What If AI Succeeds? The Rise of the Twenty-First Century Artilect

  • Hugo de Garis


Within the time of a human generation, computer technology will be capable of producing computers with as many artificial neurons as there are neurons in the human brain. Within two human generations, intelligists (AI researchers) will have discovered how to use such massive computing capacity in brainlike ways. This situation raises the likelihood that twenty-first century global politics will be dominated by the question, Who or what is to be the dominant species on this planet? This article discusses rival political and technological scenarios about the rise of the artilect (artificial intellect, ultraintelligent machine) and launches a plea that a world conference be held on the so-called "artilect debate."