The Promised Revolution of Artificial Intelligence
Ever since the dawn of civilization, man has always looked toward the stars and wondered if there exists a creature more cunning, more intelligent, and certainly better-suited than him in existence. To philosophers, that existence, and culmination of man’s hopes, dreams, and virtues, was realized in one entity: God. To the modern man, however, the entity that dare revel in the limelight is the promised day of the singularity, and the revolution of Artificial Intelligence.
In layman’s terms, singularity can be described as the moment when the invention of true artificial intelligence will trigger an exponential increase in technological growth, causing unprecedented changes to mankind as a whole.
The number of integrated circuits found in your average personal computer roughly double every successive generation; such estimates lead many to believe that the days when computers can start out-thinking us are not far. Is singularity a dystopian future as the pessimist economists believe, or is it more of a utopia as futurists would have dreamed?
A world where artificial slaves do every conceivable job that plagues mankind. No more farming, no more cooking no more harvesting. Why do any of that when we can have machines do everything for us everything that dulls the senses. Man is then left to roam the earth to discover new feats, and take place in creative endeavors that push him closer to his bounds.
Is it more likely that AI will take over jobs faster than our economy is currently capable of creating, leaving millions impoverished and without welfare? Hundreds of layoffs, and no end in sight to this new future. Many techno-pessimists want to envision and picture a world where AI would become radically smarter than humans, and start a mass genocide against humankind.
This is rather misguided, and much for the same reason, I would argue that techno-optimists fail to understand AI. Artificial intelligence is, after all, a machine, a product of human capabilities, and the framework within which it exists is always narrowly-defined by what we think counts as worthy of being classified as intelligent. Free will is not a factor in the intelligence hierarchy. A dog might not be intelligent enough to understand that it is seeing its own reflection in the mirror. It can make free decisions as a free moral agent. Can any of the same thing be said about a computer?
We can set restrictive parameters to have a computer printout “either-or” situations, where a computer may produce a simulacrum of free will, but that’s what it will always be – a creation enshrined and entombed within own ambitiousness.
How can mankind ask more of its machines, its slaves, its instruments, when mankind cannot even ask itself to be more worthy of the future? Are we the machine’s masters, the machine our slaves? Or is the machine a part of our human culture, our artifact – not different from a guitar or a piano – used to amplify our own resonance?