AI News, Artificial Intelligence

Artificial Intelligence: a Noble End for Humanity?

According to the Merriam-Webster online dictionary, artificial intelligence (AI) is, “1) a branch of computer science dealing with the simulation of intelligent behavior in computers, or 2) the capability of a machine to imitate intelligent human behavior.” The definition doesn’t even begin to scratch the surface as to how AI will impact humanity.

To understand this branch of computer science, one must recognize that many companies have built business models that rely on compiling, storing, and analyzing staggering amounts of data, particularly personal data from our(“the crowd”) daily online usage and transactions.

The data is stored in what is called “the cloud,” or cloud computing: “the practice of storing regularly used computer data on multiple servers that can be accessed through the Internet.” You only have to look at your own online experience with ads suddenly popping up on your laptop, tablet, or smartphone, to know that any interest you may have shown with online browsing, purchases, video and news viewing habits has been tracked and analyzed by all manner of consumer and financial business interests.

For AI to squeeze humans out of the job market it need only outperform us in the specific abilities a particular profession demands.”Combining Lee’s and Harari’s observations, it appears that whether you like jobs dealing with people on a daily basis at a highly personal level or not, these may be the only professions not taken over by AI (e.g., home health aide, hair stylist, dog trainer, psychiatrist, concierge, etc).

Will an A.I. Ever Become Sentient?

“Sentience” is a word with seriously heavy connotations that also tend to hold different meaning to different people and under differing circumstances.

b: the ability to apply knowledge to manipulate one’s environment or to think abstractly as measured by objective criteria (as tests) 2: mental acuteness.

2: aware 3: finely sensitive in perception or feeling (Merriam-Webster) Our planet is an amazing place, full of life that defies expectations at every turn.

And though there is still scant real evidence of language in their whistle-based communication, scientists realized decades ago that these cetaceans could learn and understand basic concepts through sign language and respond to them via behavior.

Dr. John Lilly, a man of many interests, including the bases of human consciousness, found a great deal of inspiration in dolphins as well, devising many experiments to ascertain if dolphins could communicate with humans and vice versa.

But the great apes, elephants, and cetaceans have regularly passed the mirror test… But so has the Eurasian magpie in 2008, and then in 2015, several ant species recognized that a blue dot had been painted on their faces only when seeing themselves in a mirror.

Even though octopods are almost as distanced from humans on the evolutionary tree as a species can get, their physical forms and placement in their environmental food chain led over time to similarly complex development of their brains and nervous systems.

Living as benthic-zone animals, having to forage for food while avoiding swift predators, proved to be similar in many respects to the hominid evolutionary path which began for humans living on African savannahs.

And now it’s time for one more definition: Artificial Intelligence: 1: a branch of computer science dealing with the simulation of intelligent behavior in computers 2: the capability of a machine to imitate intelligent human behavior (Merriam-Webster) The late John McCarthy, a Dartmouth computer scientist, came up with the term in 1955 and organized the first conference around the subject the following year.

If a computer is mistaken for a human, by human users, and the results can be repeated and reaffirmed scientifically, during communication sessions held over a computer interface, then the computer “wins” and might be said to be true AI.

Clarke and Isaac Asimov: wage more efficient warfare, offer autonomous self-driving cars to the masses, launch selfie drones into the sky and send robotic fish on marine missions.

Moore’s Law, in which computing power basically doubles every 2 years, seemed to hold true for almost 50 years, and those continually shrinking transistors powered a lot of technology growth.

The ultimate goal, I think, for most AI scientists, is to create something that is capable of learning ANY new task, in the way a young and bright human would be, and not only learning it but being able to extrapolate and innovate upon it.

Imagine a time in the not-too-distant future when you might call up a technical support representative from Apple to speak to them about your iPhoneXX and the problem it’s currently having when you try to use its scanner to build a 3D model of your pet teacup poodle so that you can use it as your new Facebook VR avatar.

company called Affectiva is already offering a product it calls “Emotion AI” to big brands, which uses face recognition technology and deep learning to read the emotional reaction of people to advertising.

But we need to ask ourselves if those machines ever become self-aware, and if they ever take on emotions for themselves, would we really want tools that could feel anger, jealousy or betrayal?

Without human guidance — without “parents” to relate to and explain the intricacies of emotion and demonstrate positive behaviors such as kindness and affection and gratitude — what would a coldly logical machine, something that might be considered sociopathic at its core, come to understand of our world by witnessing the way we treat each other as a species?

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