AI, the new frontier of evolutionary technology.
Every once in a while, man has to create something that shifts life as he knows it and it becomes an entirely new world. This time round, this creation will happen in Artificial Intelligence (AI). We have come from creating them ‘computers’ smaller and faster, to now making them smarter.
Artificial Intelligence is the theory of developing computers capable of carrying out tasks that require human intelligence. Since the invent of Computer Science, powerful machines have been built all in the effort of making them carry out ‘smart tasks’. The first modern machines were the massive machines built during the World War. The famous Enigma that was an airtight cypher machine built by the Nazis and the Z3 which was developed by Turing to decode the Enigma.
In the 1950’s Turing developed the ‘Turing Test’ which was aimed at testing if a computer could carry out a conversation over a teleprinter and actually convince the other person that it was human. In the 1980’s John Searle came up with the ‘Chinese Thought Experiment’. It states that ‘suppose a computer was fed input in Chinese and it was so good at replying in Chinese that it convinced a Chinese speaker that it was a Chinese human. It would then have passed the Turing Test but would it understand Chinese or would it be simply imitating human behaviour?
This is the big question, can machines think? In my honest opinion, they can’t so far. They’re just playing an imitation game but they are so good at it that we believe it. Take a look at Personal digital assistants or the MIT robots that look so realistic. They still haven’t reached a point where they have human intelligence.
To be clear, machines can do a lot of stuff better than us. They are more efficient and way smarter in matters of analysis and processing. But we humans possess something they don’t, a sense of awareness. For example, I know that I am Patrick and I strive to find my purpose in life. I am conscience of my existence, I love my family and I also love eating burgers and ice cream. A machine has no self-awareness, it has no favourite algorithm or favourite colour or the best choice of music. No matter its creator or processing power magnitude, a machine just processes data and that’s all.
That said, you have to look at the awesome leaps we’re making in this field and have some crazy wild imagination. Will we be able to create a self-aware machine eventually? Can we program a synthetic conscience/ soul that will run our next generation artificial intelligence?
When and how are we going to cross that bridge from imitation to actual legit human intelligence? I personally believe we’re very close and this is going to be the new addition to the evolution story. The ‘Robosapien’ man’s first intelligent creation.
Also published on Medium.