Categories: InnovationScience

Apple Co-Founder Wozniak Predicts AI Will ‘Treat Humans As Pets’

Apple’s co-founder Steve Wozniak has predicted that, in the future, the world will be controlled by artificial intelligence (AI) and that robots will treat humans as their pets.

Wozniak made his comments in a wide ranging discussion at the Freescale Technology Forum 2015 which took place this week in Texas.

Human Pets?

Steve Wozniak has previously made clear his concerns about AI, as he famously co-signed an open letter drafted by the Future of Life Institute which argued that AI development should not go on uncontrolled and that there must be safeguards on intelligent machines.

But Wozniak says his thinking on the matter has changed, and that he is no longer scared by the possibility of artificial intelligence. He said he had thought deeply on the matter, and now believes that humanity will eventually benefit from its arrival in the long run.

“They’re going to be smarter than us and if they’re smarter than us then they’ll realize they need us,” Wozniak reportedly said.

“It’s actually going to turn out really good for humans,” he reportedly said. “And it will be hundreds of years down the stream before they’d even have the ability. They’ll be so smart by then that they’ll know they have to keep nature, and humans are part of nature. So I got over my fear that we’d be replaced by computers. They’re going to help us. We’re at least the gods originally.”

Wozniak said that the future will see the arrival of the Internet of Things and that is what humanity needs. “It makes things nice for humans, so we want this,” he said. “If it turned on us, it would surprise us. But we want to be the family pet and be taken care of all the time,” he said.

“I got this idea a few years ago and so I started feeding my dog fillet steak and chicken every night because ‘do unto others,'” he apparently said.

The End Is Near

Wozniak’s expectation of a benevolent artificial intelligence future is in marked contrast to other leading figures in the tech industry.

Last month Professor Stephen Hawking reiterated his warning that artificial intelligence could spell the end of life as we know it on Planet Earth. Professor Hawking predicted that humanity has just 100 years left before the machines take over.

“Computers will overtake humans with AI at some within the next 100 years. When that happens, we need to make sure the computers have goals aligned with ours,” he reportedly said. “Our future is a race between the growing power of technology and the wisdom with which we use it.”

And Professor Hawking is not alone in his disquiet about the future with robots equipped with artificial intelligence.

Last October Elon Musk, the South Africa-born inventor and entrepreneur best known as the co-founder of PayPal and chief executive of both SpaceX and Tesla Motors, warned against the dangers of artificial intelligence, describing it as an “existential threat”.

Musk compared the construction of artificial minds to the calling up of unknown forces that could easily go beyond the inventor’s control.

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Tom Jowitt

Tom Jowitt is a leading British tech freelancer and long standing contributor to Silicon UK. He is also a bit of a Lord of the Rings nut...

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