The reality of super intelligent robots that can wipe out the human race is getting closer and closer at hand. The fear is so real that Google's AI division is developing ways and means to stop errant machines in case they start to act against humanity. One of the solutions is a "big red button" that will stop them in their tracks.
Laurent Orseau, researcher at Deep Mind, and Dr. Stuart Armstrong of Future of Humanity Institute at Oxford University said in a paper that robots built with AI will probably not behave all the time. The researcher suggests that there will be instances when a robot could misbehave.
The paper, via Daily Mail, continued, "Now and then it may be necessary for a human operator to press the big red button to prevent the agent from continuing a harmful sequence of actions - harmful either for the agent or for the environment - and lead the agent into a safer situation."
However, the researchers also agree that not all systems of the AI can be controlled and shut down. They said, "It is unclear if all algorithms can be easily made safely interruptible."
The Telegraph notes that intelligent robots could misinterpret instructions like "prevent human suffering" as an order to "kill all humans," which by default ends all suffering altogether.
Additionally, Dr. Armstrong said in his book "Smarter Than Us: The Rise of Machine Intelligence" that development of AI is going at such a rate that slowing down its progress would "seem unrealistic."
Another possible solution is to teach AI robots a moral code. The difficulty, however, would come from humanity itself. Armstrong quipped, "Humans are very hard to learn moral behavior from. They would make very bad role models for AIs."
Google already set up an ethics board that oversees the development of their AI. It acquired Deep Mind, a British firm that creates software to think like humans. One of the founders of Deep Mind, Shane Legg, said that AI is the number one risk of this century and could usher in the extinction of humanity. Legg predicts, it is highly possible that technology will play a vital role in human extinction.