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Category: 08. 4/11 Robots and AI (Page 1 of 2)

The limits of AI

The film Ex Machina adresses the current subject of artificial intelligence (AI). The film considers a very advanced form of AI in the form of a highly functional AI robot named Ava. Through out the movie it becomes clear that Ava is more capable than her creator, Nathan Bateman, could have anticipated. Ava’s advanced abilities as an artificial being raises concern of the power of AI. However, when thinking about a sequel to the movie questions would arise about the moral capabilities of Ava. Emotions and moral standard are not something that can be manufactured but rather are traits synonymous with human nature.  Continue reading

Artificial Humanity

The film Ex Machina analyzes some very complex ethical issues regarding artificial intelligence. This topic is rising in prevalence in modern sci fi content and debates surrounding the development of robotics. As the questions have progressed beyond that of the Turing test, another’s perception of ones identity as robot or human, movies like Ex Machina have started tackling things like self awareness and genuine qualities of “humanity” on the part of the robot. This leads to a debate regarding what “humanity” really is. Recent film Blade Runner 2049 takes this question almost acting as a sequel to the ethical dilemma presented in Ex Machina. At one point in Ex Machina, Caleb cuts himself to discern whether he himself is a robot. In the world of Blade Runner many of the “replicants” are given memories so that they have no knowledge that they are anything but human. This is taken one step further when a replicant is given the ability to reproduce, resulting in a child that grows and develops physically and intellectually like any other human. This adds a whole new level to the debate. The Turing test established whether another human could identify a robot, Ex Machina and Blade Runner touch on a robots ability to identify themselves, now the birth of a child from a synthetically created being begs the question what does it mean to be human at all?

In Ex Machina the deceptivity of Caleb seems to be the last nail in the coffin in determining whether Ava is self interested and capable of complex and long sighted thoughts, rather than following actions and commands. This seems like a step towards basic humanity and human personality. However it is lacking the sympathetic and socially aware traits that guide humanity to an elevated status from just personhood. In Blade Runner run away replicants would often live together and look out for others like them, showing a group identity that starts to reach another level closer to humanity. That said they see themselves as separate from humans, which infringes on their ability to sympathize and reason with many of the humans that want to help. I think that the offspring of the two replicants in the movie has the potential for true AI humanity, because it can identify with the greater world and the experiences of both sides. Even though this is the product of a synthetically created being, it still has the potential for true humanity, or at least begs the question. It is relatable to many of the current ethical debates around lab made children and manipulated DNA. I think that there is no question of a humans “humanity” if though they were produced artificially.

These ethical debates in modern Sci Fi are much more relevant than as merely philosophical movie plots. The discussion and conclusions that these movies draw and move us towards as society influence how robots and AI develop. This is either in an abstract sense as an influence on consumer demand, or in a more direct way as it effects the innovators in the field. This movie and the questions it tackles is a perfect example of the intersection between Technology and Society.



Will AI take over our Jobs?

Since the beginning of robots or AI (artificial intelligence), there has always been a worry of them having a mind of their own and taking over human life. Well, not quite that bad but robots may be taking over a key component to our lives, work. Not just manual labor either, AI is constantly growing and getting stronger. Of course the whole point in creating such technologies was to make our lives easier, but now there is a worry that these time-saving technologies could and have developed enough that they could take millions of jobs. A man by the name of Kai-Fu Lee who is a massive techy in China is also the founder of a venture capitalist firm called Sinovation, was interviewed by CNBC (CNBC). In the interview we see it obvious that Kai-Fu Lee is a massive believer in the fact that AI will confiscate many jobs, “These are things that are superhuman, and we think this will be in every industry, will probably replace 50 percent of human jobs,” (CNBC). Lee believes this new age of artificial intelligence will be a huge impact on all of human life. In my opinion, I don’t believe we should be giving away our jobs to AI, and I do not believe 50% of humans out of jobs is beneficial for a working society, although that is not how Kai-Fu Lee feels. Later on in his previous quote he continues his stance, “[AI will] create a huge amount of wealth for mankind and wipe out poverty,” (CNBC). Now, I am sure that his argument would be much stronger than my own and most definitely has more ethos, though my main point of confusion in all of this is are people still remembering we are human. If we let AI take us too far we become the machine. Continue reading

Artificial Intelligence Creates Inequality

Imagine a brand new world with maximum efficiency; computers doing the basic activities you and I do everyday. This new society would introduce new ways of living and analyzing the world. The opportunities would be infinite, but for who? When we think of innovations, we tend to focus solely on the positive effects. This futuristic world would simply leave out the people who didn’t have access to the resources needed to participate. Without time, money, and connections, this efficient world essentially would be like a snow globe, everyone on the outside looking in to this unattainable reality.

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