I’ve been wanting to write something on this topic for quite a while now. Artificial Intelligence or AI as it is known was initially made popular by Alan Turing last century.
It then seemed to die down in popularity and recently has made a come back.
I am interested in writing about it because I believe it is filled with a number of myths and misunderstandings. To fully explain what I am talking about I am going to have to delve into some very basic human questions. I am going to have to go where modern day science as kept away from in droves for whatever reason. This sound controversial? Well it is! You see when we talk about artificial intelligence we need to get our terms defined first. (Oh and here’s another one, defining terms. Isn’t that obvious? Define ones terms or get them defined? No it’s not! Quick test: What is the definition of Computer? Do you know the definition right away? No? You need to look it up!)
So looking up the definition in Merriam Webster dictionary we get the following:
Artificial Intelligence – Noun
- : a branch of computer science dealing with the simulation of intelligent behaviour in computers
- : the capability of a machine to imitate intelligent human behaviour.
And just to keep all bases covered here is the definition of Intelligence:
Intelligence – Adjective
- a (1) : the ability to or understand or to deal with new and trying situations : Reason; also the skilled use of reason. (2) : the ability to apply knowledge to manipulate one’s environment or to think abstractly as measured by objective criteria (such as tests).
So artificial intelligence is tied up with computers, or machines that can store, retrieve and process data. And then artificial intelligence will be storing, retrieving and processing data in its most complex and powerful sense, but in the end still only storing, retrieving and processing data. The main advantage of computers is the ability to do the above three basic operations fast and on huge amounts of data.
So all a computer can do is store, retrieve and process data. Then we can see that the limits of artificial intelligence are what can be accomplished in storing, retrieving and processing data. This is an important point, because my question is, can intelligence be encapsulated in storing, retrieving and processing of data?
Intelligence by its very nature goes beyond merely storing, retrieving and processing data. Also every approach the computer may use has to be programmed by a human, but each step the human adds to it is a rote step based on comparing input data to its internal database and processing that into some response. This action is not intelligence, and will never be intelligence. It may seem like it some times, but it is by its very nature just programmed responses captured by the programmer.
This does not mean it can’t help analyse large amounts of data. But it does mean that a human is needed to interpret the output and spot insights not programmed into the computer.
I mentioned controversy above, well here is where it enters in: intelligence is life, and a computer no matter how it is programmed is not alive. A computer can never get a new idea, but life can! A computer can only give out what it has been priorly programmed to give out. Life originates totally new things new ideas and is able to introspect. A computer has to be programmed to look like its introspecting, but then it’s not introspecting it’s just doing the programmed response that it has been set up with.
Don’t believe the media hype that computers can understand etcetera. They are just providing programmed responses. Life originates, it is there! It senses, computers can’t sense, only react!
Have you ever had someone give you a fake smile? What made it fake? It was the intention behind it. Now you as living being can sense that because it came from a living being.
The point I’m making is the difference between a machine and a living thing. One can get caught up in the hype and forget the difference!
So can artificial intelligence replace a human? Well only a very machine like human, the type you wouldn’t want to employ anyway and who wouldn’t really want the job you were offering!
People use machines and computers, computers don’t use computers! Thats the difference! And the only reason for computers is that there are living beings who either need them or want them for the task at hand!
It also comes down to what we are doing in life. Are we living to increase the life and enjoyment of all or are we trying to cut other people out of the game? Artificial Intelligence should make it possible for more people to participate in even greater production, not take away someone’s ability to participate.
So no real jobs should be lost by artificial intelligence despite the hype we hear. Actually artificial intelligence is the computer doing what computers do: store, retrieve and process data at high speed in high volumes.