Stephen Hawking is once again warning about the perils of AI. "The development of full artificial intelligence could spell the end of the human race," he recently told the BBC, adding that "It would take off on its own, and re-design itself at an ever increasing rate...Humans, who are limited by slow biological evolution, couldn't compete and would be superseded." He joins Elon Musk and others in this assessment.
We can already build computer programs that are vastly superior to human beings. I mean, that's why we build computer programs in the first place. There's nothing a computer can do that humans couldn't do manually, given enough time and effort.
There are a lot of assumptions hidden in that statement, but the doozy is the idea that a self-improving AI would need to compete with humans. That's only true if humans and the AIs are going to occupy the same ecological niche. That's a strange assumption to make. We don't use the same resources, at least not for our survival.