First off, I'm not making any moral judgements here, nor (and especially!) do I want to start any arguments ... rather would like to hear your educated opinions in a thoughtful discussion. I think everyone here is qualified to talk about this.
Over the last couple of years, concerns of run-away artificial intelligence eventually getting the better of us
have risen to general public awareness.
Opinions and insights range from essentially "nah, it's not a big deal," to AI being the "greatest existential" problem humanity has to face (Elon Musk).
Although, "AI" studies are many decades old, AI has really taken off in the last couple of years. With the ever increasing power of processors and memory capacity, coupled with a 'deep net' under the internet, the possibilities of AI surpassing human intelligence - at least in calculation abilities
So what does that have to do with things that Parallax sells - or with microcontrollers or tiny systems generally?
If we think of how IoT is starting to interlink many small systems, it's not out of line to consider these like molecules
in a potentially larger, self-organizing system. To me, IoT stands now at a stage similar to when the internet was still the DARPA Net, when a few university mainframes were 'talking' to each other via Sockets :)
. Now, the interlinking of small to medium devices is growing at head-spinning paces. Sure, the Propeller, or any micro, doesn't have the capacity to be smart enough to be turned into an arm of Arnold. And yet, there are many near-future scenarios we can imagine, from truly beneficial to horrifically unthinkable ...
We all know about Asimov's Three Laws of Robotics
. Many may have heard too of the Code of Ethics on Human Augmentation
. Musk thinks politicians must see the need to regulate beforehand.
We - as technicians, experimenters, engineers - are watching the 'birth' of intelligent machines. We are part of this process - which makes us partly (even fully) responsible for what will happen. No, I'm not a Luddite - and I certainly would not want to discourage having fun with (or making money with) any of these things. But the whole realm is still in our hands because it has not become complex enough to self-replicate and "get loose" <- that's not far off.
PS Here's some interesting, thought-proviking places:
(Which refers to:)
There, Musk, Thiel, and other high-profile technologists are trying to keep us ahead of the curve.