The final topic I chose was Artificial Intelligence. I have yet to really hammer down a question, but I am considering the question(s): How close are we to a sentient A.I. and what would A.I. mean for society? This idea has been discussed on several platforms. The first that comes to mind is the depiction of A.I. in movies. Before I was even born A.I. had a prominent role in movies. In 1968 Stanley Kubrick directed 2001: A Space Odyssey. This film is critically acclaimed and in 2010 was named the greatest movie of ALL-TIME by The Moving Arts Film Journal.
The film features a crew on a mission with a sentient machine. It becomes a man vs. machine movie in its final acts. This man vs. machine concept has been portrayed in countless classics. Another film that comes to mind is Ridley Scott’s ALIEN. In 1979 Scott directed this ultimate Sci-fi horror classic that features a crew on a journey into space that encounter ‘the perfect organism’. What we find out late in the movie is that one of the crew members is a sentient droid that has deemed the crew expendable due to its mission.
There are films where sentient robots are NOT viewed as the villains. Recently released Interstellar had sentient robots that aided in man’s attempt to reach beyond our own universe. The film is a throwback to 2001, but you must watch it in order to understand how this was achieved.
The feedback I received on my topic was great. It seemed like people were genuinely interested in the topic and that’s the type of response I was hoping to get. Now, it is all about creating a memorable piece for the class to consume.
I’m not quite sure what I believe I know about A.I. I assume that we are getting closer to creating a sentient being through A.I. I have read numerous articles on A.I., I visit a blog dedicated to Sci-fi thought called io9.com. It is a sister site to deadspin.com which I love to read. I recently read something and thought it would be good to bookmark for this research project. There are numerous stories on io9 that deal with the creation of A.I. and just how far along we are in creating a sentient being. The idea of this is mind blowing, and recently Stephen Hawking discussed this with John Oliver on Last Week Tonight and I plan to use that interview in my presentation because the interview is so amazing.
When I think of things like the NSA and their capabilities to monitor people at anytime, or Edward Snowden explaining how he could turn your phone on without you ever knowing make me believe that we are a lot further along with A.I. than we might be willing to share with the public.
I believe that the creation of A.I. could transform humanity in a positive way. It could allow us to focus on REAL ideas and problems. Problems like, where does human consciousness come from? What is out beyond our solar system? There must be life outside of our universe, what does it look like?
Stephen Hawking once said that if humans ever encounter an alien race, that the race will probably be robots. This seems logical to me because anyone with the technology to reach beyond the stars probably has the tech to create sentient beings to travel through space and time.
I have read about A.I. in creating new limbs for people that have lost a limb. The technology is becoming greater and greater, and I do believe that at some point in my lifetime we will achieve A.I. Whether or not that will be our LAST defining achievement, we won’t know. This idea of A.I. being detrimental to society is the idea that I wish to tackle in my research topic.