Artificial Intelligence vs Human Intelligence – Annihilation or Renaissance ?
Artificial Intelligence was for a long time the subject of trilling books and exciting movies. Entertainment industry has stretched and pushed the boundaries of our imagination to almost inconceivable extends. Science has moved on in getting closer than ever to making a reality of it all. We are already building intelligent machines, capable of recognizing patterns, objects, capable of adapting to a certain given situation and probably the most important thing, capable of learning and self improving. Human like characteristics that today’s science has managed to build robots with are mind blowing. The scientists at HONDA have spend 20 years of continuous research to finally be able to build a robot with human like walk and body movement. There is even a organic computer chip were the silicon is replaced by organic molecules which brings almost limitless possibilities of what a computer can do because of the complexity of connections possible between organic molecules. So we are closer than ever to machines starting to challenge our intelligence. The more machines will become more organic, the possibility of these machines to one day be able to autonomously learn, adapt and take rational decisions becomes more real.
Human intelligence is on the verge of getting and artificial burst as well. Already surgeons are implanting, with the help of microcomputers, electrodes in the human brain to stimulate damaged or under performing areas. This technology is widely used today in Parkinson disease, Severe Epilepsy and even chronic depression. There are studies made in using electrodes implants to stimulate our learning capabilities. Also there have been an immense amount of research into the creation of memory chips to be implanted to help people that had brain damage and can not create new memories. There is research done in creating a micro chip much like an image sensor in a video camera to be able to repair damaged eyes sight. The science fiction of yesterday it is become a reality. So probably, sometime soon, we will be able to replace body parts with reliable and unnoticeable artificial parts.
This raises some very interesting and profound questions. How much of us we can “robotize” before loosing our sense of being humans? Where we have to stop to be able to draw the line between humans and machines? Or were to draw the line to not be overtaken by machines much more intelligent than us, capable of faster, better and more precise thinking and decision making, constantly improving at an extremely high speed?
While I do not have an answer to these question, I can only imagine were we are heading if we will not get these answers in time. Maybe we are heading to a world were humans are becoming more robotic and robots more organic, were the machines will be assimilate into the society and we wouldn’t be able to call us humans but rather humanoids. A world were organic will not be the main ingredient but rather a spare part. And that is a bit of my most optimistic scenario.
What I fear is that the science fiction of today will become tomorrow’s reality were we will replace us with machines, capable of learning a thousand times faster, evolving at extraordinary speed and the colonialism of the 15th to 19th century will be paled significantly by a new one were the division between the classes will be based on techno-have and techno-have not, were the ones left humans would be merely pets or pests as we treat today other species.
Now that sounds almost illogical, unthinkable and crazy but the truth is that with the technological and scientific boom of today’s world, this becomes more real every single day.
And our solutions and choices are in the answers to those questions.