Sunday, November 05, 2017

AI versus HUMANS

AI versus Humans

D. R. Khashaba

The Independent reports that “Stephen Hawking warns artificial intelligence 'may replace humans altogether.'” To my mind this is not what we should worry about nor should we worry about the related question if or when will ‘thinnking machines’ surpass humans in intelligence. Neither of these issues should be what we have to worry about and prepare for.

To begin with, we have to be clear as to what we mean by AI. We already have computers that make in seconds calculations that it takes Stephen Hawking hours to make. On the other hand, bees, birds, and many non-human animals make problem-solving feats that dazzle us. It is not that kind of ‘thinking’ in which we should take pride and which gives us our distinctive character as humans.

I said there are computers that beat Stephen Hawking in a specific kind of problem-solving but – and this is a most important but – it is Stephen Hawking that puts the question to the computer. The computer may even seem to do something on its own that keeps Hawking wondering how it was done, but the computer, having done its miracle, does not keep wondering how it did it. So this is one element among others that gives us our distinctive human character.

Then, we have values, even when they are corrupt and vicious values: we do something not because the total configuration of the physical world at that moment necessitares it but – another stupendous but – we want to do it, we will it.

The age of the ‘thinking machine’ is already with us. The questions we have to think about and prepare for are: (1) Who is to set the aims and ask the questions for which we seek answers? (2) What are the values we care for and want to preserve?

Unfortunately, while the world leaders and thinkers are busy planning and devising more and more destructive missiles and missiles to intercept missiles and while world leaders and thinkers instead of thinking about how to make a more sane and more just organization of the human family are only thinking about power grabbing and territory annexation and the next financial crisis

Nothing short of a revolution in human thinking and in the global world organization will save us from a robot-governed world whose sole aim and purpose is to reach the highest rate of production and consumption even if that involves numerous pockets of poverty, famine, and disease while elsewhere surplus food is destroyed and the pharmaceutical industry makes huge profits.

D. R. Khashaba

November 5, 2017

Posted to xnd


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