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Artificial Intelligence and the Associated Threats Research Paper

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Updated: May 16th, 2020


The inception of Artificial Intelligence has been associated with various problems, as well as different strategies. Research has indicated that there are many problems that come about as a result of AI applications in people’s lifestyles. Such problems are intense such that influential scientists such as Stephen Hawking, Elon Musk, and Bill Gates have expressed concerns about an AI takeover. This paper, therefore, offers an analysis on the subject of artificial intelligence and the associated threats.


The growth and advancement in technology have had an adverse effect on many people’s way of life all over the world (Marwala, n.d.). This has brought about devices that have made the living standards of people more improved and easy. However, according to Coppin (2004), other effects of improved technology have negatively affected the general lives of people all over the globe. The development of artificial intelligence is one of the results of advancement in technology that was happily welcomed by many people. Artificial Intelligence, commonly referred to as AI refers to a branch of computer science that deals with the establishment of computer software and programs aimed at the change of the way many people carry out certain tasks (Barrat, 2015). For example, artificial intelligence focuses on the development of programs such that the computers can intelligently carry out tasks that humans would previously do.

Research questions

The study was based on the following research questions:

  1. Why does Stephen Hawking warn the world about AI saying, “The development of full artificial intelligence could spell the end of the human race?
  2. Why does Elon Musk, along with Bill Gates, agree with Stephen Hawking?
  3. How can AI be prevented or controlled from spelling the end of the human race?


Artificial Intelligence refers to software or machines that have the capability to handle intelligent tasks (Coppin, 2004). Moreover, artificial intelligence can be viewed in the context of a form of education on how to redevelop machines and software that are highly advanced in a way that they can handle tasks meant for humans (Flach, 2015). Even though many people are into the business of building artificial intelligence systems, research has shown that most of these people differ in the goals of the project. As Eadicicco (2015) asserts, some of these people aim at the building AI systems with the ability to think like humans.

Another group, however, aims at systems that can get a given task done without factoring in the human thought and any effect that can come from such systems. In addition, there are those people who are found in between the two-goal; they intent to use human reason in the place of a model tasked with the duty of informing, as well as inspiring. However, this group of people does not consider the possibility of the systems imitating humans.

According to the letter written by Future of life organization (2015), the fact that there are different goals involved in the building of Artificial Intelligence systems has resulted in different types of AI; ‘weak’ AI, ‘Strong’ AI, and a ‘In-between’ AI. The ‘strong’ AI aims at the genuine stimulation of human reasoning, whereby it involves the construction of systems with the capability of both thinking and explaining the complexity involved in human thinking. However, the present state of AI has not produced any actual model of strong AI whereby there is real stimulation of the cognition of human beings. Such a situation is attributable to the difficulties that might be involved in solving such a problem.

The ‘Weak’ AI, on the other hand, aims at the process whereby systems are built with the intent of imitating humans. Here, the mechanism involved in human thinking is not of much concern. For example, the IBM’s Deep Blue was a type of AI system that had the ability to play chess but had no ability to play as humans.

The In-Between Artificial Intelligence lies between the ‘weak’ and ‘strong’ AI. These systems get inspiration from human reasoning. In the present situation, the ‘In-between’ AI features most of the strongest activities about AI systems. In this case, the primary goal is on the guidance role of the human reason without the intent of modeling it further. The IMB Watson form as a perfect example of ‘In-between’ AI systems.

Following the inception of Artificial Intelligence, a number of concerns have been raised regarding the safety of human beings in the future. As such, several research studies have been carried to look into the concepts of Artificial Intelligence to establish whether it is dangerous. The primary focus of these studies has been on approaches and problems that have been witnessed as a result of the development of AI systems that have the ability to act and perceiving in given environments. According to Marwala (n.d.), ‘intelligence’ in the context of Artificial Intelligence relates to the economic, as well as the statistical ideas of rationality.

The key concern, thus, is on the colloquial ability of machines to decide, plan, and infer well. As such, a considerable degree of cross-fertilization and integration has been witnessed among Artificial Intelligence, neuroscience, control theory, statistics, learning machines, as well as other fields. The development of Artificial Intelligence has brought about remarkable success due to the available shared theoretical frameworks, data, as well as processing power (Nilsson, 2000). Some of the areas that have experienced a boost as a result of AI development include systems responsible for questions and answers, legged locomotion, a translation that is done by the use of machines, autonomous vehicles, and image classification along with recognition of an individual’s speech.

According to Nelson (2000), even though the improvement of the above areas is possible through the application of technologies that are economically valuable, it is likely that any small change in the existing systems is only possible through a considerable amount of money. For this reason, a lot of research is inevitable to ensure that the devices and programs adopted are not harmful to humans both at present and in the future (Marwala, n.d.). Presently, many researchers and scholars are agreeing to the fact that Artificial Intelligence research is improving at a steady speed. For this reason, society will start experiencing the effects of AI research.

The advantages that come along with the AI research are many. This is attributable to the fact that most of the things that are offered by civilization are as a result of Artificial Intelligence. As such, it is hard to infer the potential achievement of magnified intelligence. However, it is unfathomable to consider poverty and disease eradication in such circumstances. Although there are potential pitfalls of AI, it is necessary to put into consideration the best ways to harness the benefits that come with Artificial Intelligence.

According to Marwala (n.d.), advancement in the AI research equips Artificial Intelligence with technologies and capabilities aimed at further development as well as the maximization of societal benefits of Artificial Intelligence. The fact that the application of Artificial Intelligence in industries such as from information to manufacturing services has been successful proves the role that AI plays in the economy of the world. Despite such milestones, many people have disagreed on the nature of the effects of AI and those of such other technologies. For this reason, there is a need for research that outlines the way through which the economic benefits of Artificial Intelligence can be maximized, while in the process of dealing with the adverse effects caused by AI. Considerations like these make it possible for motivating research directions.

In spite of the fact that there are potential benefits that are involved with Artificial Intelligence, some scientists have seemed to warn against the negative effects of the future use of AI. For example, it is argued that the use of AI can result in market disruptions. This can be attributed to the fact that a considerable part of the economy, such as actuarial, insurance, and finance, are prone to disruption through the adoption of Artificial Intelligence technologies. Market disruption, thus, is possible since AI techniques provide the chance of learning, modeling, as well as predicting agent actions.

Some of the critics of the use of Artificial Intelligence include Bill Gates, Stephen Hawking, and Elon Musk. These three individuals are very influential when it comes to the science of Artificial Intelligence since they have all the necessary information about the AI and the effects of the same. The concern is whether Artificial Intelligence is human-like or whether it is likely to affect human beings in the future (LaBossiere, 2014). Bill Gates, Elon Musk and Stephen Hawking have argued that there are adverse effects associated with Artificial intelligence. These individuals have shown that there are possibilities that the continual development and the use of AI will harm humans in the future.


Following the inception of AI, many researchers have contacted several studies with the aim of establishing the usefulness as well as the negative effects of using Artificial Intelligence. According to LaBossiere (2014), if AI is not looked closely into, there is a possibility of it developing into an existential danger. However, research has shown that the determination of the existential threat of AI can be difficult at times. However, it is perceived that the evolvement of AI is at a fast rate than most biological systems. Such a condition, thus, is likely to gobble all the available resources without the consideration of the fate of human beings. As such, it can be seen that the threat that comes with AI is not a question of a sadistic megalomaniac but one that takes the direction of an evolutionary imperative of itself.

From a different perspective, one would be tempted to think that the only way to create a safe environment would be through building empathy into an Artificial Intelligence (Russell, Norvig & Davis, 2010). However, such a perceptive tends to suffer from two a number of challenges. To begin with is the fact that numerous people tend to poses emphatic characteristics despite the continual state of nastiness, brutality, and roughness. There is also a challenge that is propelled by the fact that a successful strong AI can be engineered step-wise and the need for a self-actualization of the entire process. However, the reason why Stephen Hawking is warning the world about the threat of Artificial Intelligence is that there continued technology of AI has led to the creation of devices that are likely to spell the end of human race in the future.

This follows the fact that the AI has the capacity of creating programs that think and act like humans. As the development continues, it is likely that more advanced software and programs will be developed that can control the thinking of human beings. According to Hawking, in about 100 years to come, different things such as machines will surpass the thinking capability of human beings (Flach, 2015). As such, Stephen Hawking is for the thought that there will come a time when human beings will have no control of intelligent machines. Such a situation will mean that human beings will be slaves to machines, or even they will undergo extermination by the machines. For this reason, Hawking feels that the Artificial Intelligence poses as a danger to the human race in the future considering that technology is improving with each new day.

Bill Gates and Elon Musk agree with Stephen Hawking that in the future, machines such as computers will enslave people (Russell et al., 2010). These scientists agree with Stephen because they are influential people within the field of science. For example, Bill Gates played a great role in the creating the information technology platform that is common all over the world nowadays. In this form of platform, Bill Gates made use of Artificial Intelligence. Stephen Hawking on the other hand, is an expert in Artificial Intelligence expert.

For the recent years, many scholars and researchers have criticized the techniques of artificial intelligence. This follows a belief that there is a possible AI takeover. AI takeover is a condition whereby artificial intelligence is thought to be highly dominant. As such, robots or computers that comprise of AI take will take charge of the earth and thus making the human race to be slaves and even doing away with them. In the science of fiction, the enslavement of the human race by the artificial intelligence appears like an old theme. It is incredible how the humans have the ability to create machines that would exterminate the human species at the end. Considering such situations, it is not surprising that AI experts have warned about the threats of artificial intelligence when it comes to the termination of the human race in the future.

As the threat of the AI takeover increases, many people are worried about the possibility of preventing the takeover (Poole & Mackworth, 2010). If at all a takeover is to be avoided, there must be a common understanding that it is impossible for different species with intelligence to carry out activities with the objective of peaceful mutual coexistence especially in an environment whereby they overlap each other. According to Poole and Mackworth (2010), such a case is even more serious for species that have improved intelligence as well as power. It is argued that it might be difficult to control the threat of Artificial Intelligence enslavement.

For instance, Stephen Hawking argued that the effect of Artificial Intelligence highly depends on the person in control. Many researchers acknowledge that artificial intelligence is a perfect example of “dual use” technology whereby the technology has the possibility of experiencing great harm and good. As such, the only way to avoid the takeover and the subsequent enslavement of the human race in the future is through careful use of artificial intelligence. For this reason, LaBossiere (2014) points out that scientists should explore the approaches as well as any future problems of AI. Such a strategy would make sure that the scientists have an overview of the problems expected in future resulting from AI and thus have a remedy for any foreseen problem.

Annotated Bibliography

Barrat, J. (2015). Why Stephen Hawking and Bill Gates Are Terrified of Artificial Intelligence. . Web.

Barat presents the overview and thoughts of Elon Musk, Stephen Hawking and Bill Gates about the possibility of an artificial intelligence attack. In this article, Barat points out that experts in science have expressed the fear that the human race is at the verge of experiencing an extermination by the continual use of artificial intelligence applications. The emphasis is on the fact that experts who in the actual sense should be providing solutions to problems resulting from the impending AI takeover are the ones expressing the fear. Through this article, Barat shows the how severe the condition might be in an event the human race loses control of the machines that they have created themselves. As such, the article points to the tension that has existed considering that no measures have been put in place to deal with the attack should it occur.

Coppin, B. (2004). Artificial intelligence illuminated. Boston: Jones and Bartlett Publishers. Web.

This book presents an overview of the history of artificial intelligence all over the globe. The book as well presents the challenges and problems associated with artificial intelligence. In this analysis, Coppin outlines that artificial intelligence has the potential of behaving like human beings.

Eadicicco, L. (2015). . Business Insider. Web.

This article presents the thoughts of Stephen Hawking on computers taking over the human race. In this text, Stephen Hawking points out that computers and other related machines are likely to spell an end to the human race. In his opinions, many people have been highly involved with artificial intelligence such that they are not aware of the impending attack or even how to overcome it.

Flach, P. (2015). . Web.

Machine Learning refers to a forum that aims at carrying out computational strategies aimed at learning. In this book, the main emphasis is on problems, methodology as well as on research applications that explain the general overview of artificial intelligence. In this book, Flach outlines that the right strategies in the construction of AI will ensure that there are no threat of AI takeover.

Futureoflife.org,. (2015). . Web.

The future of life organization in their letter urge scientists as well as other entrepreneurs to come together in a bid to help human beings in dealing with artificial intelligence threats. The letter insists that the only way to overcome the AI takeover is through carrying out thorough research on the applications of artificial intelligence.

LaBossiere, M. (2014). . Web.

In this piece, the author compares the science of fiction of real life scenario. The overview is on the possibility of humans creating machines that are likely to take control of the human race in the future. The author explains the scenario of artificial intelligence through examples that include fiction science. The primary focus of the author is on machine rebellion. The article presents the concern on whether the Artificial Intelligence is human-like or whether is likely to affect human beings in the future. This piece outlines the measures that human beings should adopt to deal with AI takeover threat. Through the views of the author, one gets to understand that the treatment that human beings have on machines such is robot is likely to be reciprocated. Such reciprocation marks the AI takeover.

Marwala, T. Artificial intelligence techniques for rational decision-making. Switzerland: Springer International Publishing. Web.

This book presents the idea of dealing with complex problems that can include AI techniques. Marwala outlines the techniques, as well as the concepts that one can adopt when dealing with concepts of correlation machines applicable in causal relationships. The author points the possibilities of rational decision making in the application of artificial intelligence techniques.

Nilsson, N. (2000). Artificial Intelligence. San Francisco, Calif.: Morgan Kaufmann Publishers. Web.

This book features central characters and are seen as intelligent agents. The author begins the text with an illustration of the vital ideas in the use of artificial intelligence technology. The book shows that growing abilities of the intelligent artificial agents can be revealed through understanding AI language, planning, Bayes networks, representation of knowledge, as well as its reasoning. The author thus offers a motivating, as well as a refreshing explanation of the artificial intelligence field.

Poole, D., & Mackworth, A. (2010). Artificial intelligence. New York: Cambridge University Press. Web.

The past years have outlined a proof of artificial intelligence whereby it is presented as an engineering and critical science discipline. In this book, the key focus is on the applications of artificial intelligence through a form of framework that takes into consideration the computational Artificial Intelligence agents. In this book, a balance is struck between experimental and theoretical approaches whereby the book presents the intimate link of the two with the aim of developing the artificial intelligence science and its unique applications. The structure of the book allows for easy use by different readers since it presents its ideas in a style that is self-contained and straightforward. The author wishes to highlight how artificial intelligence has developed over time. In this book, one finds the tools and strategies applied in the science of artificial intelligence.

Russell, S., Norvig, P., & Davis, E. (2010). Artificial intelligence. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall. Web.

This book outlines a comprehensive overview of the theories as well as the practices of artificial intelligence. The book thus presents the database of software using the AI techniques.


This analysis was based on the following three objectives. study was based on the following research questions: to find out the reason why Stephen Hawking warns the world about Artificial Intelligence with the insistence that the development of full artificial intelligence could spell the end of human race. Secondly, the paper aimed at establishing why scientists such as Elon Musk along with Bill Gates agree with Stephen Hawking on the assertion that human race experiencing threat of extermination by AI. Lastly, the paper aimed at finding strategies aimed at the prevention and control of artificial intelligence from taking control of the human race.

From the literature analysis, it is evident that the three research questions were achieved. First, it was evident that Stephen fears the threat of human race extermination because it is almost impossible for different species with different levels of intelligence to co-exist with the aim of achieving the same goals of being in control. The fact that other scientists such as Bill Gates are joining Stephen in the spread of AI takeover threat is an enough proof that there is a need to worry about the consequences of artificial intelligence. Such backing puts weight on Stephen’s assertion considering Bill Gates has been quite instrumental in the success of artificial intelligence applications in many areas all over the world. From the foregoing, it is evident that artificial intelligence has played a significant role in the people’s lives all over the world.

For example, the people’s way of life has changed both positively and negatively. The inception of artificial intelligence has brought about devices, software and programs that influence the standards of living of people. Some of these devices include computers and robots that are very intelligent that people are entirely threatened of extermination. Such threat has been echoed by many scientists with expertise in artificial intelligence such as Bill Gates, Elon Musk and Stephen Hawking. It is evident that artificial intelligence is likely to help the world as opposed to harming it. As well, the technology of artificial intelligence has the potential of causing harm to the world. The only possibility of artificial intelligence causing harm to people is in a situation whereby the scientist dealing with such a technology apply it in the wrong manner or in a situation where by the artificial intelligence cannot be controlled.

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