‘Artificial intelligence will never replace humans,’ says one of Europe’s best future researchers

Natalie Portman
By Natalie Portman 3 Min Read
origin 1Jobs lost at best and total loss of control over civilization at worst: Predictions of AI’s impact are largely grim, but one future researcher says he doesn’t believe it means our downfall. Sven Hoppe/dpa

Among widespread warnings about the threats posed by artificial intelligence, futurist Horst Opaschowski says he doesn’t see AI as a clear-cut threat to humanity, even if this technology poses risks.

“Artificial intelligence will never replace humans, at best it will only be able to slightly copy them,” the Germany-based future researcher said in an interview with Catholic news agency KNA.

Recent warnings about the rise of artificial intelligence say the tech could see widespread job losses or worse, if it “gets smarter than people,” as the “godfather” of technology Geoffrey Hinton said when he quit his job in Google in early May.

The heads of the tech companies had previously put their names in a letter calling for a six-month pause on AI advances, lest “we develop non-human minds that may eventually outnumber us, outwit us, become obsolete and replace us” and, in turn, “risk the loss of control of our civilization.”

The World Health Organization has meanwhile stated that the introduction of AI in healthcare procedures carries the risk of “completely incorrect” information and therapeutic errors.

However Opaschowski, who heads the Opaschowski Institute for Futures Research in Hamburg, says he is optimistic overall.

“A futurist who doesn’t believe in change for the better can hang up his boots,” he said. “I was probably born with a positive attitude towards life.”

However Opaschowski agrees with the widespread prediction that artificial intelligence “will change many things in society for the better or for the worse”.

“Therefore, we need to find answers to the questions of whether these changes are morally good, whether they are socially just, and whether they make life better and more worth living.”

origin 1Futurist Horst Opaschowski says AI “will change many things in society for the better or for the worse,” but remains optimistic overall. Daniel Bockwoldt/dpa

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