TED Conversations

  • Brent O
  • Ventura, CA
  • United States

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The history of Artificial Intelligence goes back to the Greek and Roman era with stories of Talos, a bronze guardian, made to protect the country of Crete from pirates. However, within the past century, this abstract idea has become more realistic as our comprehension on technology is beginning to apply itself in practicality. In the summer of 1956, the first formal conference on the topic of Artificial Intelligence took place at Dartmouth College to build the framework of AI Research. This begs the question: should AI beings be considered human?

Do these robots lack the inherent nature evident within all of humanity such as morality or rationality? Is there any evidence proving humankind to be the only self-sacrificial, moral, and emotionally-responsive beings alive? Since the dawn of the 21st Century, a robot by the name of "Kobian" was created specifically to express emotions. This robot has been programmed to express feelings of delight, sadness, a startle response, and distaste. From this example, the world stood in awe as the robot demonstrated his ability to open his mouth wide and smile with delight just as much as he could hang his head low and sob like someone grieving. THis robot has been the closest breakthrough to the wonders of humanity and poses several questions:

Is emotional response based solely on chemicals in the body capable of being reproduced in a metal box and expressed almost exactly as it would be in a human? Or is emotion much more than that and clearly only something possible within humankind?

Are we, humankind, taking too much control over the "wonders of the human body" with the construction of these mechanized lives? Or are they just that: mechanical beings with no human qualities.

Is our comprehension on these mechanical beings outweighed by our misunderstanding of the repercussions of having them? Why or why not?

Thank you for your time.


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    Apr 28 2011: When it comes to transhumanism, there are two ways of looking at the Artificial Intelligence that fuels it. The left brain dominant notion of transhumanism is sort of a continuation of scarcity-thinking of today with a lot more technology. AI will be used to control the masses and subject them to the whims of an existing ruling elite. In the left brain scenario, humanity is not part of the AI but simply subject to it. We become the robots and serve the AI, not the other way around. It is pessimistic and depends on total stagnation of human potential for its carry-through.

    The right brain view is that we are all a dynamic and integral part of the AI. We are hooked up to this dynamic artificial intelligence which reads our intentions before we have conscious awareness of the intention. Because every human is hooked into it, the ability to connect people places things and the "know-how" is incredible and immediate. This scenario makes the Dynamic universal AI a dream come true machine.

    First we had to type on a keyboard, then we could do voice to text, now we can do thought to text. Soon, the AI will be able to know what part of the brain the thoughts originate from. This will reveal whether they are seriously a danger or threat.

    The Right brain view of Artifical Intelligence requires everyone's full participation in it. There are no secrets, there are no leaders. Goverment is an immensely beneficial Artificial Intelligence Master-mind made up of the sum total and constantly growing body of human thought, synthesized and refined. Our individual desires are immediately fulfilled, either by matching us with the object of our desire, or making us feel like we have it whether we do or not.

    There is no shallow way to sum it up. You can see the erosion of privacy in our Facebook worlds, we are cyborgs already with cell phones attached to us, we won't stop ourselves so we better design the future to our highest possible.


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