The bridge between artificial and human intelligence: How artificial intelligence can experience life

The bridge between artificial and human intelligence: How artificial intelligence can experience life

On October 24, the Human Future Initiative hosted “Does AI Dream of Electric People?” A conversation that delves into the potential consciousness of artificial intelligence. The recent symposium looked at how to bring AI closer to the human experience – and for experts in the field, the key is to emulate human senses.

Although just over half of the US population believes machines and artificial intelligence will soon play a role in helping us with tasks like child and elderly care, those who work in the industry say more work is needed before then. It is fully implemented.

Andrew Maynard is a professor at the School for the Future of Innovation in Society and founder of the Future to Be Human initiative. While he said the idea of ​​conscious AI is currently speculative, the potential is vast.

“I’ve been working on the cutting edge of emerging technologies for decades,” Maynard said. “This is the first time I can’t even begin to predict where things are going.”

He explained that for AI to be fully autonomous, it must be able to experience the world in a similar way to humans.

“To have fully human-like intelligence, AI must be able to experience the physical world,” Maynard said. “So it has to be able to see it. It has to be able to hear it. It has to be able to have some kind of physical hands that touch things and experience things. And that will only be possible if you have an embodied artificial intelligence.”

Mark Daly is the current head of artificial intelligence at Western University in Ontario, and while he believes that humans will be able to develop a form of conscious AI, he also believes that properly defining consciousness is easier said than done.

“It seems likely that, in the long run, we will develop something resembling consciousness,” Daly said. “Of course, we don’t have any good scientific definitions of consciousness. We don’t have any good scientific definitions of life. So it’s a really fraught endeavor.”

Another major problem with giving AI consciousness is that it can now be removed or manipulated for other purposes.

“The other problem is that if it’s conscious, and you say, ‘Well, it’s just a machine, so it can’t actually be suffering,’ then it suffers. And that’s also terrible,” Daly said.

In order to experience the physical world, an AI would need a body to do so; However, the technology used in these bodies is moving at a much slower pace than the software itself. Before confronting the ethical issue of human-like AI, the speed of robot development will be the first issue.

Blake Richards is an associate professor of computer science, neuroscience and neurobiology at McGill University in Montreal. It is not believed that artificial intelligence with moving robotic objects will be fully possible within our lifetime due to different speeds of development.

“I think it’s worth noting that the development of robotics is going much slower than the development of artificial intelligence,” Richards said. “When you talk about these things, you have to separate those two aspects of research. I don’t think we’ll see robots anywhere near the level of physical sophistication like the human body in our lifetime.”

Despite the challenges facing the field, the popularization of AI and its potential benefit lead to continuing discussions about the technology and its broad potential.

Edited by River Graziano, Sadie Bogle, and Kyra Learmonth.


Contact the reporter at hrhea@asu.edu.

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Hunter RheaPhotographer

Hunter Rea is a photographer from New Orleans who also lives in Ohio and Indiana. He studies software engineering and business administration at Arizona State University. Once he graduates, he plans to move to Los Angeles to start his own software development company.


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