A New Study Finds the Limits of Humans' Ability to Control AI

Already, machines perform tasks we can’t understand how they learned. And researchers claim that an algorithm containing AI has proven “incomputable.”

By
Tech
11,787 Hypes 10 Comments

Humans could not stop an artificially intelligent machine from making its own decisions or predict what decisions it might make, according to a recent study out of the Max-Planck Institute for Humans and Machines. Study co-author and research group leader Manuel Cebrian understands that the concept of a human-built machine humans do not understand may sound absurd to some, but he explains that such technology is already in existence.

“There are already machines that perform certain important tasks independently without programmers fully understanding how they learned it. The question therefore arises whether this could at some point become uncontrollable and dangerous for humanity”, says study co-author Manuel Cebrian, per Business Insider.

Superintelligence poses different barriers than most subjects of “robot ethics” given their ability to adapt beyond the original scope of their programming. So, to study the problem, the research group conceived of a theoretical calculation called a “containment algorithm” to see whether an artificial intelligence could be controlled by programming it not to harm humans under any circumstances and to halt if the action is considered harmful. However, the researchers found that within the current bounds of computing, an air-tight algorithm to this effect could not be created; as the research group states “the containment problem is incomputable.”

“If you break the problem down to basic rules from theoretical computer science, it turns out that an algorithm that would command an AI not to destroy the world could inadvertently halt its own operations. If this happened, you would not know whether the containment algorithm is still analyzing the threat, or whether it has stopped to contain the harmful AI. In effect, this makes the containment algorithm unusable”, explains Director of the Center for Humans and Machines Iyad Rahwan.

And to extend this line of reasoning, we therefore also may not be able to predict when super-intelligent machines will evolve — or even known we they’ve arrived. Scientists, including at times controversial figures like Elon Musk have warned in recent years about the more nefarious potentials of powerful AI, and these questions and fears are hardly new among casual followers of tech news. Innovation in the sphere nonetheless continues, with recent project like Mercedes-Benz’s 56-inch artificial intelligence hub.

Read Full Article

What to Read Next

On's The Roger Centre Court Returns in Crisp "Ice" Colorway
Footwear

On's The Roger Centre Court Returns in Crisp "Ice" Colorway

A no-frills makeup for Roger Federer’s signature lifestyle silhouette.

elephant TRIBAL fabrics SS21 Is Inspired by Japanese "City Pop" Music
Fashion

elephant TRIBAL fabrics SS21 Is Inspired by Japanese "City Pop" Music

Drawing from childhood memories of theme parks.

Jordan Brand Honors NBA All-Star Weekend With This Two-Toned Air Jordan 1 Low SE
Footwear

Jordan Brand Honors NBA All-Star Weekend With This Two-Toned Air Jordan 1 Low SE

The understated Jordan installment forms its upper with smooth and glossy leathers.


Pared-Back Tailoring and Workwear Galvanize Lemaire FW21
Fashion

Pared-Back Tailoring and Workwear Galvanize Lemaire FW21

The co-ed collection is loose, loungey and multi-purpose.

The Nike Air Force 1 "Valentine's Day" Was Made for Lovers
Footwear

The Nike Air Force 1 "Valentine's Day" Was Made for Lovers

With hidden messages on its tongue, heart-shaped perforations on its toebox and more.

WOOYOUNGMI FW21 Informs a Fantastical Reimagining of the Dress Codes for the Great Outdoors
Fashion

WOOYOUNGMI FW21 Informs a Fantastical Reimagining of the Dress Codes for the Great Outdoors

A co-ed collection that consistently draws on the distinctive South Korean style energy.

More ▾
 
Subscribe to our Newsletter

Gain access to exclusive interviews with industry creatives, think pieces, trend forecasts, guides and more.

By subscribing, you agree to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

Adblock Detected.

We charge advertisers instead of our readers. If you enjoy our content, please add us to your adblocker's whitelist. We'd really appreciated it.