For example nanorobots could continuously run around in our bodies repairing

For example nanorobots could continuously run around

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causes. For example, nanorobots could continuously run around in our bodies repairing cells damaged through natural aging. As another example, humans could progressively replace different body parts with superior artificial organs and limbs, and continue to replace them as upgraded versions became available. At the other extreme, there are those who believe that superintelligence poses an existential threat to humans. Elon Musk says that AI is “our greatest existential threat”. Steven Hawking says , “The development of full artificial intelligence could spell the end of the human race.” Contrary to what you see in the movies, the risk is not necessarily from artificially sentient beings who suddenly decide, with intent, to attack humans or to defend themselves against a human attack. Rather, the risk arises from the unpredictability and potential irreversibility of deploying a machine that optimizes its actions, in whatever way it sees fit, to achieve some human-set goal. In the same way that there is a risk that nuclear reactions can escape the control of human operators, there is a risk that an AI program can escape the control of its human programmers. These risks do not mean that we shouldn’t pursue advances in AI. But , they do mean that we should devote more research and resources into studying the economic and societal impact of AI. These impacts include: o the displacement of workers due to greater automation in the workplace o the ethics of autonomous weapon systems o managing the risks of super-intelligent systems and keeping them under human control. Figure 8: PD10 Unit 10 Presentation 1 Slide 18
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12 © University of Waterloo and others S O F T W A R E I S C H A N G I N G T H E W O R L D In summary software is changing the world - and at a rapid pace. Changes include: o the loss of personal privacy o changes in societal and cultural norms due to the global adoption of social media o the impact of automation on employment o the ascent of autonomous weapons and defense systems o the risks of super-intelligent systems o the technological disruptions in the medical field and other industries All of these things are happening at speeds faster than society can easily assimilate. So, as you (and the software industry in general) continue to push the limits of how software is used to build bigger and better products, give some thought to the possible consequences - both positive and negative - of that software. Software is changing the world. It is a developer’s professional duty to help ensure that the software they build changes the world for the better. This concludes the PD10 course on professional responsibility in computing. Over the course of the term, we covered a lot of laws that pertain to the use or development of software - on intellectual property, software licenses and end-user agreements, warranties and liabilities, privacy and the protection of personal information.
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