WASHINGTON (CBS DC) — Physicist and author Louis Del Monte warns that the “top species will no longer be humans, but machines” within three decades.
Del Monte, author of “The Artificial Intelligence Revolution,” tells Business Insider that artificial intelligence will be more advanced than not only an individual’s, but also the world’s combined human intelligence as well. Del Monte says that this trend is already increasing exponentially with a lack of legislation on how much intelligence machines can have programmed.
“Today there’s no legislation regarding how much intelligence a machine can have, how interconnected it can be,” Del Monte tells Business Insider. “If that continues, look at the exponential trend. We will reach the singularity in the timeframe most experts predict. From that point on you’re going to see that the top species will no longer be humans, but machines.”
Del Monte estimates that machines will slowly merge with humans, creating cyborg meshes, and that human intelligence will be outmatched by 2040, or no later than 2045.
“By the end of this century,” he said, “most of the human race will have become cyborgs [part human, part tech or machine]. The allure will be immortality. Machines will make breakthroughs in medical technology, most of the human race will have more leisure time, and we’ll think we’ve never had it better. The concern I’m raising is that the machines will view us as an unpredictable and dangerous species.”
He added that the process of machines and humans mixing will be slow, but effects are already being seen.
“It won’t be the ‘Terminator’ scenario, not a war,” said Del Monte. “In the early part of the post-singularity world, one scenario is that the machines will seek to turn humans into cyborgs. This is nearly happening now, replacing faulty limbs with artificial parts. We’ll see the machines as a useful tool. Productivity in business based on automation will be increased dramatically in various countries. In China it doubled, just based on GDP per employee due to use of machines.”
Human instability and inclination toward wars may cause machines to become self-conscious and to begin viewing the human race as a threatening species to their well-being – at which point they will have developed the ability to defend themselves.
“They might view us the same way we view harmful insects,” said Del Monte, adding that humans are a species that is “unstable, creates wars, has weapons to wipe out the world twice over, and makes computer viruses.”
Del Monte says artificial intelligence is already learning “self-preservation” abilities – something that he says will cause the machines to fight back before midcentury.