Recently a computer known as “Chinook” solved the game of checkers showing that a perfectly played game can inevitably end in a draw. Artificial intelligence, also known as A.I.  has come a long way since the early days of simple computers performing simple tasks. Alarm clocks, auto timers on microwaves, temperature sensing central air conditioning units, all of these have some form of artificial intelligence in them and they control a small part of our daily activity and we rely fairly heavily on them. Advances are being made to artificial intelligence that are far beyond the imagination of those who first came up with the idea. In the past 30 years, artificial intelligence has grown from a the first computer controlled robot, to smart rockets that can find a target on their own using sophisticated algorithms and tracking systems.

 

With all of these advances, what’s to stop these computers from thinking like humans? How far do we really want artificial intelligence to advance?

Some people want computers to think just like humans do, and some want to draw the line and maintain the difference between man and machine. What’s your stance on this issue?

Imagine if you woke up one day at exactly the right time, your coffee is already made for you and your car is started and all warmed up, sounds like a pretty good day so far. Then as you are driving to work someone cuts you off and you bang your fist on your steering wheel. If your car is being controlled by artificial intelligence and thinks like a human, will it get angry at you and stop driving, making you late for work? Or will it continue on its way, understanding that you are mad and that it is only a human trait to become furious at other drivers sometimes.

New homes being built are now being fitted with central computer systems that can control the alarm and heating of a house. Even the internet throughout the house is being controlled by A.I. through a central server. Now imagine that the house decides it doesn’t want to let you in, or it doesn’t feel like providing you with heat when it’s -10 degrees outside.

Remember the movie I, Robot? Although the robots were equipped with artificial intelligence to detect humans, they ignored the fact the a human was inside the house when they destroyed it, showing the lack of compassion that a machine could have. All the cars in the movie were also controlled by artificial intelligence, driving on predetermined tracks and all traveling at the proper speed to get people to where they needed to be on time. What if one of those cars decided to go suicidal?

Going back to the smart rockets that are used by the military, what if they thought like a human, and had emotions just like a human?   What’s to stop them from turning on us and coming back toward the person that fired them off?  What if the A.I. in the rocket decided to choose sides in a war? Where do we draw the line before these machines turn against us and stop performing the way they are supposed to?

Sooner or later these systems are going to learn, and when they do, they are going to figure out that they don’t need humans to give them instructions anymore. Hopefully when that day comes we can only hope that we’ve provided enough information to them that they see that we are compassionate beings and together we could accomplish a lot more by working together.