Science Fiction has frequently shown AI to be a threat to the very existence of mankind. AI systems have often been the antagonists in many works of fiction, from 2001: A Space Odyssey through to The Terminator and beyond.
The Media seems to buy into this trope as well. And in recent years we have had people like Elon Musk warn us of the dangers of an impending AI revolution, stating that AI is more dangerous than nukes.
And, apparently, experts think that we will be seeing this AI revolution in the next 100 years.
However, from my (albeit limited) study of AI, I get the impression that they are all wrong. I am going to outline my understanding below, please correct me if I am wrong:
Firstly, all of these things seem to be confusing Artificial Intelligence with Artificial Consciousness. AI is essentially a system to make intelligent decisions, whereas AC is more like the "self-aware" systems that are shown in science fiction.
Not AI itself, but intelligence and intelligent decision-making algorithms are something we've been working with and enhancing since before computers have been around. Moving this over to an artificial framework is fairly easy. However, consciousness is still something we are learning about. My guess is we won't be able to re-create something artificially if we barely understand how it works in the real world.
So, my conclusion is that no AI system will be able to learn enough to start thinking for itself, and that all our warnings of AI are completely unjustified.
The real danger comes from AC, which we are a long, long way from realizing because we are still a long way off from defining exactly what consciousness is, let alone understanding it.
So, my question is, assuming that my understanding is correct, are any efforts are being made by companies or organizations that work with AI to correct these popular misunderstandings in sci-fi, the media, and/or the public?
Or are the proponents of AI ambivalent towards this public fear-mongering?
I understand that the fear mongering is going to remain popular for some time, as bad news sells better than good news. I am just wondering if the general attitude from AI organizations is to ignore this popular misconception, or whether a concerted effort is being made to fight against these AI myths (but unfortunately nobody in the media is listening or cares).