Feature:Opinion

The Military-Industrial-Googleplex is Creating Artificial Intelligence

What could possibly go wrong with Google creating military-grade artificial intelligence (AI)?

Stephen Hawking, a world-leading scientist, warned on the BBC that “the development of full artificial intelligence could spell the end of the human race” in part because it involves “developing weapons we cannot even understand.”

Elon Musk, cofounder of Tesla Motors and Paypal, told The Guardian: “with artificial intelligence we are summoning the demon,” and that it’s “our biggest existential threat.”

“This is not a case of crying wolf about something I don’t understand,” Musk said.

Google Chairman Eric Schmidt dismissed such fears at a Financial Times event: “These concerns are normal; they’re also to some degree misguided.” He explained something bad could happen only “while we’re not watching.” He reassured that “we had the power cord in our hands.”

What Mr. Schmidt did not say is that Google may be the only entity in the world that is purposefully assembling most all the component parts necessary to create a global military-grade artificial intelligence.

Consider the evidence that Google already has the key component parts in place.

Google is arguably the world leader in artificial intelligence because of its broad leadership in machine learning.

Google’s Nest founder Matt Rogers explains Google’s essence: “Google is about big data, machine learning, and operational efficiency,” according to Fast Company.

“Everything in the company is really driven by machine learning,” said Matthew Zeiler, the CEO of visual search startup Clarifai, who worked for Google on Google Brain – the company’s corporate machine learning effort, according to Wired.

Google co-founder Sergey Brin explained “the brain project, is really machine learning… we’ve been using it for the self-driving cars. It’s been helpful for a number of Google services. And then, there’s more general intelligence, like the DeepMind acquisition that — in theory — we hope will one day be fully reasoning AI… you should presume that someday, we will be able to make machines that can reason, think and do things better than we can,” according to a fireside chat with Khosla Ventures.

Google has quickly acquired or hired many of the world’s top artificial intelligence and machine learning experts including DeepMind, the founders of Dark Blue Labs and Vision Factory.

Google executive Jeff Dean boasts that Google has “probably 30 to 40 different teams at Google using our [AI] infrastructure,” according to Wired. Dean also told Wired that Google’s AI models become more accurate the more data they process, so they are scaling their AI models to process billions rather than millions of data points.

Google is also unique in its breadth, depth and global reach of data collection, infrastructure and software applications that are the necessary building blocks of military-grade artificial intelligence.

With a unique “mission to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful,” Google searches 60 trillion unique URLs to build its 100-million gigabyte index of information. The world’s largest machine-readable base of 1.6 billion facts resides in Google’s Knowledge Vault.

And only Google has auto-translation services for the world’s top eighty languages covering 97 percent of the world’s population.