Think of Seeflection as Fire Watchers, Inc.

The concept of creating a magical device that will do the ultimate good and the ultimate bad for the human race could be summarized as AI, which will affect every major industry, including automotive, telecommunications, computing, manufacturing and finance, to name a few.

Its impact will even dwarf the effect the internet has on the modern world.

In a recent article, Marie Sbrocca equated the birth of AI with the discovery of  fire and its humble and frightening beginnings. How probably, quite accidentally, some folks found a burning piece of dung and “ding” the bell went off in somebody’s Homo Erectus brain. “This is magic” might have been grunted all around the fire that night. After trials and errors, they realized this “magic” could be both good and evil. It could cook the meat, warm the cave and be a tool for hollowing out logs for canoes—or as a weapon via flaming arrows. It could also cause nasty burns and wipe out the forest.

Sbrocca wondered in her article whether the tribe worried and discussed the power of fire. Did dissenting voices say it was too dangerous to keep around? Were pros and cons weighed? Were the arguments equal in logic, in passion? Hard to say. In the end all arguments were moot when a few hundred thousand years later humans learned how to create a spark by beating rocks together. Fire became a tool, not a burden to keep lit.

We are at that intersection once again as a species with AI and quantum computing. The infighting, though perfectly natural and logical, is giving AI some bad public relations.

Billionaire Elon Musk, chief executive officer of Tesla Motors Inc., listens during the StartmeupHK Venture Forum in Hong Kong, China, on Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2016.

“If you are going to go, for goodness sake, go slow,” paraphrased from Elon Musk.

The introduction to AI onto planet Earth is having similar arguments to those the tribe might have had. The fire is far grander, and the tribe’s grunting is faster, but it has similar components.

One might consider Elon Musk, the leading voice of caution on AI, with practically everyone else in the AI industry as the tribe. Musk says, in so many words, that we need to be ultra cautious when implementing this new magic. He doesn’t say don’t use it. He says be wary of it, and he says it often. Below is from  a Fortune Magazine interview with Musk.

On CNBC, Musk said AI could be a bigger threat than North Korea.

But, the rest of the tribe is moving full speed ahead in the usage of AI for everything from soup to nuts to campfire monitoring.

We at Seeflection are focused on the road ahead, where today’s AI magic promises great achievements along with the potential for great problems at the same time. We prefer the former to the latter.