Episode 0029 - Artificial Stupidity

Let us explore the boundaries of what it means to be human! Clones, robots, Artificial Intelligence and brains in jars, are they human? Do we need a subconsciousness, intuition or even a body to think? Or is it time to relinquish control and hail our artificial overlords?

Podcast: Download OGG (39.2 MB) | Download mp3 (62.6 MB) | Duration: 01:10:25

"The development of full artificial intelligence could spell the end of the human race."
-- Stephen Hawking
One Cool Thing
An artistic interpretation of the human brain
"Exercise Plays Vital Role Maintaining Brain Health" Original (CC BY-SA 2.0) by A Health Blog.

Joel takes us on a spectacular ride through the back alleys of our human existence. What does it take to be human? How do we think? When will AIs join us in creative thinking?

Intuition is part of being human, and according to Daniel Kahneman that is what he calls "Fast thinking", in contrast to the "Slow thinking" we do when we ponder consequenses and reason through a subject. Here Joel cruched Kenneths dream of becoming a brain in a jar as he clarifies that a human probably needs a body to think.

And how do we treat humanity? If you take DNA and clone a human to create a Genetically modified organism with recistance to certain decieses, how should we behave towards that person? Is it a person?

If you clone a cheep, is it still a cheep?

And how about those self-driving cars? Can we trust them in moral dilemmas? Or will we always end up in "Human Decision Required"? It is not practical that we in any life threatening situation gets a little pop-up box that forces you to make the choice. Cars already have driver assist technics that hits the brakes if something appear suddenly in front of the vehicle, since the computer can act much quicker and safer than we humans do.

This might actually be more a case of us being afraid to relinquish control. When not even humans can agree on basic moral values, what would happen if machines and appliances start to iterate and deviate from your own views? Could you co-habit this Earth with a toaster that does not agree with you?

IBM is doing interesting things with their IBM Watson machine. The goal is to create an AI capable of answering questions posed in natural language, and "he"/it was even on Jeopardy, with quite impressive results.

There where reports of a computer program beating the Turing Test a while back, but not really. They sort of cheeted.

Some people also get upset about this whole issue. In December 2014 some famous scientists got together and warned the world for what could happen if we do not act carefully with AIs. The BBC reported "Stephen Hawking warns artificial intelligence could end mankind". So will the machines become our doom or our savours? Well, it is probably up to us, since we are the ones giving them our values, morals and everything else they can't make up on their own. At least in the beginning...

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Let us wrap this up!

Send your feedback to the group !aiitr at Identi.ca or mark it with hashtag #aiitr at Twitter, you find me at both Identi.ca and Twitter as @AlltInomIT.

Theme music today by Doc.
Music is released under Creative Commons BY 3.0.

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