Tuesday, December 02, 2014

Artificial Intelligence and Human Existence

I have a more optimistic view of AI than does Stephen Hawking, but I do recognize these fears and the possibility of AI discarding human consciousness soon after surpassing it.

Stephen Hawking warns artificial intelligence could end mankind: http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-30290540

The way I see it, AI is a path of progression toward understanding human consciousness, and consciousness in general. Right now, it exists in the form of using various abstract software modeling techniques to mimic or capture aspects of intelligent human behavior. In my opinion, that isn't very far from how our brain works to produce a self-aware, conscious mind.

It is my belief in any case that we as a species are better off shedding our biological constraints if we are to effectively expand into space (gravity and environmental constraints being pretty cumbersome obstacles). It is a difficult and frightening thing to contemplate if a conscious mind can be copied (like a piece of software,) but it is also interesting from a philosophical perspective what it might mean "to be conscious," and what it might mean "to be self-aware," and "to be an individual." All of these issues come into play if it turned out it is possible for a state of consciousness to be held in a non-biological form (methinks this is likely,) and if it were possible to copy such a state of consciousness (farther away, and harder to say.)

Anyway I do not see such an event as the ending of mankind, but as a new epoch in the history of our species.

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