I hear people being afraid of artificial intelligence like it is something in the future. But, most humans on this planet are already artificial intelligence. They walk, talk, function in their everyday lives, yet have no sense of being the observer of this phenomena called life.
As far of who is in charge, that is the scariest part, because these automatons are presently running the world.
Descartes said: "I think, there for I am." I feel compelled to add to that: "I observe, therefore I am." And, "I envision, therefore I evolve."
If you are simply existing from day to day without using your imagination and stepping back in your mind to observe your life, without getting completely immersed and distracted by shiny stuff, your are artificial intelligence.
Yes; working for the betterment of human kind and being financially successful does have more value than just being a bump on a log, yet if you don't have the self aware consciousness to go with it, you will be replaced by machines eventually.
People fear the aspect of machines taking over the world, yet in order for that to happen, the machines would have to have an ego. The basic ego, is to find meaning in this existence and that is good, but the ego of vanity and narcissism is not good. In either case, you cannot give that to a machine, because most people don't really know what the basic life meaning ego is, let alone how to package it and insert it into a machine. Heck, we can't even insert it into another person.
The basic life force or soul is developed by dealing with suffering. The best way of which is to transform it to something useful and meaningful. So if an artificial intelligent machine were to have the capabilities to evolve, it would have to feel pain and understand what that is emotionally.
It's not artificial intelligence that will wipe us out, It is the false sense of intelligence that society thinks it has, by not developing visionary and critical thinking, that will do the job. It is not realizing that the only things that sets us apart from being an automaton, is our ability to be creative and envision.
It is being attracted to the pied piper of shiny things over substance, that is and will continue to lead us over the cliff.
It is the skewed educational system, that values memorization and calculation over creative programs. Grades over true learning, sports over total health consciousness.
It is worshiping technology in and of itself, rather than it simply being a tool.
It is the avoidance of looking at ourselves and seeing what we personally need to change in ourselves and not expecting technology to automatically change us, just by looking at someone else's brilliant idea.