The human brain is undeniably something extraordinary. Weighing at just an average of 3 pounds, the brain is the mastermind behind everything that humans do. Cognitive Psychology is the study of knowledge, its creation, and its uses. Understandably enough, the brain, which is the source of all knowledge, is the most essential part of this study. Now imagine an artificially man made brain that allows non-human, non-living things, to think and feel like just like humans.
Perhaps you have wondered and wanted to know more about the information behind popular Hollywood movies such as “iRobot” starring Will Smith or “A.I. Artificial Intelligence” starring Haley Joel Osment. These types of movies feature entities or beings that were artificially created by man to possess human-like qualities such as intelligence, emotions, and feelings. Could those actually translate into and happen in real life?
Artificial intelligence is defined as the attempt to artificially create cognitive beings that can think and feel very much like humans. As technology continues to advance more and more each day, it is undeniable that the idea of creating artificial intelligence has most likely crossed the minds of scientists and the general public at least once.
As one would predict, our knowledge of artificial intelligence and the questions that will arise as we acquire more knowledge about it are highly positively correlated. That is, as our knowledge of artificial intelligence increases so will the questions we have that are left unanswered. Is it possible, or even more, is it even a good idea in the first place to create such beings that possess such subjective qualities, which are universally known to differentiate humans from other living things? What happens in instances, such as in the movie “iRobot”, when these beings start to possess more and more intelligence, which then threatens the existence of humans? Do we, as the general public, have an incorrect perceived notion of what the effects of artificial intelligence could potentially bring to us because of Hollywood movies such as “iRobot” and “Terminator”? Yes and no.
This video clip highlights the opinion of Stephen Hawking, a well-known physicist, on the exponential development of artificial intelligence.
He mentions that although very useful, “the development of full artificial intelligence could spell the end of the human race. Once humans develop artificial intelligence, it would take off on its own and redesign itself at an ever-increasing rate. Humans, who are limited by slow biological evolution, couldn’t compete.” This statement from a highly influential and respected physicist may confirm our fears of such movies. It IS possible for artificial intelligence to develop faster than the human brain ever could and for it to threaten the mere existence of the human population.
However, on the complete opposite side of the spectrum, one could not deny the advantages that artificial intelligence has contributed to the human race to help us live much more convenient lives. This TED talk given by Andre LeBlanc mentions some fears associated with artificial intelligence but highlights more all the advantages that the advancement of artificial intelligence has contributed to the human race, as well as where it is headed in the future.
As part of the general public who is affected by technology everyday, personally, I don’t think it would end on the most drastic side of each spectrum. It is not something as simple as good or bad. Technology continues to advance everyday- yes. However, unfortunately, there is no way to know for sure whether artificial intelligence is headed in a positive or negative direction. Only time can tell.