Ultra Advanced Autonomous Artificial Intelligence

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Computer Vision, Speech Recognition and Natural Language Processing are experiencing convergent and synergistic progress these days. Breakthroughs are being reported in mass media. Large neural networks with many layers and deep learning are active areas of research at present.

I believe this is just the beginning and coming decades and centuries will witness great progress. And that brings me to the topic of this post.

What if we can eventually build ultra advanced autonomous machines? Should we do it?

Recently Stephen Hawking warned us against the dangers of Artificial Intelligence. To not have a human in the loop could lead to unpredictable scenarios. As any computer programmer knows even a simple program has to face all kinds of situations when deployed in the real world, so if it is a highly complex and completely autonomous system, then it will be very hard to foresee all possibilities in advance.

To be on the safe side, we may choose not to build fully autonomous systems and always have human in the loop. At least if they are to be used on the Earth. This may make them less efficient but we may choose to live with this decision. But what if we need to move out into space. Let’s say we want to terraform Mars. Then it would be perfectly reasonable to first send robots there. And they will have to be autonomous with no humans around.

Oh, on a lighter note, in Hollywood, it is fashionable to suggest that such machines can even become conscious and have feelings. Unless we first understand what states of matter can cause consciousness to emerge, it really is rather pleasant and entertaining fiction at this time, which I do enjoy when I go to see such movies with my children. In this post, I am talking about highly complex state transition of such machines from rather geeky software engineering point of view. Of course, one day it will be very exciting to learn about scientific breakthroughs in understanding human consciousness which undoubtedly will have far reaching implications.

Since I am in favor of technological progress and I see great practical benefits of smart software – in medicine, space exploration, scientific research, energy, education, commerce and many other fields, I think it is really for us to become responsible in use of technology as a society and have appropriate rules in place.

Technology just gives us tools. How we use them, it is for all of us to decide together. 🙂

SamSolo

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