Imagination is more important than knowledge.

10th April 2018

Weighing In on the AI Debate

I’m perhaps a few months to a couple of years late, but if I have my two cent’s worth to share then that’s definitely something I’m going to do. This time it’s being added to the Artificial Intelligence debate as AI has been cited as a potentially dangerous development should it be left to progress beyond the control of its creators.

Honestly and to put it rather bluntly, I think the so-called rise of the machines is total nonsense. It’s never going to happen in the manner in which it is portrayed in the movies. I mean sure, often the stuff depicted in science fiction movies which is dismissed as nothing more than the result of someone’s wild imagination goes on to become a reality in the years to come, but considering how much of it doesn’t, it’s safe to say that sci-fi that comes true is usually an exception rather than the rule.

Bringing things back to AI and the foretold rise of the machines, what is implied here is that machines are somehow going to gain consciousness and then take over the world. I find it rather laughable that some programmers even believe this when they are the ones who should know better.

From the point of view of someone with a programming background, however developed or limited that programming background may be, when we talk about the definition of Artificial Intelligence then it becomes clear that the prospect of the so-called rise of the machines is something totally different. AI is simply the use of programmatic principles and tools to create an event or function that emulates intelligence, hence the “artificial” reference.

Think about something like a cleaner robot – a robot that has been built to complete the function of cleaning something like a house. The intelligent act or function of cleaning is what is being emulated here via the use of programmatic principles and tools. Where on earth would the rise of the machines get that much-needed missing link of the consciousness required for the cleaning robot to “decide” that it’s not going to clean anymore, but rather it’s going to capture the humans it’s cleaning for and keep them as pets due to its superior intelligence?

At the end of the day it all comes down to the flow of electric currents through whatever computing device has been loaded with programmatic instructions to emulate a function which is otherwise the result of an intelligent thought, represented by ones and zeroes where one represents on (the flow of the electric current) and zero represents off (no electric current flow).

If there was ever a scenario where a robot or some kind of computer-driven entity conducted itself in a way that suggests that it’s carrying out tasks consistent with the rise of the machines, it would simply be operating under instructions which were programmed into it by someone who wanted it to “act” a certain way. A robot is the work of someone who programmed it to complete certain tasks, of which the ones representing intelligence are subsequently classed as artificial because they were created.

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