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It's Okay To Be Smart

WATCH: Is Ultron Inevitable?

8 MAY 2015

In the latest Marvel Avengers movie, a not-so rag-tag group of heroes battle it out against the Universe's most malicious machine - Ultron. Or as Joe Hanson likes to call him in the episode of It's Okay To Be Smart above, "the baddest bits and bytes ever coded - artificial intelligence gone pure evil". And sure, it's just a movie, but when you've got the likes of Stephen Hawking and Elon Musk saying that super-smart machines could eventually be our downfall, we need to start thinking seriously about the technology we're advancing.


But is this digital doomsday bound to happen? Is Ultron inevitable?

The AI we have right now doesn't look like a slick, metal man hell-bent on destruction - the kind we spend most of our time with innocuously filters our emails, suggests which YouTube videos to watch, and keeps our homes toasty warm or refreshingly cool. None of which is going to get us killed if it goes wrong, except if that toasty warm suddenly becomes oven hot, and we forget how to leave the house.

And even the artificial intelligence that controls much higher-stake things like traffic signals, elevators, stock market trades, and the electrical grid - they could all fail too, but that's pretty much all they can do: work or fail. Unlike the incredible human brain, which performs an array of complex functions simultaneously, these types of technologies aren't capable of performing anything other than the one task they were designed to master. 

Of course, that doesn't mean that technology is never going to catch up, and some day even surpass, our own amazing intelligence. And the best part? Experts have even decided on a date for when they think this is all going to come to pass. No way I'm giving that away, so you'll just have to watch the episode of It's Okay To Be Smart above to find out if you have enough time to pack for Mars...