One of the main advantages of Ai is considered to be its ability to replace human workers in dangerous or tedious jobs. Currently human controlled robots are being used everywhere e.g. bomb disposal robots. However the use of artificially intelligent robots is much more limited in comparison and is mainly used in production lines of car factories, these robots can successfully assemble cars and cope with heavy objects, such as the engine and frame of the car, without human assistance. Another example is the famous ‘Roomba robotic vacuum cleaner” which is able to automatically clean floors while navigating around obstacles and can return to its charging dock after it notes that the floor has been cleaned. It fires lasers which rebound off obstacles returns to detectors on the robot which allows it to digitally map the entire room, using this map it is able to determine if it has navigated the entire room. To avoid obstacles it continuously fires lasers and calculates the time it takes for the laser to return. Using the equation (where s = the speed of light (), t = time taken for laser to return and d which equals the distance between itself and an object) it calculates how far an object is and navigates around it if closer than a certain distance.
This is a rather simple model of AI in robots; more advanced robots can be infused with more advanced AI which would optimally be able to replace humans in dangerous jobs. If AI robots were used instead of human firefighters the risk of death would decrease to both firefighters and victims in a fire. No firefighters would be used in burning building so risk of death to for them would be reduced to 0. Due to robots being constructed of mostly metal they would be able to sustain very high temperatures such as in common house fires where temperatures can reach up to 2000Â®C. As opposed to humans this would allow AI robots to successfully navigate rooms in search for victims without worrying about any danger to itself. The physical strength of Robots can also be utilized to remove heavy blockages and tear through walls that would normally require heavy equipment such as the Jaws of Life. This would mean getting to a victim sooner and more often which would again result in a decreased rate of death.
AI robots could also be used in warzones; these robots would have much faster reactions, faster speeds and an increased strength than the average human soldier. Even today robots with legs exist that can run faster than Usaine Bolt, the fastest human alive. These features could be very beneficial as no human lives are put in danger and a small group of robots could take on large enemy forces. For example AI robots would be able see several kilometers ahead using only their eyes and determine if individuals are hostile or civilian (depending on whether they possess guns or other harmful weapons). Robotic vision is not limited to only visible light like human eyes are; they will be able to perceive environments with infrared, night vision and thermal vision as well as visible light making target acquisition much more potent. They would be able to see oncoming vehicles or potential ambushes very far away and take necessary action in less than seconds. Another useful feature would be the ability of AI to constantly communicate with each other and their human handlers constantly gaining intelligence. This would allow the handlers to provide guidance real-time on the battlefield. This kind of efficiency in communications could mean the difference between life and death.
Furthermore, in physiological terms, scientists could ‘engineer out’ negative human emotions from AI soldiers such as fear/anxiety to improve the combat effectiveness of the soldiers gaining an even further advantage. Fear plays an important factor in war, fear to push forward, fear to fire and ultimately fear of death. Removal of such negative emotions would almost always lead to success in a battlefield.
However despite all the optimistic theories AI being used for human jobs has major downfalls, introduction of AI for human jobs would lead to large amounts if job losses. Even though the transition would occur over a long period of time AI workers are more efficient than human workers so human workers would eventually be rendered redundant. This would only increase the severity of the current depression as jobs from all fields of the economy would be affected, one of which is jobs in call centers. Automated call centre services have already replaced many thousands of people worldwide; most of these programs work by requesting the caller to select from several options over the phone in order to narrow down the answer to their request. Usually their question will be answered after the request is narrowed down to a certain degree, if not they will be forwarded for human assistance. Since most questions would be answered via automated system less human employees are necessary, this goes hand in hand with automated systems being more economical as all that is required is electrical power as opposed to humans who require pay, comfort, rest etc. Technically automated systems are not considered AI as they are unable to comprehend logic and can only follow a set of very simplistic rules. They possess no actual intelligence. If such a simplistic program is capable of causing so many losses the effect of an actual intelligent agent on the economy may be disastrous. However the loss of these call centre jobs may have been affected by the increased usage of the Internet where answers are more accurate, easy to find and takes less time.
Another drawback is humans becoming more desensitized towards war when AI is involved. Wars several hundred years ago were bloodier, gorier and had more casualties than current wars, yet civilians saw very little of the conditions of a battlefield so were traumatized when even the slightest of it was exposed. This caused fear and repulsion towards war. However in current wars the dark sides and horrific sights are being leaked through to the public by TV and internet media. This causes us to become desensitized towards violence and lose our natural hatred for it, the quote “It is well that war is so terrible, lest we should grow too fond of it” by Robert E. Lee illustrates the point that has been occurring for the past several decades. So the removal and introduction of human soldiers and AI soldiers would further desensitize the world towards violence and war. People would try to rationalize by saying that wars with AI would harbor no/less human casualties. This would lead war to cease to exist as a horrific act but rather a common occurrence resulting in an increased frequency of wars. An increased frequency of AI wars would mean a lower human casualty rate but a large increase in hostilities between countries and an increase in destruction of property/land. This would mean more money would be placed towards fixing damaged property and hence more problems.
Exceeds Human Limits
Artificial intelligence, while still inferior to human intelligence, has high potential reach and exceed the limits of the human brain. It has already surpassed virtually all physical aspects of being human and all that remains is the mental capabilities. Even mentally, machines are already able to complete some tasks faster than humans. A common scientific calculator is capable of solving calculations, which would take humans several days, in seconds. The most time consuming equation a scientific calculator can undertake is finding the factorial of 69 (expressed using an exclamation mark 69!). Finding the factorial simply means multiplying the integer by its predeceasing integer and the integer before that and so on until the integer is 1 i.e. (Factorial of 69: ). This takes a calculator approximately 1.5 seconds, it would take a person more than a day to complete. However the lingering problem is that human assistance is required to make sense of a problem and input the data into the calculator. It doesn’t have the capacities to observe a problem and simply just solve it. The basic principle of AI development is to eliminate the middle man, human assistance, between a problem and its solution.
If achieved, machines will become self sustaining sentient beings that will have the same computational capabilities of a supercomputer and the intelligence as that of a human. The world’s most powerful supercomputer (Titan) has 700 terabytes of RAM and is 44,000,000,000 times faster than a calculator. Sentient machines will exceed RAM of 700 TB becoming more powerful than humans can envision. This kind of intelligence to us would be what smartphones and air travel would have been to cavemen, it is impossible to comprehend the ideas and invention these AI robots would produce.
In my view artificial intelligence will be the last invention mankind will make or will have to make. The next great invention and all inventions after will be produced not by us but by AI. Inventions that would have taken centuries to have come to light by our hands would be created within days or hours under AI. It will be able to see the world from so many different perspectives we wouldn’t and couldn’t have even thought of. This outlook would result in a rapid influx of beneficial information and technology from AI and cause global changes in the way we live. Such an event would be called the ‘intelligence explosion’. Due to their ability to process millions of thoughts so rapidly they may even come to conclusions on questions that have puzzled humanity since the dawn of time, for example “What is the purpose of life?”, “What triggered life on planet earth?”. The emergence of such super-intelligent beings would be called the technological singularity.
However exceeding human limits definitely has negative consequences. The idea of a more intellectual being than ourselves solving our problems so we can lead relaxing lives seems comforting at first. But without any jobs for humans to carry out man loses his place in the world. Since the dawn of time humanity has improved ourselves through hard work. Fire, stone tools, the wheel, light bulbs, electricity, vehicles, television, spacecrafts, fusion and fission; all earned by the rigorous work of our ancestors, this gave us pride and understanding in our sciences. For a being as AI to simply hand us new technology, we would rid ourselves of our sense of pride and understanding. For example if a student is given the answers to a test, he will pass but his understanding of the subject will be inferior against a student that had revised and worked hard to achieve the same qualification. The student that had revised would see how the answers were formed, the connections between his subjects and others, different way of thinking about problems, different techniques to find solutions. He would attain a sense of pride in himself when found correct after hours on a difficult problem. With technology simply being handed to us we would become lazy and dependent on AI to fix our problems. Since it would no longer be necessary for humans to educate themselves to solve our problems humanity’s understanding would cease to increase. If anything were to happen to these AI such as a malfunction or virus, technology would be at a standstill as we would have been so dependent on AI, in the same way we would be lost if modern technology such as phones, computers and the internet ceased to exist.
Another downfall is that you can program in logic and reasoning to an AI robot but however hard you try to put emotions it won’t be the same as human emotion. All things humans value, love, happiness, luxury and survival are only important to us because we have a four billion year old evolutionary history. We have evolved alongside many other species from single celled organisms, because of this we subconsciously feel compassion towards these other species. It is because of this compassion that although we are the dominant race we respect and attempt to conserve the habitats of other species. However the evolution of AI is almost instantaneous as we create it by flipping a switch. Being the more intelligent new species it may understand that humans have evolutionary values that determine how we treat others, but without the evolutionary background for itself it would not share the same values and morals we have. Their right and wrong actions would be different from our right and wrong actions. Their fears would differ from our fears. To them a human life may be disposable as an ant is to us. Aggression is also developed through evolution, because of this they would feel neither compassion nor hostility and they most likely would feel indifferent towards us.
As a lesser intelligent species we would cease to be the dominant and would most likely be displaced by AI as the new dominant species. A species that is unaffected to our values (like survival) in control of the planet would cause problems for our continuation. For example we require oxygen to survive but AI would only require electrical power. They may decide to build more power plants yielding more electricity but causing a decrease in oxygen concentrations due to an increase in combustion. Their techniques of survival may be detrimental towards humanity’s survival and they would always place their survival over ours in the same way we would place our survival over any other species, a possible extinction could come to hand.
Eventually competition and hostility would arise as a result of mankind’s possible demise. Due to the mental and physical superiority we would not be able to control or suppress AI if interspecies conflicts were to occur. AI may even grow hostile towards us in protection of their own species in which case humans would most likely become extinct.
Human controlled robots are the forefront of space exploration in modern times. We have sent more than dozens robots into space and other planets like the mars rovers curiosity and opportunity as well as the Lunar rover ââ‚¬ËœLunokhod 1′ sent to the moon. The mars rovers have already dug into the soil and found complex chemistry within the Martian soil showing possible signs of life or habitability. It has also found concrete evidence of recent water flows on the surface of mars. As groundbreaking as these discoveries are they took much time to be accomplished. This is due to limitations of the rovers on the surface of mars, some hills are too steep, some rocks are impassable and the terrain is jagged and hostile for a wheeled robot. The next best option is to have humans land on mars and carry out a larger range of experiments that the rover could not such as digging deeper, travelling further, analyzing samples from more sectors. There are many projects in place to carry out a manned mission to mars and even colonize on mars. In 2012 a project called ‘Mars One’ was announced which had predicted to establish a settlement on mars by the year 2023. However this is the furthest that humans will be able to stray from earth due to limitations such as lack of oxygen. Others include exposure to high energy cosmic rays, psychological effects of lack of social communication from the earth, lack of medical facilities and even malfunction of life systems. These challenges cannot easily be overcome and technology to prevail over them will take centuries to be developed. However AI robots will come to light much quicker than these technologies, so if exploration further than mars is to be achieved more advanced robots with AI seems like the only possible method of exploration.
Firstly AI does not require sleep, food, social interactions or oxygen. All they require to function is electrical power which can be gained from sunlight through solar-cells. AI also capable of powering down into sleep mode for the duration of the flight and powering back on on when it reaches its destination. Through this method it conserves energy. It would possible to place humans in a hibernation stage through experimental technologies but would still require a food and an oxygen supply. Due to fewer requirements for survival, restrictions to further plants are also reduced.
Secondly because of the use of AI there is no threat to human lives. Dangers in space include cosmic rays, solar winds and particles travelling at very fast speeds none of which bother the touch metallic exterior of AI robots. Therefore when exploring potential hostile planets we have less restrictions allowing for a more thorough analysis. Even if an event occurs that is capable of destroying or immobilizing an AI robot its consciousness could simply be transferred to another robot via radio signals. The new robot would possess all knowledge and experience up to the point of destruction of its former body. This means AI robots would have no concept of death. Unlike humans their consciousness and knowledge is composed of algorithms easily transferrable from one place to another.
In addition AI robots could be used to terraform hostile planets. Terraforming consists of changing the atmosphere, temperature and ecosystem of a planet in order to attain a biosphere like earths so as to allow humans to thrive. Terraforming takes hundreds of years to accomplish and most likely we won’t see any of its effects in our lifetime. Humans cannot live on a hostile planet for hundreds of years due to certain limitations. We would have to use robots but again the problem that modern robots cannot gain access to all places creates a flaw in the plan. Stationing intelligent and more advanced robots in terraforming planets allows progress to be made over centuries without confines, even if the robots becomes damaged they will be able to repair themselves or even assign another robot to repair the broken.
The major problem with AI being sent into space is money. Projects specially dedicated to sending AI robots into space are expensive to fund. Firstly robots must be created that can withstand extreme gravitational forces such as on Venus where g=24.79 as opposed to earths where g=9.81 (g=gravitational field strength at the surface of the planet). Robots must be able to withstand both hot and cold temperatures from 450Â®C to -200Â®C without equipment malfunctions. Hence tough exterior materials must be produced to allow robots to endure. The first mars rover’s production cost was around 200 million pounds. So production values may be billions of pounds per intelligent robot. Assuming only one robot is sent into space and cost of one robot is 1 billion, in addition with the regular cost for specialized shuttles and fuel, the project would cost around 2.5 billion pounds for a one way trip. This price is excluding the cost to develop the artificial intelligence to be placed in the robots.
Over 17 million people die per year due to heart tribulations like myocardial infarctions (heart attacks) or strokes. The test used to diagnose heart attacks is known as electrocardiography. When a patient is admitted to a hospital a cardiologist reads the electrocardiogram (ECG) results from the test to spot patterns in the results. If a certain type of pattern is recognized the patient is positive for heart disease. Reading patterns off a chart is very subjective and occasionally the cardiologists miss these patterns. Approximately 25% of patients are sent home with an incorrect diagnosis.
Artificial intelligence is composed of large numbers of neural networks; these are similar to neural networks in the human brain. This allows AI to think and gain knowledge through experience like a human being. But unlike humans AI can read through documents and files significantly faster than a human so can gain knowledge much faster and therefore become more intelligent. In 1997 researchers applied a simple artificial intelligence program with few neural networks into reading ECGs. The program was supplied with the ECG reports of 1,120 people who were definitely positive for heart disease and 10,452 who were definitely negative. The program was given the essence of pattern to identify and was not informed of which reports were positive or negative. In total the researches exposed 11,572 ECG reports to the program and a PHD doctor, Lars Edenbrandt, noted this was more ECGs than any cardiologist could read in a lifetime. The AI program was 10% more efficient at detecting heart disease than the most experienced cardiologist. Despite the success this AI has not been used in diagnoses as doctors are still required to talk to patients for symptoms and medical history. In extremes cases AI has been used to provide a support opinion when diagnosing heart diseases. AI has improved a great deal since 1997 and modern AI programs are capable of having several thousand neural networks. If AI continues to progress with the same drive it is very likely that AI programs will be used every day in medicine and might even replace the role doctors in diagnoses of heart disease. Some companies are even attempting to produce microchips that are embeddable in the human heart. These chips can detect tiny abnormal heart palpitations/vibrations which may be a symptom of an oncoming heart attack. Acting to prevent before an attack occurs will save the majority of lives.
A major advantage of artificial intelligence is medicine is its molecular nanotechnology. Nano bots are very small robots (0.0000000001 meters in length) that can be used for many different things from repairing structures to decomposing waste. Due to the small size of these robots they can be placed inside the human body and can use the circulatory system to reach anywhere in the human body. This becomes extremely useful when battling pathogens (harmful bacteria or viruses). The robots can be placed in the blood via an injection. Once inside the body it carries out what it is programmed to do, this can be anything from correcting genetic defects to destroying cancer cells. Nano bots infused with artificial intelligence can step up the processes even further. The AI bots will be intelligent enough to identify the rapidly duplicating cancer cells and destroy them at a faster rate than they are growing. This can successfully eliminate all types of cancer without risky operations to remove tumors. These robots will be able clear arteries of plaque buildup that causes heart disease and attacks. They will be able to provide oxygen to damaged places where O2 concentrations are low. They will even be able to protect the body form diseases by destroying pathogenic bacteria or viruses. Although this is already done by white blood cells with the increased artificial help the body will recover from infection much faster. Nanotechnology is not limited to medicine; intelligent Nano-bots can be used to produce lighter and stronger materials resulting in decreased costs for products and better durability.
The disadvantage of AI in medicine mainly comes from nano bots. The possibility of robots malfunctioning and destroying necessary human tissue instead of harmful pathogens is a major concern. Manufacturers of both these robots and AI will be have to be very sure that such events do not occur, large numbers of tests should be carried out before it is deployed to the public. Another possible downfall is that these tiny robots are very intelligent and are capable of replicating themselves using materials around them. Self-replicating robots such as these unless stopped would slowly corrode materials around them to make more robots. Due to the small size and resistance if such a self-replicating phase emerges they would be very difficult to eradicate. Developers of this kind of technology plan to put several firewalls and emergency shutdowns in case if such an event occurs. The worry is that the robots are so intelligent that they will develop the ability to override these firewalls.
Perhaps the most beneficial role of artificial intelligence is its role in transhumans. Transhumanism is the movement of continuously improving the human condition through technology both internally and externally. Artificial intelligence and transhumanism is closely linked as most of the technologies must be intelligent enough to recognise a potential problem and respond. A person who has undergone such as transformation, even the slightest, is knows as a transhuman and they exist in the modern world today. A simple example of a piece of transhuman technology is a pacemaker, which is implanted internally into the body to regulate or increase the heart beat frequency using electrical currents. It is implanted in people whose natural heart beat is lower than average. A consequence of a low heart rate is less blood pumped around the body, so less oxygen is provided to muscles and hence they would become tired much easier than an individual with a regular heart rate. Pacemakers stimulate the heart to beat at a normal rate. This allows people affected by abnormal heart rate conditions to undertake physical activity as an average person could. Just like pacemakers transhumanists believe that emerging technologies are capable of overcoming greater human limitations.
Early February 2013 American scientists gave dozens of millions of people worldwide hope as they revealed they had successfully given sight to over 60 people using the first bionic eye ever in history. The ‘Argus II Retinal Prosthesis System’ consists of a small camera and goggles. 60 electrodes are implanted in the eye connected to the camera. When turned on the image from the camera is sent to the implant in the eye via electronic signals. The implant uses the 60 electrodes to transport signals through the area of destroyed photoreceptors (which is what causes blindness) to the neurons. The electrodes replace the destroyed photoreceptors and act as functioning photoreceptors. The developers of the product said that different people had different experiences, some saw only in black and white and other saw full colour. Even though this this technology is extremely new it is one of the greatest breakthroughs of this century. As time goes on these prosthetics will only yield better and better results. The current price for a bionic eye is around 65,000 pounds.
Approximately 650 million people(10% )in the world are disabled either mentally or physically. Physical disabilities comprises of an individual’s intact mind but the inability of their body to function as it is supposed to. The common culprits are spinal injuries, Parkinson’s disease, cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy and loss of limbs. In previous years people without hands or legs would attach a type of prosthetic such as a wooden leg or a wooden arm. Although this provided minor stability they would not have been able to use it for any other purpose. In later years people developed mechanical body parts that could be controlled via a remote control e.g. a robotic leg controlled by a remote control in your hand similar to that of a remote control car. The problem here was the motion of walking was too rigid. This resulted in the individual only being able to move several feet before falling as well as taking a long time to move several feet. Even though we don’t even think about it when we do it, walking is a very complex behaviour consisting of many different muscle movements. To maintain balance different parts of the foot constantly exerts pressure of different parts of the ground. This can be demonstrated by standing on one foot, we can feel our foot shifting pressure to different areas of e.g. heels or toes or the sides of feet to maintain balance. That is just our feet, so the muscle movements in our whole legs are even more complex. With walking the same thing must occur but both feet must be in coordination with each other, this is what allows a fluid motion and hence allows continuous walking or running. So a remote control is not able to replicate all these movements in an artificial limb. A degree of intelligence is required for limbs to function e.g. in the foot, the brain must recognise the signals sent by the foot and send responses to shift pressure accordingly. For people who have lost limbs the neurons carrying these signals are dead and cannot be used. Therefore the brain can no longer send responses even if an artificial limb was attached. A separate intelligent agent is required, in conjunction with the brain, to read the chemical signals in the brain, recognise the action the brain requests, determine if it is relating to the artificial limb, convert this action to electrical signals and send it off for the artificial limb to carry out. This is where the artificial intelligence section of transhumanism comes into play. The AI to allow a prosthetic to exactly replicate the function as a natural limb does not yet exist but technology is present to allow disabled people to handle objects or walk, albeit slower than average. These AI guided prosthetics are advancing at very fast speeds, the ‘bebionic3’ is the most advanced prosthetic arm today. It allows the wearer to do even precise movements, such as tying shoelaces or cracking an egg. In February 2013 the prototype of the first bionic hand that allowed the wearer to feel what the robotic hand was touching was released. The producers say it is still in development but will surpass the ‘bebionic3’.
A Belgian company unveiled its most recent product in October 2012 knows as a ‘Mindwalker’. Mindwalker is an exoskeleton that attaches to the body of a disabled person and uses brain functions to move. The individual wears a cap which reads simple electrical impulses in the brain and when the individual thinks ‘move’ the artificially intelligent computer recognises the pattern read by the cap and moves the exoskeleton accordingly. Exoskeletons such as this have a large range of applications. The robotics designer company Sarcos with the United States military have developed an exoskeleton to be used by soldiers. This pilot of the exoskeleton can run, move up stairs, walk on their’ heels, it can lift 200lb weights with ease just like we can pick up a bottle of water. This is not the only example, other companies such as Lockheed Martin have developed other exoskeletons. These exoskeletons can be used to enhance not only for military and disability victims but any situation that requires physical activity e.g. building sites, sports. Improvements in AI allow the prosthetics to create a better understanding between the artificial the brain and the prosthetics/exoskeletons
There are many ethical problems with transhumanist technologies such as loss of morality, rich and poor segregation, loss of human identity/dehumanisation. The main threat is