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Is Ultron inevitable? PBS video explores whether AI is out to get us

There's been a lot of talk lately about artificial intelligence, with the likes of Bill Gates, Elon Musk and even Stephen Hawking expressing concern that smart machines will turn on us. Are they right?

With " Avengers: Age of Ultron" beginning its international theatrical release this week, the time seems right to talk about whether artificial intelligence could really one day surpass human intelligence and set out on a mission to destroy humanity. In PBS' latest episode of "It's Okay to be Smart," host Joe Hanson explores the possibilities in a clip titled "Is Ultron Inevitable?"

In it, Hanson shows how AI actually runs things like smart home products, fuel economy calculations, traffic signals and even the electrical grid.

Frankly, it seems we're already a good portion of the way there when it comes to hardware, Hanson argues, as computers already are super fast and parallel the processors in our heads, but AI is limited by the software it's programmed to run. As long as we design software to benefit humanity, we should be able to keep our AI from going bad. At least, until we somehow figure out how to train it to think for themselves. At that point, all bets are off.

The video comes as many prominent figures in the tech industry express growing wariness of AI. People like former Microsoft CEO Bill Gates, current Tesla CEO Elon Musk and legendary theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking all have warned that our AI could soon outsmart us, if it doesn't already. Naturally, we all hope they're wrong, as I think it's safe to say that most of us enjoy being alive and don't really want to be wiped out by machines.

Hanson partnered with Jake Roper, host of the YouTube channel Vsauce3, on the episode, with Roper playing the super-intelligent robot that just wants to make humanity happy. As a bonus, Roper released another Avengers-themed video on his channel that explores whether you could realistically become Iron Man. Watch that video below.