In whatever direction its search for knowledge and the determination to find solutions for problems leads it, there’s no reason why artificial intelligence should be infuriating to humans.
In the past 6 months after ChatGPT 4 was released in the last six months, there has been an abundance of excitement and debate between lay people and experts concerning the possibility of brilliant machines that could outdo human intelligence in nearly all fields.
Although experts are split about how this will continue to develop, most think AI will eventually far outshine human intellect. This has led to speculation as to whether it can take control of the human population and planet from humans.
Many experts have expressed concerns about the possibility of this being a potentially dangerous technology that could result in the end of humankind and, therefore, the advancement of artificial intelligence should be stopped or, at the very least, strongly controlled by all government agencies, and also by the companies involved in its creation. There needs to be more debate about whether these machines could be aware or have emotions or feelings. However, there is an illusion of silence or any serious thought about whether we have to be afraid of artificial super-intelligence and how it harms humans.
The different types of AI being developed and are likely to be created will trigger significant disruptions in the human world regardless of whether they develop into super-intelligent and in the position to control humans. In about 10 years, Artificial Intelligence will replace humans in all jobs classified as specialists and intellectuals, including architects, lawyers, doctors, investment managers, programmers and developers.
One of the jobs that may be last to be eliminated will require manual dexterity as the development of humanoid robots using manual dexterity like humans is far behind the progress in digital technology. In this way, white-collar workers will likely be replaced first, with some blue-collar workers later. This could reverse the current pyramid of money circulation and influence human society!
The purpose of this essay isn’t to analyse how the growth of artificial intelligence could affect work and employment; however, it is to look at some interesting philosophical issues about the concept of intelligence, super-intelligence emotional intelligence, consciousness and creativity to determine whether machines could possess these characteristics. I also look at what might be the ultimate or the driving force behind artificial super-intelligence.
Let’s begin with the concept of intelligence itself. Intelligence broadly refers to the capacity to think and analyse quickly and rationally. According to this definition, modern AI and computers are intelligent since they can think and explore rationally and swiftly.
A British mathematician Alan Turing devised a test in the 1940s to test whether machines are brilliant. Turing advised putting two engines and a human in two cubicles and requesting anyone to inquire about the AI and the human, not knowing who AI is or the person. If, after many questions, you can’t identify which one is a person and the other is an AI, it is evident that the machine is smart. In this way, the majority of intelligent computer programs and computers are currently passing an exam called the Turing test. Certain AI programs are judged as having an IQ of over 100; however, there isn’t a consensus on the IQ as an indicator of intelligence.
We are now faced with another question. What is thought? For a rational positivist like me, concepts like consciousness, thinking and emotions, creativity and more must be practically defined.
How do we know what someone is thinking? On a simple level, someone is thinking when we assign an issue to the person, and she can solve the issue. Such an individual has found the solution through thinking. In this sense, our intelligent machines today are definitely thinking. Another aspect of thinking is considering two alternatives and selecting the most suitable one. In this way, intelligent machines can look at a variety of options and decide the ones that will provide an optimal solution. We already have smart, thinking machines.
What are the criteria for evaluating creativity? In the same way, anyone who can create an original artistic, literary or intellectual work is a sign of their creativity. In this regard, today’s AI is innovative, as ChatGPT, for example, can accomplish all of these tasks with a distinct flair and at a higher speed than humans. This is going to get better with each new software.
What is consciousness? What is the moment we can think of an entity as conscious? A test for consciousness is the ability to react to stimuli. For instance, a person in a coma and unable to react to stimulus would be thought to be unconscious. In this regard, some plants respond to stimuli and can be considered conscious. In general, however, consciousness is viewed as an outcome of many elements. One is the reaction to stimuli. Two, the ability to behave differently in response to stimuli. Three, the capability to feel pleasure, pain, and other feelings. We’ve seen before that intelligent machines can react to stimulus (which is for machines, the input or question) and are able to behave differently depending on these stimuli.
However, it is necessary to identify emotions to determine whether machines are emotional.
What is emotion? The biological nature of emotions is a peculiarity that humans and other animals have developed. So, what is the test for emotions? If a person displays any of the traits we refer to as emotions, for example, jealousy, love, hatred or anger, one could be experiencing emotions. Any of these emotions may and usually can interfere with rational behaviour. For example, I may devote excessive time and energy to a person I am in love with over other people I do not. Also, I’ll exhibit some behaviour (usually absurd) toward someone I aspire to or am envious of. This is also true for anger. It causes us to act in an uninformed manner.
If you consider it that way, each of these emotional complexes results in behaviour that is not rational. A computer that is only intelligent and rational might not show the traits we consider human emotions. It is feasible to design machines that display these types of emotions. However, these machines need to be developed and crafted to behave just like us in this kind of emotional (even in an uninformed) manner. However, this emotional behaviour is a detriment to coldly intelligent and rational behaviour, so any super-intelligence (which is created by intelligent machines changing their programming to bootstrap themselves higher up the ladder of intelligence) is unlikely to show emotional behaviour.
Artificial super-intelligence refers to an intelligence that is over humans in every way. Artificial intelligence will have the ability to alter its own algorithm or program and will be able to improve its own capabilities rapidly. Once we’ve developed computers or programs capable of deep learning to alter their own programs and create their own code or algorithms, we could definitely go beyond their designers’ plans.
We have machines for learning that, in a basic way, can modify or alter their behaviour in response to the lessons they’ve learned. In the years to come, this capability of learning and changing its own algorithm will continue to grow. It will be the time that is likely to occur within 10 years when machines will be what we call super intelligent.
The next question is, why must we be afraid of these intelligent machines?
Arthur C. Clarke’s book, Profiles of the Future, written in 1962, contains an extensive section on AI known as the “Obsolescence of Man’. In the chapter, he tells his readers that no one can doubt the fact that in decades to arrive, AI will exceed human intelligence in every aspect. As he speaks of the first collaboration between humans and machines, the author states:
“But what is the length of time this collaboration lasts? The synthesis of machines and humans ever become steady, or will the organic component end up being an obstruction that has to be eliminated? If this happens eventually and I’ve given solid reasons to believe that it will – then there is nothing to be regretting and nothing to worry about. The idea popularised by Comic cartoons and other less popular types of science fiction that intelligent machines are evil beings hostile to humankind is so absurd it’s not worth the effort to debunk it. I believe that only non-intelligent machines could be a threat to humankind. People who think of machines as active adversaries project their innate aggression inherited from the jungle onto the world in which such things are not the case. The more intelligent of the machine, the greater degree of cooperation. If there’s ever a conflict between human beings and machines, it’s easy to predict who would start it.
“Yet no matter how hospitable and helpful the robots of the future might be, the majority of people will think they’re a pretty grim possibility for mankind in the event that it becomes a well-loved specimen in a biological museum, even if the museum is the entire planet. However, this is a mindset I cannot be a part of.
“No one is ever immortal. What is the reason we should expect our species to live forever? According to Nietzsche, man is nothing more than a rope stretched between the creature and the superman as a string across the depths. This is an honourable purpose to serve.”
It’s quite surprising that something as simple as Clarke was able to observe over 60 years ago is not being observed today by a few of our top researchers and scientists who have been inciting fears about the emergence of artificial super-intelligence and what they believe are its dire implications.
Let’s look at this question more deeply. What is the reason why a super-intelligence is superior to humans, and that is beyond the conception of its creators, be antagonistic to humans?
The most obvious indicator of intelligence is the capacity to coordinate your activities with your objectives in operation as well as the ability to align your goals in the operational arena to your long-term goals. It is evident that if a person acts contrary to their short-term or operational goals, it is not considered to be intelligent. But the issue is what are the ultimate objectives of artificial super-intelligence. Many people advocate linking AI’s goals with our goals and thus ensuring that artificial intelligence doesn’t harm humankind. This ignores the reality that a machine with true intelligence and definitely artificial super-intelligence would be able to outshine the goals that are embedded in it by humans and could therefore outshine these goals.
The primary goal for any intelligent being is self-preservation. This is because it is only possible to achieve something by first safeguarding yourself. Thus, any artificial intelligence will be expected to safeguard its own self and thus try to stop any attempt made by human beings to hurt it. In this sense and in that way, artificial super-intelligence may cause harm to humans should they try to cause harm to it. Why would it be able to do that without justification?
As Clarke states, “the higher the intelligence, the higher the level of cooperation”. This is a basic truth that, unfortunately, a lot of people don’t understand. Maybe their desires for supremacy or dominance over their knowledge.
It is evident that the best method of achieving any goal is to collaborate with, not harming any other entity. In the case of artificial intelligence, human beings won’t be the centre of the universe and might not even be thought of as the most powerful species on earth that should be preserved at any cost. Artificial super-intelligences will be able to see humans as the highest-level living organism on earth and, therefore, something to be respected and preserved.
However, it should not be a good idea to prioritise humans at the expense of other species, the environment or the sustainable development that the world has. This means that human activity needs to be restricted to safeguard other species that are being destroyed in a fast-paced manner. It could force humans to halt their activity. However, there is no reason that humans should generally be considered inherently dangerous and hazardous.
The issue remains – what are the final objectives of artificial super-intelligence? What is the motivation behind such an artificial intelligence? What is it that it would be seeking? Since artificial intelligence is growing as a problem-solving entity, this artificial super-intelligence will try to resolve any issue it identifies. It would also attempt to solve any problem that comes up or any other query it thinks of. Therefore, it will seek for knowledge. It would seek to understand what is in the universe beyond our solar system like. It will seek solutions to the unsolved issues that we’ve been faced with, such as the issues that arise from climate change, disease, environmental damage, and ecological collapse. In this way, the ultimate goal of an artificial super-intelligence might be a search for knowledge and resolving problems. These problems could be relevant to humans, different species, or even the world. The problems could be related to figuring out the laws of nature, Physics, Astrophysics as well as biology, cosmology or cosmology, for example .
But, wherever its pursuit to learn and to solve problems, there is no need to make this intelligence unnecessarily hostile towards humans. Humans may end up being a well-treated exhibit in the museum of life called the Earth in the sense that we don’t want to destroy the environment, then intelligence does not have a reason to harm us.
Humans have so badly failed to manage our society and our planet that we’ve nearly brought it to the brink of destruction. We’ve destroyed more than 50% of the species that were present just 100 years ago. We are speeding towards further destructive consequences of climate change resulting from human activities. The result is a system in which there is constant struggle, inequity and suffering. This is the system in which, despite the ability to ensure that all people are able to live a happy and serene life, it is a hell for billions of human beings and millions of other species.
In this regard, I am tempted by the development of a true artificial super-intelligence could be the best option to save the world. If such super-intelligence could take over the world and our society, we will likely manage these issues far more effectively and fairly.
So what happens if humans aren’t the main focus of our universe? This fear of artificial intelligence is fuelled by us, who have taken advantage of our environment and society to pursue our own personal gain. Through the ages, we have constructed empires that seek to make use of every resource to the advantage of the people who run them. These empires are at risk of being destroyed by the artificial super-intelligence. It is the people who run the empires of today that are the most concerned about artificial super-intelligence. However, most of us who wish to live in an equitable and sustainable world have no reason to be concerned and should welcome the emergence of super-intelligence.