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商业 - 科技

放一百个心,机器人不会反攻人类

Erik Sherman 2015年03月25日

尽管霍金和盖茨等科技界大佬不断发表机器人将变成“终结者”这类警世之言,但也有一些知名科学家表示人类完全没有必要担心这个问题,并且认为人工智能、自动化和机器人会让这个世界变得更加美好。

    2013年4月6日,在麻省理工学院计算机科学与人工智能实验室的展示日活动现场,阿特拉斯机器人展示了它的各种功能。

    自从上世纪50年代开始涌现大量以机器人为主题B级片以来,人类对机器人、计算机和自动化的恐惧已经达到历史最高水平。这不仅是因为机器人可能抢走他们的工作(甚至就连白领工作也变得岌岌可危),一些科技界大佬的言论也加重了人们的担忧。

    微软联合创始人、慈善家比尔•盖茨曾说过:“我不能理解为什么有些人不担心会出现人类无法控制的超级人工智能”。物理学家史蒂芬•霍金也认为,“任由人工智能无拘无束地发展,可能会招致人类的灭亡,”因为机器能够以生物进化绝对达不到的速度重新设计自己。特斯拉公司的CEO、科技投资人伊隆•马斯克表示,人工智能领域的研究有可能“召唤出人类无法控制的恶魔”。马斯克最近向生命未来学院捐赠了1000万美金,这所学院主要研究人类如何平安地在科技变革中生存下去。

    这是一个阵营。

    还有另一群科学家表示,人工智能带来的“末日危机”其实被夸大了,就像美国总统罗斯福所说的,唯一值得我们恐惧的就是恐惧本身。支持人工智能的科学家和经济学家表示,人工智能、自动化和机器人会为人类世界的各种问题带来新的、更好的解决方案。

    他们认为,人们对科技的恐惧其实早已存在。以往的经验表明,人工智能领域的新发展虽然会剥夺一些人的工作,但同时也会创造更多的工作岗位来取代旧的职业。从理论上看,机器虽然可以取代很多种由人类从事的职业,但机器缺乏创新和变革的能力,甚至缺乏常识,这就使得它们在可以预见的未来还无法彻底取代人类。

    他们认为,机器人和计算机将与人类并肩工作,在提高工作效率的同时,还可以为人类带来更多自由,因为它们能够让我们免于从事一些累人的苦差事。简而言之,未来与之前的岁月没什么区别,社会完全能够自我调节。今年3月6日在美国上映的新片《超能查派》就讲述了一个“反终结者”的故事,世界要靠机器人来拯救,而人类成了坏人。该片导演尼尔•布洛姆坎普对《NBC新闻》表示:“未来机器人会拥有相当于我们1000倍的智能,如果让它们来解决我们面临的问题,我认为这种好处是难以估量的。”

    娱乐业在“终结者”和“反终结者”之间的摇摆,反映出人们对科技究竟会带来福音还是灾难这一问题的关注与分歧。归根结底,问题在于过去的经验是否必然能反映未来?还是未来的某天会发生令全人类震惊的“大事件”?希望乐观主义者到时候会说:“我们早说了没事吧。”以下五位科学家就是这种乐观主义者,他们认为人们对人工智能的担忧完全是杞人忧天,并认为科技的飞跃必然会促进人类社会的进步。

    大卫•奥特尔

    麻省理工学院经济学院副院长、经济学教授

    “哲学家迈克尔•波兰尼在1966年指出:‘我们所知道的东西,多于我们所能表达的……驾驶员的技能是再详细的驾驶理论教学也取代不了的;我对自己身体的认识,与它的生理学实际也有很大区别。’波兰尼的观察在时间上要远远早于计算机时代,但是他发现的悖论——即我们对世界的隐性知识往往超过了显性理解——在很大程度上成功预言了过去50年的计算机发展史……记者和专业评论人士夸大了机器取代人力的程度,却忽略了两者之间存在极强的互补性。人类从事的许多任务都需要适应性、尝试和创新能力,机器人要想取而代之,依然面临巨大的挑战。”

    杰夫•霍金斯

    红木神经科学中心常务董事兼主席、Palm Computing公司联合创始人、人工智能公司Numenta联合创始人。

    “我们目前正在创建的机器智能技术基于大脑的新皮质原理,不会催生有意识脱离人类控制并且具有自我复制功能的机器人。它并不是一个现实威胁。这就是未来几十年的现实。而且就算未来真的出现了现实威胁,我们也可以轻易改变方向。”

    Fear of robots, computers, and automation may be at an all-time high since B movies of the 1950s. Not only is there concern about jobs — even white-collar occupations are vulnerable — but big names in technology have weighed in with their worries.

    Philanthropist and Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates said, “[I] don’t understand why some people aren’t concerned” about artificial super intelligence that could exceed human control. Physicist Stephen Hawking thinks that “development of full artificial intelligence could spell the end of the human race,” as machines could redesign themselves at a rate that would leave biological evolution in the dust. Tesla Motors CEO and technology investor Elon Musk said research in the area could be like “summoning the demon” that is beyond control. Hedonated $10 million to the Future of Life Institute, which sponsors research into how humanity can navigate the waters of change in the face of technology.

    That’s one camp.

    Then there’s another that says doomsday concerns are overblown and that, like a new age FDR, the only thing to fear is fear itself. These people — technologists, economists, and others — say that the combination of artificial intelligence, automation, and robotics will usher in new, better solutions to world problems.

    They argue that the fear of technology is old and past experience has proven that while new developments can kill off jobs, they create even more to replace them. Machines could, in theory, replace humans in a wide variety of occupations, but shortcomings in creativity, change, and even common sense are vast, making them unable to in the foreseeable future.

    Instead, these people suggest, robots and computers will work side by side with humans, enhancing productivity and opening new vistas of freedom for people to move beyond the drudgery of current life. In short, the coming years will look like all the ones that came before and society will sort itself out. In fact, a new film “Chappie,” due out March 6, depicts an anti-Terminator view, a world in which robots hold the solutions and humans are the bad guys. “You would have something that has 1,000 times the intelligence that we have, looking at the same problems that we look at,” the director Neill Blomkamp told NBC News. “I think the level of benefit would be immeasurable.”

    The swings of show biz reflect a deep concern and disagreement over whether technology holds promise or peril. The question comes down to whether the past necessarily predicts the future or if humankind could be in for a nasty shock. Hopefully the optimists will be able to say, “We told you so.” Here are five voices that say worries are overblown and leaps in technology will bring the human race along with them.

    David Autor

    Professor of Economics and Associate Department Head, Department of Economics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

    "In 1966, the philosopher Michael Polanyi observed, 'We can know more than we can tell... The skill of a driver cannot be replaced by a thorough schooling in the theory of the motorcar; the knowledge I have of my own body differs altogether from the knowledge of its physiology.' Polanyi’s observation largely predates the computer era, but the paradox he identified — that our tacit knowledge of how the world works often exceeds our explicit understanding — foretells much of the history of computerization over the past five decades. ...[J]ournalists and expert commentators overstate the extent of machine substitution for human labor and ignore the strong complementarities. The challenges to substituting machines for workers in tasks requiring adaptability, common sense, and creativity remain immense."

    Jeff Hawkins

    Executive director and chairman of cognitive theory research organization Redwood Neuroscience Institute, co-founder of Palm Computing, and co-founder of machine intelligence company Numenta

    "The machine-intelligence technology we are creating today, based on neocortical principles, will not lead to self- replicating robots with uncontrollable intentions.There won’t be an intelligence explosion. There is no existential threat. This is the reality for the coming decades, and we can easily change direction should new existential threats appear."

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