Don’t Fear AI: AMPP’s Keynote Addresses Artificial Intelligence

Artificial intelligence (AI) will lead to a promising future and is not to be feared, renowned physicist Michio Kaku told a packed house as the keynote speaker for the 2024 AMPP Annual Conference + Expo on Monday afternoon.

Targeting his message to his audience with references to corrosion and the future of construction, the professor of theoretical physics at the City University of New York presented his vision of a future paved by AI and nanotechnology.

He doused fears of a future led by out-of-control AI, saying a scientist views chatbots and other forms of AI as similar to a tape recorder.

“A tape recorder faithfully records the human voice, and then you can chop it up and reassemble it to create something new,” he said. “A chatbot goes into this gigantic structure called the Internet, isolates what you want, chops it up, splices it together, and puts it out for you. So chatbots are nothing to be afraid of. They are simply glorified tape recorders. They don't think. They're not original.”

The author, whom AMPP CEO Alan Thomas called “one of the world’s leading scientific figures,” envisions a future where structures with embedded sensors will report their own incidences of corrosion. Furthermore, cars will tell their owners when their engines begin to suffer from wear and tear.

“Now we have artificial intelligence, eyes and ears aroundthe world that can spot the decay of our infrastructure without having to seebridges fall down,” Kaku said. “And this is not just bridges. It affects society in general.”

Attendee Melinda Fagundes of Richland, Washington, found Kaku’s talk enlightening.

“He did a really good job of explaining things in layman'sterms for us, because we’re not all theoretical physicians,” she said. “It’s amazing to think that these changes could be coming so quickly, but technology's been advancing exponentially. The future is coming, and we have to get on board or get off the ride.”

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