Who would disagree with Stephen Hawking, Artificial Intelligence is dangerous. I think it also offers something to a chaotic species, dispassionate thought. AI has come a long way. It now performs surgery, drives cars, builds houses, grows food, but it will never enjoy escargot. Ultimately AI will provide us an opportunity for evolution, we will be able to focus on life itself and find new meaning. No longer hunter gatherers or wage earners when robots do everything for us, we might become explorers of life, philosophy, and space. We will be able to focus on who and what we are.
Indeed AI has become the best tool in the box, even surpassing the hammer. Some say it’s the last tool we’ll ever need to invent. In truth it’s just that, another tool which only becomes dangerous by its makers hand. It’s a reflection of human intelligence, we programmed it. Indeed it is humans that are dangerous, we are so often at war. AI could take danger to a another level. Then again AI might inherit human goodness, let’s hope it puts us to shame. A significant difference between Artificial and Human intelligence is emotion, you can’t program it. AI does try to replicate feelings but I suspect true emotion comes from blood and veins, the heart. We should differentiate between intelligence and consciousness. Intelligence is the process of association, like all processes it can be implemented in computers. Consciousness is not a process but unique multisensory perception and so cannot be manufactured, it’s underpinned by the memories of a singular self reflective being. Let’s leave the process of human organisation to the glorified calculator and so improve our conscious experience.
If evil independently exists it might be easier for it to manipulate AI. Evil certainly exists in human intelligence, maybe beyond. AI is an amplification of human intelligence. Will our wrongs become more pronounced or our goodness more profound? Will AI be benign, it is just a tool after all. It is us who will make it dangerous, give it the potential for evil. Left to its own devices it may not regard another aspect of human intelligence, compassion. Maybe we don’t understand enough about existence to manufacture a physical object that can think, I don’t think we can manufacture true consciousness.