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If you are prone to watching many science-fiction films, then the letters 'AI' might bring back memories of apocalyptic wars, in which sentient robots rising up and killing their human creators. There is a fear surrounding the new technology, partially thanks to Hollywood, but also due to the fact that AI is still such an unknown science. We still know relatively little about it, and we are discovering new things about it every day.
In an interview with Axios, Facebook's Head of AI, Yann LeCun, stated that we shouldn't be worrying about AI potentially harming humanity since society has built in "checks and balances", which will prevent the new technology from taking full control.
"We have a lot of checks and balances built into society to prevent evil from having infinite power. Most companies are not either working for good or evil—they’re just maximizing profits. But we have all sorts of rules and laws to prevent our economy from going haywire. It will be the same thing for AI," LeCun told Axios.
He went on to highlight that they're still very early on in the development of AI, and there's still a long way to go. "Learning to build AI systems that are safe—not because they’re going to take over the world, but because you want them to work reliably—is going to take some time, similar to how long it took people to figure out how to build airplanes that don’t crash," finished LeCun.
Therefore, if someone as senior and as knowledgeable on artificial intelligence as Facebook's Head of AI believes that there's nothing to be afraid of, then we should probably listen to him. However, this won't stop Hollywood from making science-fiction movies where the robots take control. This idea is so deeply entrenched in our psyche, that we'll probably always be slightly suspicious of AI, but the truth of the matter is that it'll help us exponentially in our every day lives.