In 2006, a survey by Elon University and the Pew Internet Project in America asked some 742 technology experts and social critics whether autonomous machines would leave humans out of the loop. Slightly over half thought people would not lose control, but not all that many fewer felt they might.
Respondents were invited to give their views. A recurring theme was that “technology beyond our control” was rather alarmist. The history of applying automation to human tasks (telephone operators, for instance) had not left people unduly at the mercy of autonomous contraptions. Defying Shelley’s prognostication, many respondents felt few technologies live beyond the control of their creators: everything has a “choke point” of one sort or another—built in, often subconsciously, for reasons of convenience, safety or mistake. Read More