'AI will never replace humans,' top European future researcher says

  • AI
  • Sunday, 28 May 2023

At best job losses and at worst the total loss of control over civilization: Predictions for the impact of AI are largely grim, but one future researcher says he doesn't believe it spells our downfall. — Photo: Sven Hoppe/dpa

HAMBURG: Amid widespread warnings of the threats posed by artificial intelligence, futurist Horst Opaschowski says he does not see AI as a clear and definite threat to humanity, even if this technology does pose risks.

"AI will never replace humans, at best it will only be able to copy them slightly," the Germany-based future researcher said in an interview with the Catholic News Agency KNA.

Recent warnings about the rise of AI say the technology could see widespread job losses or worse, should it "get smarter than people," as the technology's "godfather" Geoffrey Hinton put it when he quit his job at Google in early May.

Tech business bosses had earlier put their names to a letter calling for a six-month pause on AI advances, lest we "develop nonhuman minds that might eventually outnumber, outsmart, obsolete and replace us" and in turn "risk loss of control of our civilization."

The World Health Organization has meanwhile said that introducing AI into health care procedures brings the risk of "completely incorrect" information and treatment errors.

However Opaschowski, who runs the Opaschowski Institute for Futures Research in Hamburg, says he remains optimistic overall.

"A futurologist who does not believe in change for the better can hang up their boots," he said. "I was probably born with a positive attitude towards life."

However Opaschowski agrees with the widespread prediction that AI will "change many things in society for the better or for the worse."

"Therefore, we have to find answers to the questions of whether these changes are morally good, whether they are socially just and whether they make life better and more worth living." – dpa

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