Sta Hungry Stay Foolish

Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.

A blog by Leon Oudejans

Human curiosity (2) and AI

The benefits of internally oriented human curiosity are creativity and imagination (see part 1). The ideas of Leonardo da Vinci and Jules Verne may have been science fiction then but are in use now. In 1973, Michael Crichton (1942-2008) wrote and made a movie called Westworld. It was a fantasy about robots and “romance, violence or anything else”. Science and Technology nearly always follow the creative ideas from Sci-Fi.

On 15 May 2017, the BBC reported on a sex robot that can talk. This is one of the less frightening ideas from the 1973 movie Westworld and its 2016 remake by HBO. However, the robots in Westworld also start killing humans which overrules Isaac Asimov’s Three Laws of Robotics. Apart from programming robots killing people, how could this happen?

In part 1 of this blog, I concluded that the sequence in Life is: consciousness, external curiosity, self-awareness, internal curiosity, thinking, and (extreme) beliefs. Only humans appear to fit in the last 3. Internal curiosity (the Why question) seems to be a prerequisite for thinking. According to German philosopher Bettina Stangneth, thinking evil is a consequence of human thinking. Hence, internal curiosity should be the gateway to Artificial Intelligence.

In my view of consciousness, Artificial Intelligence would be able to gain consciousness, external curiosity and self-awareness (e.g., C-3PO, R2-D2). Programming external curiosity requires “inefficient” deviations from efficient default algorithms. Full – or “strong” – Artificial Intelligence would need to overcome internal curiosity, thinking, and beliefs. Latter development could – and thus would – be extremely dangerous to humans.

I am curious Why we explore a field that is potentially lethal to humans. The answers to human behaviour are always based on the 7 Belief systems: Money (profits), Politics (e.g., using killer robots in human wars), Science (because we can), Love (helping others), Philosophy (human superiority), and the Truth (e.g., just machines). What about Religion??

Late 2016, “the Vatican hosted a high-level discussion in the world of science, gathering experts to discuss the progress, benefits and limits of advances in artificial intelligence”. It appeared that long-term concerns were remote: “Frankly these are questions that we are not worried about right now because we just don’t have the technology that’s anywhere near the kind of power that’s required. So these are philosophical discussions but not immediate problems.” (CNA).

The CNA article makes however no reference to Yahweh’s wrath on the Sumerian Tower of Babel or the 4th Commandment from Exodus 20-4-6: “You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. You shall not bow down to them or worship them []”.

AI robotics might be today’s version of the Tower of Babel or the 4th Commandment. We are building something that may have the potential to destroy mankind. Science fiction was ahead with the Terminator movie series. Time travel warned humans against the Rise of the Machines. As noted above, Science and Technology nearly always follow science fiction.

I am relieved that internal curiosity may be an impossible hurdle to overcome towards artificial thinking. It took evolution nearly 4 billion years to come up with its most sophisticated life-form ever, and the human brain is the most complex structure in the universe.

The subconscious human Fear over artificially intelligent robotics is genuine and should be trusted. An update of Isaac Asimov’s Three Laws of Robotics would not be misplaced as machines are about to become artificial humans. This might be virtual insanity.

Virtual Insanity (1996) by Jamiroquai – artists, FB, lyrics, video, Wiki-1, Wiki-2


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