ARTIFICIAL intelligence will enhance humans but there will be difficulties along the way, one of Google's top ranking chiefs has warned.
Experts are looking at ways to create AI which will ultimately benefit humanity and Google's director of engineering, Ray Kurzweil, backs up that theory.
However, he insists mankind will have to endure "difficult episodes" on the way to achieving machine learning which falls in line with our goals.
Mr Kurzweil said at the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) in Washington, DC, that technology is a "double-edged sword" which has helped and hindered humans, and he expects the same of AI.
The 69-year old said: "Technology has always been a double-edged sword. Fire kept us warm, cooked our food and burned down our houses.
"World War II - 50 million people died, and that was certainly exacerbated by the power of technology at that time."
However, he dismissed warnings from the likes of Stephen Hawking, who said that AI will eventually replace humans as the dominant force on Earth.
Mr Kurzweil: "My view is not that AI is going to displace us. It's going to enhance us. It does already."
The Google boss has previously stated that the singularity - the point where humans and machines merge - will occur in 2029.
But he says this is already beginning thanks to our reliance on things like smartphones, which he referred to as "brain extenders".
He told the CFR: "I mean, who can do their work without these brain extenders we have today? And that's going to continue to be the case."
Mr Kurzweil, who has been nicknamed the "future teller", is known for his futuristic predictions.
He has previously told Futurism: "2029 is the consistent date I have predicted for when an AI will pass a valid Turing test and therefore achieve human levels of intelligence.
"I have set the date 2045 for the â??Singularity' which is when we will multiply our effective intelligence a billion fold by merging with the intelligence we have created."