Adam Cheyer, co-creator of Siri, says the fear of robot overlords is overblown.

Why The Creator Of Apple’s Siri Isn’t Worried About Artificial Intelligence Becoming Too Smart

Adam Cheyer, co-creator of Siri, says the fear of robot overlords is overblown.

Staff Writer

As artificial intelligence grows smarter, the debate rages on about if–or when–its abilities will eventually surpass us.

At least one person in the tech world isn’t worried about the prospect of robot overlords: Adam Cheyer, co-founder of Siri, the voice assistant company that Apple acquired in 2010. Speaking at South by Southwest on March 11, Cheyer summarized Google Brain founder Andrew Ng: Worrying about A.I. becoming too smart right now is like worrying about overpopulation on Mars.

“We’re barely at the beginning of A.I.,” Cheyer said. “There’s nothing to even be done yet.”

At this point, A.I. systems can only perform very specific tasks in the physical world, and they don’t possess emotions or consciousness.

Plus, he said, the intelligence it has is specialized–so much so that a system trained to play a board game like chess can’t translate those skills over to checkers without being programmed by a human to do so. Even in the cases of Siri, Amazon’s Alexa, or IBM’s Watson, systems that possess huge swaths of knowledge are actually fairly limited.

“Today’s computers,” Cheyer said, “don’t have the ability to generalize the way a two-year-old human can.”

The Mars analogy is a thinly veiled jab at Elon Musk, who in addition to being obsessed with the prospect of colonizing Mars is also one of the tech world’s biggest A.I. fearmongers. Along with Y Combinator founder Sam Altman, Musk co-founded OpenAI, a non-profit with $1 billion in pledged backing that has the goal of ensuring artificial intelligence is used for good. Musk has in the past referred to A.I. as the “biggest existential threat” to humanity.

Still, the Mars analogy underplays the rate at which technology improves–just compare advancements in tech from the past 20 years to those of the previous hundred. Artificial intelligence might still be in its early days, but the rate of improvement is likely to grow even faster, so there’s merit in taking precautions now.

Cheyer, who co-founded the personal assistant software company Viv in 2012, also pointed out that the way humans interact with computers is due for a change. In 1985, the personal computer arrived; in 1995, the web browser; in 2007, the smartphone. “We’re overdue for a paradigm shift,” he said.

One way that could happen, Cheyer says, is with chatbots, whether they’re text-based or conversation-based. “Every company will not only have a website and an app,” he said, “but also an assistant that can provide information about the company and answer questions.”

Read Next


Latest

Envy and comparison do not have to be bad, they can be magic. Use them for good.

Jealous? Use It. 5 Ways to Accelerate Your Performance Using Comparison

I added swimming into my workout regimen. The last time I "swam" intentionally was over 20 years ago. And by "swam" I don't mean well, or professionally, just enough to get a... (contd.)
How can leaders help their employees be more productive? Here are helpful strategies to speed things up in the office.

How To Make Your Employees Want To Become More Productive

Thanks to numerous technological innovations, the world is moving faster than ever with no signs of it slowing down. Email, texting, team communication software, and smartphones not only streamlined our workflow but... (contd.)
Social networks allow to make your business relationships more authentic.

How You Can Leverage Social Media As An Entrepreneur

A few years ago, the prevailing wisdom about using social media to network with industry peers was that LinkedIn was the only appropriate platform on which to connect. This would usually involve... (contd.)
Content marketing can help you build brand awareness, generate leads, and drive conversions.

This Is Why You Need A Content Strategy for Your Ecommerce Site

Content marketing is a powerful way to grow an ecommerce business. It can help you build brand awareness, generate leads, and drive conversions. However, many ecommerce websites still underestimate the importance of... (contd.)
Sheraa has a big month

Sheraa Has A Big Month As It Aims To Make Sharjah A Startup Hub

Sharjah Entrepreneurship Centre (Sheraa)—a launch pad for aspiring entrepreneurs in Sharjah and the UAE—has partnered with budget carrier Air Arabia to launch a ‘travel and tourism’ track at it’s co-working space.This presents... (contd.)
- Advertisement -
Join Our Daily Newsletter
Sign up to get all the business news and intelligence that matters straight to your mailbox.
Join Our Newsletter !
Like This Article? Subscribe To Our Newsletter To Receive More Of Them Straight In Your Inbox
Contact Us.
Your Name
Email
Message
     
Thank you for your interest in Inc. Arabia. Please leave your contact details below, and we'll be in touch with you very soon.
Like This Article? Subscribe To Our Newsletter To Receive More Of Them Straight In Your Inbox