TED Conversations

Jordan Reeves

TED-Ed Community Manager, TED Conferences


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In ten words or less, what is a question no one (yet) knows the answer to?

Is there life outside of our planet?

What's a bigger factor in our development: environment or genetics?

Is there any real truth, or is everything relative?

What will the earth be like in 100 years?

Topics: answers questions

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    Dec 11 2011: James,

    Emotional and "spiritual" intelligence are not some magical properties that exist outside the operation of our brains. They are nothing more than sub-classifications (some consider them imaginary classifications) within the universe of "human" intelligence. If you want to start using TV series as "proof" then consider the latest BattleStar Galactica series. The artificial intelligences in that series had their own religion and based many of their decisions on "emotion." All "emotion" is is a subconscious (the conscious part of the mind doesn't have direct control over it) bias within the circuits of the brain which influence the final outcome of the intelligence, often in ways that contradict the outcome one would get if that bias were not present. If you paid close attention in ST-TNG you would see that data did, in fact, have his own set of emotions; his own set of driving forces. One of which was the desire to be more human.

    Besides, Logan, the original poster, has confirmed that his intent was not to generate an intelligence identical and indistinguishable from a human, but an intelligence on par with the capabilities of a human. Emotion and spirituality can easily be incorporated into the fundamental operation of any AI complex enough. If you remember your robotic fiction, the three laws of robotics could be considered just such an underlying bias. Asimov's stories fully explored what kinds of irrational decisions can be made, even by a relatively simple AI, when such an underlying bias exists.

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