Posts Tagged ‘Artificial Intelligence’

I, Robot

Unfortunately, if you’ve read this title and thought, “Wow, after 6 years, someone is finally going to do a decent critique of Will Smith’s I, Robot!” I’m afraid I’m going to disappoint you. Though I will put in my two pence and say I think that Will Smith is deservedly the biggest film star in the world.  I think ‘The Pursuit of Happiness’, ‘I am Legend’, and ‘Seven Pounds’ are three of the best emotionally provocative movies ever released.

I am actually going to talk about artificial intelligence. This is, ethically, a fascinating subject to look into. I’ve spent the last few days mulling this subject over in my head. Now this piece isn’t factual at all, I’m no expert in nano-technology or the development of robotics, but I’m just raising a few points which I find quite interesting to explore – please leave your thoughts on the subject, I’d be interested to hear.

The most powerful computer in the world (discounting George Bush Jr.) is undoubtedly the human brain – either singularly or as a collection. A computer can no doubt work out sums and probability at a much faster rate but, after all, they can only do this through the complex programming designed by humans.

I, Robot highlights the relationship of the character played by Will Smith (Del Spooner), and a robot (Sonny). This could well be something we may face in the future. Robots are being constantly developed to serve humans; such as the computer I’m using to write with now. Each of these computers are designed to respond in certain ways. I press the key ‘3’ and sure enough ‘3’ appears here. This is simple though. Robot design now has moved onto computer interfaces responding to speech and movement. In fact I’ve no doubt, before too long, there will be a robot designed which will be able to respond to humans as if you’re talking to a person themselves (though maybe not in appearance and movement) .

Now, surely the biggest moral question we must ask ourselves is: should the created become the creator? Effectively, we have the capability of creating life. To the created, we could be seen as Gods. After all, isn’t the human brain a computer itself? We respond to situations (though on a far more complex level, to date) exactly the same way. If someone jabs a pen in your knee, your natural reaction is to yelp in pain. If a self-learning computer interface is designed, then really we are designing something which could potentially be perceived as a personality. That is quite a worrying thought.

All of the surreal films we used to watch all those years ago, such as ‘The Terminator’, don’t actually seem so far-fetched to me anymore. Military forces will no doubt be replaced by robots in the near future, something talked about as recently as February of this year. Although the point was stressed that these robots would always be controlled by humans, and not independently, whose to say that this won’t happen. With robots capable of learning, Arnie’s terminator ripping through a police station, killing all in sight isn’t actually far-fetched at all, is it?

Technology is reaching unprecedented levels of complexity. The technological revolution is moving at such an incredible rate, the sky is no longer the limit – that is now the never-ending edges of the universe.

Maybe I’m getting far too ahead of myself mulling over these thoughts but, as a race, one day we’re going to have to ask that question to ourselves.

Do we have the right to become Gods?