Study on Artificial Intelligence
The study of Artificial Intelligence had always been an intriguing field for both scientists and the general population. An inanimate being with facial features equivalent to that of a homo-sapien, along with exceeding intelligence, their existence are often a controversial topic to human beings. As various mediums of entertainment has portrayed, the creation of a “new species” not only magnifies the narcissistic complex of the human race itself, numerous social problems also surfaced. Apart from the obvious issue of job displacement the public is concerned about, the morals behind Artificial Intelligence is debatable as many fear that androids will one day take over the world. However, considering the rate of scientific advancement and the current mechanisms behind Artificial intelligence, one would conclude that automatons will not be dangerous to the human race.
Indubitably, entertainments such as books or movies portraying machine rebellion really impacted modern society, resulting in the false assumption that developments of Artificial Intelligence is growing exponentially. Indeed, we have witnessed both the rapid transformation that produced the digital era and the emergence of human-like automatons. Yet, as various experts agreed, we are decades away from creating androids that will surpass humans. Although Artificial Intelligence today have access to a wide range of data and can assist humans in their job, they still lack the true ability to think. Due to the fact that computer algorithms are only programmed to simulate results from existing patterns, they are incapable of breaking away from this repetition(1). In other words, android lacks the ability to perform out-of-the-box thinking.
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Take a look at Octavia, for instance. Octavia is an android working for the United States Navy. She is designed to communicate with staff members on board using facial expressions, enabling her to respond to people with complex emotions such as confusion or happiness. Her exaggerated eyes and petite nose only intensified the vividness of her expressions, as she seems more like a human when she interacts with others. Nonetheless, she is not. Her reactions to surrounding people are mere simulations and statistic gatherings from her database (2). She knows the concept of emotions that are present within the human mind, but she doesn’t understand them. This implies that she will never make a facial expression out of her will, like saying ‘aww’ to a cute kitten.
A similar mechanism is behind yet another brilliant robot”Sophia. Created by David Hanson, she is an Artificial Intelligence that sparked controversy when first surfaced. Her human-like qualities and witty speeches all resemble the perfect robot deviant. Her “joke” of destroying humans alarmed society further. Yet, as mentioned before, her program is similar to Octavia’s as well. Her interactions with humans all derived from her database, which allows her to formulate postures and responses like a “chatbot” (3). Her appearance and speech might bear a resemblance to Ava, the android that ultimately kills in the film Ex Machina, but trust me she will not destroy the world, for no machine has yet achieved Artificial General Intelligence, or “versatile humanlike smarts”(3). In fact, it is debatable that the field of Artificial Intelligence will ever reach a point where machines will rise to consciousness. Human brains are extremely complex. Multiple fields of studies such as neuroscience or psychology are dedicated in its research to solve one of the greatest mysteries of the world. If humans themselves are not able to decipher such complexity, how will they create a superior lifeform? It is a rhetorical question.
Additionally, despite the high performance level of Artificial Intelligence, the fact that they do not comprehend emotions or bypass patterns in their database only results in their mistakes. The case where Facebook supposedly shut down an AI program after they began to create a “new language” is a great example. The program is not halted, and the creation of a new language between Artificial Intelligence is fairly common. Having limited statistics in negotiation and in order to create a more efficient way of talking, machines often alter the English language a little. In Facebook’s program, when two efficiency-seeking androids are forced to negotiate, meaningless result that seems petrifying is produced (3).
In another example, the algorithms of crime rates and existing patterns influences automatons to be racist or sexist (4). The machines are incapable of sophisticated thinking, not to mention holding grudge or bias against a certain group of people. Humans, however, always make assumptions and stereotypes, and this type of thinking is incorporated into a machine’s algorithm. Hence, such Artificial Intelligence used to determine one’s sentence or risk factors are not awakening to their own prejudice. They are merely tools extended from human subjectivity.
Again, the emphasis is placed on the narcissistic complex of the human race. In creating Artificial Intelligence, society feels satisfaction of becoming God to another life form. Yet, like a typical Greek tragedy, humans fear that their offspring will overthrow them. Nevertheless, it is simply a paranoia that society as a whole fears. The steady yet positive progress of the field of Artificial Intelligence, along with current androids that run on pure algorithm only proves to humans that the world is not ready for an AI takeover. Nor do the androids themselves.