“AI means never having to go to work; a godsend for the lazy.”
The idea of endowing machines with artificial intelligence or ‘AI’ has been around for millennia. The concept of equipping machines with human like characteristics began in antiquity with stories of artificial beings endowed with intelligence and consciousness by the gods. These myths eventually evolved into current beliefs regarding intelligent machines. The invention of the programmable digital computer in the 1940’s pushed the concept of AI to new highs. With modern science and technology what once was a vague semi-religious concept became attainable. Scientists discussed the possibility of building an electronic brain in preparation for robot development as technology develops. Reader, here’s an abbreviated time line of historical events leading up to AI:
* In 320 BC Aristotle said ‘If every tool, when ordered, or even of its own accord, could do the work that befits it…then there would be no need either of apprentice for the master workers or of slaves for the lord.’ The Romans discovered that steam did work. They had the knowledge of harnessing Aristotle’s idea with steam power and could have ushered in the Industrial Revolution over 2,000 years ago! Their primary flaw; egotistical Rome preferred slaves to machines.
* Around 1495 Leonardo da Vinci sketched plans for a humanoid robot.
* Between 1700 and 1900 life sized automatons were created in Europe including robots that could write, flap wings and perform other humanlike functions.
* In 1920 Karel Capek coined the word ‘robot’ to describe humanoid machines in his play ‘Rossums Universal Robots’ about a society enslaved by robots that once served them.
* The time line extends to modern day Japanese hominoid robots or androids. The Japanese models talk, walk, work, and perform other activities once exclusively done by humans including having sex!
Reader the list of accomplishments in robotic science is long. I don’t have word space to list them. Please refer to; ‘History of Robotics-Time line, AI, Industrial, Toy Robot,’ and ‘Sex Robots in Tokyo-You Tube’ for a more extensive listing.
There are many arguments pro and con regarding artificial intelligence. People are scared of AI. They argue against inventing sentient beings that out think, out work, out run and out fight fragile human beings. Why create an alternative species who’ll be superior to us? It’s counterproductive. Human beings have been at the helm for so long that relinquishing our privileged position won’t be easy. I know you’ve seen futuristic movies like ‘The Matrix,’ ‘I Robot,’ the ‘Alien’ series and ‘Star Trek’s’ Commander Data character. No need to tell you how scary a fully functional android would be. With our limited technology and insufficient understanding of the human brain/mind we’re not even close to endowing a machine with human qualities.
Many philosophers think we’re invading God’s ‘territory’ with AI. I think not. The Book gives humanity explicit permission to go for it. “Most assuredly I say to you he who believes in Me the works that I do they will do also’ and greater works than these they will do because I go to My Father” John 14:12. Like any good parent God loves to give away stuff. If we can dream it we can do it. With every privilege comes responsible stewardship and tech sharing. “Freely you have received, freely you give.” Matthew 10:8. I think human-robotic integration is an answer. Once androids are as common as household pets we’re morally bound not to use them for dubious means; android armies, sexbots (‘hoebots’), nano-terrorism and work avoidance. Robotic knowledge will be invaluable for the development/preservation of the human species and conservation of planetary/inter-stellar ecological systems. The Book of Genesis says we’re stewards of creation not its’ masters or owners. Humanoid robots or androids, super computers, and other such devises are precious tools.
The ethical arguments in favor and against AI are only getting started. The idea’s been around for thousands of years. The technology is new. Will humanoids have souls? In my opinion it’s a possibility when they develop into sentient beings endowed with consciousness. Our Creator can do anything!
How do you build an android? Humans have two central characteristics: locomotion and mental acuity. The Japanese already have robots that maneuver like humans. Super-computer Deep Blue demonstrated AI’s computational capabilities by defeating then reigning world chess champion Garry Kasparov in 1997. We put these two attributes together; while we may or may not ever develop a fully sentient android we’d still have a marvelous machine that can be of valuable service to humanity.
Will robots eventually threaten humanity? I’m afraid so! Again using a theological context whenever God takes one step Satan isn’t far behind. Reader, you know free will, free choice and all that. Once androids are fully functional we can expect trouble; a lot of trouble. Anybody who thinks its’ all gonna’ be peaches and cream is living in a fool’s paradise. Case in point: Remember when the PC first came out how much fun they were? Now we’re spending fortunes on anti-virus software. Popular programs tie up valuable tech time with endless streams of garbage commercials/adds, hackers pirate valuable personal, government and corporate files for nefarious uses and the government is monitoring posts/blogs they find threatening to ‘American interests’ which is everybody, everywhere and anything not filling Uncle Sam’s coffers. Porn sites rake in millions annually. A few years after Kitty Hawk it was ‘bombs away’ over enemy cities in two world wars; same with AI androids; expect the best prepare for the worst.
I’m for AI. Androids will be able to help the elderly/infirm to perform chores they no longer can do for themselves. AI computers could speed up computational functions, work out complex scientific equations/solutions in space/medical technologies, produce a work output that staggers the imagination, and perform many vital functions for human overseers. A sentient android would be a godsend for the lazy, the crazy, and inventive geniuses. The indolent could enjoy the good life and let the robot work.
Still not convinced that singularity or that hypothetical moment in time when AI will surpass human beings is just around the corner? Go to ‘Android Robots-Video Results’ and see for yourself. Researchers at University of Illinois Chicago tested the ‘ConceptNet 4’ built at MIT concluded that AI has progressed to the computational level of an average 8 year old but technology progresses exponentially. Intelligent machines won’t be slinging burgers anytime soon but give ‘em time.
Reader here’s my resource list: ‘Artificial Intelligence-Encyclopedia of Science and Religion’ by Noreen L. Herzfeld, ‘Computing Machinery and Intelligence’ by Alan Turing, ‘Understanding Computers and Cognition’ by Terry Winograd and Fernando Flores, ‘Roboethics’ by the American Medical Association and ‘Spiritual Machines’ by Ray Kurzweil; AI source material is seemingly endless.
Last edition I promised ‘Tyranny through Taxation’ but pulled it. I want to use it in March the height of the tax season; sorry if I’ve inconvenienced you; God bless.