save lives on the battlefield. We are not yet living in a world killer robots; but we might be getting close. What goes into the decision to kill? How can we possibly program robots to make the right decisions, given the moral stakes?