Today Katy asked us to write about AI; that’s artificial intelligence. If you’re anything like me than an image of Haley Joel Osment and Jude Law just popped into your head. If not then a. what on earth have you been doing with yourself!? And b. well, let us continue!
The world around us becomes more mechanical every day. Technology and science are moving forwards in leaps and bounds so large they are almost incomprehensible. In the past hundred years we have changed from a world of clunky machines and telegrams to one which sends robots to the far reaches of outer space and has created machines to prolong human life. It’s amazing really. I could easily get distracted here and discuss how far man could go in the next hundred, five hundred or thousand years but that’s not what this blog is about.
Should computers ever be ‘allowed’ to become as intelligent as humans?
If we reach the point (have we already?) where we can create machines capable of thought, emotion, even dreams should we continue? Take the plunge? Press the big red button? My gut instinct is no. To create a being capable of conscious thought is like creating life. Life we would then be responsible for as parents to children. One day those children will grow up, leave home and be responsible for their own actions, who then would govern them? Would the laws of man, (and subsequent punishments? transfer to intelligent machines? If, as has been depicted in media, those machines then became of a higher intelligence than ourselves, how would our world work? I cannot see mankind easily submitting to a race it itself created. In fact, as a species, we are currently incapable of looking after ourselves and the world around us, what would give us the right to play God further than this? We have a poor track record!
Mankind is unique on the planet, or so we believe. We do not know how our race came to be, how is it we are capable of science, technology, religion, politics, dreams, debate and everything else while those who share our planet are not? Till we understand this, do we have the right to mess with the natural order of things, any more than we already have? Humans are flawed; we fight and are one of the only species in existence and history to knowingly destroy our own habitat. Do we value the life currently in existence on our world enough to bring another ‘life’ into it? I’d say pressing any big red buttons, creating another being for whom we are responsible, we should look closely at what is already around us. Solve the problems you have before seeking new ones.
Make sure you check out Katy and Fionas blogs (links over there —->) to read their thoughts on the subject.
The title of this post is from H.B. Barlow, The Oxford Companion to the Mind.