What would happen to society and the world and tech and science development if computers and AI get so smart and intelligent?


closed as too broad by Cort Ammon, L.Dutch, jdunlop, Secespitus, Rekesoft Jun 25 '18 at 7:59

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    $\begingroup$ I'm afraid I have to vote to close this as too broad. The question you ask is the topic of at least a few dozen movies, and hundreds of books, each of which arrives at a different answer. A bit of research may be in order (I recommend Her, the Terminator series, and iRobot for three extremely different views on the answer). Also it may be worth questioning what does it even mean to have an IQ that high? I believe the general consensus is that such a thing is not even meaningful. $\endgroup$ – Cort Ammon Jun 25 '18 at 5:13
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    $\begingroup$ I second @CortAmmon. IQ is barely meaningful for the developing age, when it more or less measure how developed is the brain versus the average for that age (the average being IQ 100). $\endgroup$ – L.Dutch Jun 25 '18 at 5:15
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    $\begingroup$ IQ is measured in comparison to other humans. At that level, there's simply no one to calibrate it against. (Actually, this is a problem for very intelligent humans, too.) In the context of worldbuilding, I have to say the real answer is "whatever the story requires". $\endgroup$ – Cadence Jun 25 '18 at 5:18
  • $\begingroup$ definitely too broad. There is a trove of literature featuring "The Frankeinstein syndrome" about IA becoming too intelligent to handle, just to quote one turn of the events. $\endgroup$ – Valerio Pastore Jun 25 '18 at 11:44

Not as much as you'd think

As a researcher in the AI field, I can tell you that intelligence and power are not the same thing. When you get right down to it, intelligence is just another name for pattern matching.

All the things we 'learn' in life is really just familiarity with a specific 'pattern'. That pattern might be a sequence of tasks to get a larger job complete (temporal pattern) it might be the ability to differentiate between a sparrow's call and a wren's call, it might even be noticing that the stick on the ground beside you is sharp and could extend your reach just beyond those of the claws of the animal hunting you; everything we do, know, recognise or learn is a pattern in some form.

So; the larger the IQ, the more complex patterns you can recognise, and the faster you can put different patterns together for comparison to come up with a new way of using an existing one or a new pattern entirely that you can use in a known way (remembering something useful or coming up with a new idea that can be used to solve a known problem).

One of the smartest people I know works as an office cleaner. Just because you're intelligent, it doesn't mean you're driven to be powerful, or even intelligent in the way that will make you rich or powerful. AIs in particular are not driven by the biological imperatives (survival, hunger, procreation, etc.) that we humans are and therefore are even less likely to turn into something like Skynet. Computers don't experience emotion, so they aren't driven by passion, curiosity, fear, etc. They only 'learn' when we drive them to.

Finally, the Intelligence Quotient (IQ) is not linear. The difference between IQs of 85 and 100 is much bigger than the difference between (say) 150 and 165. IQs of over 200 sound very impressive (and I guess they are) but the truth of it is that you need a larger and larger figure above 100 to get the same quantity of intelligence. Once you get above around 180, the number really loses all meaning anyway.

It IS possible that such a computer would be capable of learning knowledge at an exponential rate that goes 'vertical' and all possible knowledge is within reach, but the truth is that as an AI, we would still have to drive it in the key directions to harness that access to new knowledge.

As for power, well the people who control the AI may use the superior access to knowledge and patterns to take power for themselves, but the AI won't do that unless it's specifically programmed to do so.

So, let's not do that. Please.

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    $\begingroup$ Expanding on the idea that a computer will not do anything it is not programmed to. AI does not work in the same way human intelligence. It does not gain the incentive to do something completely different. You know, from cleaning an office to taking over the world. It only learns to do its own job better and better. Like cleaning the office, but at night or something. $\endgroup$ – Kavi Vaidya Jun 25 '18 at 6:57
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    $\begingroup$ This is probably the most accurate answer. People seem to think a single AI can overtake the entire internet, but they don't seem to understand the size of the internet and the level of security and how difficult it can be to hack something in a meaningful way. Not to mention we generate more data every day than any person, corporation or country would be able to download at a time. $\endgroup$ – Shadowzee Jun 25 '18 at 6:59
  • $\begingroup$ @Shadowzee Although I agree with you generally, I have to say that the internet is really not that secure. While "overtake the entire internet" is a little far-fetched, it would not be particularly difficult for a resourceful entity (AI or otherwise) to hijack the routing of arbitrary IP addresses. $\endgroup$ – forest Aug 29 '18 at 16:45
  • $\begingroup$ @forest It might be easy to hack an individual or small business server or even big business servers that are unsecured but the nature of network security is always increasing. If someone had a password in sha-1 (e.g. it was encrypted then sent over the line), your AI has over 1.46*10^48 values that it could be. You can't birthday attack it because you want a single value, not a collision, so now a server is going to receive about half that in guesses to break it. and thats a single server using an unsecure hash $\endgroup$ – Shadowzee Aug 29 '18 at 23:35
  • $\begingroup$ @Shadowzee I wish it was as hard as breaking a SHA-1 hash. Unfortunately, there are core routers out there still using default admin passwords on telnet that you can pivot into just by getting into an ancient Solaris box with 2000+ days of uptime and no updates. Hell, one huge datacenter apparently used a two word IPMI password... $\endgroup$ – forest Aug 31 '18 at 21:27

The singularity would happen.

Man and machine would merge. VR and RL would be interchangeable. People could become functionally immortal. Artificial humanity would spread out among the stars.


Humanity becomes extinct most likely from the creation of sexbots which replace all human relationships.


Killer robots hunt humanity to extinction because we pose a threat to everything


Everyone gets cyrogeneticly frozen and forgotten because we programmed the machines to keep us safe and the machines figured out that was the safest option.


We become basically a pet to our robot overlords. AI does everything and runs everything and we get looked after but really have no meaningful say in anything including our own lives.

The moral of the story is the future is whatever you say it is because it's your story.

  • $\begingroup$ This not objective at all. This is all assumption. Sexbots might not cause humanity's extinction. The government could simply grow children artificially to ensure population and economic growth. The second sentence is also an assumption and we will never know what has a higher probability. $\endgroup$ – Kavi Vaidya Jun 25 '18 at 7:00
  • $\begingroup$ "Humanity becomes extinct most likely from the creation of sexbots which replace all human relationships." What? Why? How? So you think that people would so incredibly rarely decide to have biological children or sex with another person instead of a sexbot that we become extinct and leave behind a planet of sexbots? That is an even bolder claim than all the other scenarios you posted as it is the least sci-fi one. $\endgroup$ – ArtificialSoul Jun 25 '18 at 7:29
  • $\begingroup$ Completely missed the whole point. The point is nobody knows thus the future is what you say it is..... $\endgroup$ – Thorne Jun 25 '18 at 23:16
  • $\begingroup$ And why could sexbots not be used for artificial reproduction, Rick and Morty style? Even if that weren't the case, even a perfect sexbot does not take away the desire for having children. The only difference would be that recreational sex would not have a risk of pregnancy. $\endgroup$ – forest Sep 1 '18 at 2:26
  • $\begingroup$ So many people missed the point. The person writing the story says what happens in the future. The examples I gave are just examples. $\endgroup$ – Thorne Sep 3 '18 at 4:18

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