The AI Revolution: Our Immortality or Extinction
Before we dive into things, let’s remind ourselves what it would mean for a machine to be superintelligent. Often, someone’s first thought when they imagine a super-smart computer is one that’s as intelligent as a human but can think much, much faster —they might picture a machine that thinks like a human, except a million times quicker, which means it could figure out in five minutes what would take a human a decade.
But the kind of superintelligence we’re talking about today is something far beyond anything on this staircase. In an intelligence explosion—where the smarter a machine gets, the quicker it’s able to increase its own intelligence, until it begins to soar upwards—a machine might take years to rise from the chimp step to the one above it, but perhaps only hours to jump up a step once it’s on the dark green step two above us, and by the time it’s ten steps above us, it might be jumping up in four-step leaps every second that goes by.