Let’s begin from this news: independent.co.uk
If I would like to resume this news in a very short form I would say: The fourth most powerful computer on Earth computed in 40 minutes the same amount of information that human brain computes in a second. Some scholars and companies think that in a decade it will be possible to pair computation capabilities between humans and computers.
Only 10 years!? This is quite scaring, in such a short period (shorter than organizing the Olympic Games in our city or a Football World Cup in our Country) there will be a computer capable to reproduce our capability to compute. From here to think that the human beings will be “retired” (as their brains) needs some further steps because here we are not talking about intelligence or artificial intelligence but computational power. Thinking to a simple comparison we could say that if we would have a wood oven with the same quality of the one owned by a pizza maker and we would have also the same ingredients it does not mean that we would be automatically pizza makers.
After this sigh of relief, we can say that we are still on board of this planet with the rank of “captain”, there aren’t yet humanoids with noisy caterpillars out of the window to subjugate us and our computer isn’t capable yet of “sucking us into” the Internet via a USB port.
Yes, we are still on the lead, they will not “suck us in” anywhere but should be worried about it? Could we really loose the intelligence supremacy of the planet?
Maybe this question is too big for who (like me) isn’t a scientist or a scholar in futuristic subjects but to help ourselves in this matter we could still use the example of the pizza maker. If there would be just one person that can obtain all the required stuff to be a perfect pizza maker, the pizza maker should not be worried to lose his lead, there are very few possibility that this single novice could spoil the pizza maker’s world.
Anyway, what could happen if the “super pizza kit” would be in the hand of 100 thousand of aspiring pizza makers? For sure some of them would fulfill the goal. In the same way, when these powerful computers (now called super-computers) will be available for thousands of coders, geeks and common people, what will happen?
Are we sure that someone will not use this artificial intelligence in many different dangerous ways? In the same way as no one would like that all the gun and rifle owners use own an atomic bomb, I think that we should not get to the point where everyone could have the possibility.
Fear. A while ago I had a conversation with a dear friend. He thinks that currently we are using just a small part of our brain and when we will get to point to use it all we could do things that could only be seen in a sci-fi movie. I partially agree with him for the full potential of own brains, but I totally agree that we could see at some stage surprising stuff from humans. About this, I would add that the goal should not just be the capability to perform “prodigies” but we should push ourselves to a higher level of virtue. This isn’t a negligible fact.
Actually, as human beings, we are already capable to give life despite the possibilities offered by Mother Nature. We spent hundreds of thousand years to get here, in the good or in the bad. Now the question is, are we ready to donate intelligence and conscience to another being?
Whether this “being” belongs to the animal kingdom or is a computer, it is a point of no return, there will be a new “I” in the Universe. Wow, perhaps we will enter in a more prestigious club, an intelligent being that gives intelligence! But, are we ready for this? No, we aren’t, we are far away, from a virtues perspective, to transfer intelligence and conscience to another being.
Not everything discussed in this article will be a real problem since we will not have the technologies to make it happen… but here the thing gets complicated. In my point of view we will not be ready to transfer intelligence to another being until we move to a much higher level of virtue (or any other another term you like to represent the concept of nobility of essence), and perhaps there would be centuries before we can elevate our own spirit.
As another example (I love those), we could say that to actually donate intelligence and conscience to another being would be like giving the key of truck to a toddler. Is it like that? If yes, I just hope that I will not want to be in the road while the baby is driving the truck. Doing the wrong thing in this extremely important passage of our history would mean to interrupt the chain of human-scientific collaboration that is the history itself of humanity.
I hope I will never see an ambitious, immoral or unprejudiced modern doctor Frankenstein install the spark of life in an intelligent being. It could be just fine for a sci-fi book introduction, something like: the human beings’ decline started when the machines understood to be more intelligent and stronger than humans, or even worst: a day the machines understood that they became the repository of human virtues, much more than humans themselves.
I hope I will never read this.