Yeah, sentience is a completely important question too. There are good reasons to think that robotic sentience is (in theory) possible.
But intelligence needn't be sentient to be scary. It just needs a route by which it solves the problems it was told to solve. A stock trading supercomputer that trashes the world economy to get superior returns needn't know what it's doing. It just needs the tools to do it, and the programed drive to get it done.
Wealth is created when we use new knowledge to create new things or improve efficiencies.
This technology, along with people pondering applications using type three levers is literally a new mechanical revolution in waiting. There are going to be many patents, from people who're curious and can tinker.