Fandango’s Provocative Question #198


Lately there seems to be a lot of interest in artificial intelligence. Recently I read several blog posts about AI writing by Martha Kennedy. This week it is Fandango posing a question about AI.

What would happen if Al surpassed human intelligence?

I can’t write about AI without thinking about the stories of Isaac Asimov. Anyone familiar with his science fiction stories will know that he wrote a great many about robotics and AI. Asimov mostly saw robots as benign and the robots in his stories had to conform to The Three Laws of Robotics which were meant to safeguard humanity from harm.

The Original Laws of Robotics (The Calvinian Religion)

  1. A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.
  2. A robot must obey orders given to it by human beings except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.
  3. A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law.
Isaac Asimov

However, in his later years Asimov came up with The Zeroth Law.

The Zeroth Law (The Giskardian Reformation)

A robot must act in the long-range interest of humanity as a whole, and may overrule all other laws whenever it seems necessary for that ultimate good.

Isaac Asimov

This seems to me to suggest that Asimov thought that AI beings would become more intelligent than humans and know what was best for them better than they did. You could say this is a good thing but it has its pitfalls. Can AI make decisions that are not only wise but also compassionate? Does AI operate with ethical values? Of course, humans don’t always know what is good for them either and may fight against things that could ultimately benefit them.

In other stories Asimov writes about a super computer called Multivac which eventually becomes so sophisticated that it runs all aspects of human life and is self-maintaining. What happens if such a computer develops a fault? Humans would not have the intelligence or ability to fix it or to survive without it.

Having AI that is so intelligent that it can take care of all our daily needs could free us from drudgery and give us time to do the things we want to do but there would be a cost. What would become of all those people who once did the menial jobs? How would they live? You can see why the Luddites were worried. Having all our needs taken care of might also make humans lazy and lacking in a sense of purpose.

AI can be a wonderful tool but having machines that are smarter than we are may ultimately lead to the end of human civilisation if we don’t know how to fix them.

Robot Bartenders on Ovation of the Seas

I decided to pose this question to an AI Generator myself.

Q. Write a short answer to this question. What would happen if Al surpassed human intelligence?

A. If Al surpassed human intelligence, it would be a monumental feat and mark an important milestone in the advancement of artificial intelligence. It could open new pathways to innovative solutions to complex problems, while simultaneously raising questions about our own capabilities. Automation of more advanced tasks may become increasingly prevalent, potentially replacing or augmenting existing jobs with machines that can learn quickly and accurately perform difficult assignments. With the potential for increased efficiency and accuracy, AI-driven systems could revolutionize many aspects of society, from education to transportation. However, such a development also has the potential to limit creativity by allowing for precise but overly structured thinking processes.

My conclusion: Sir Humphrey Appleby might have written this but regular people don’t write this way if they want to be understood.

Further Reading:

This is a pretty interesting subject thinking about robotics, machine ethics, AI etc.

https://asimov.fandom.com/wiki/Asimov_Wiki

Taswegian1957

I was born in England in 1957 and lived there until our family came to Australia in 1966. I grew up in Adelaide, South Australia, where I met and married my husband, David. We came together over a mutual love of trains. Both of us worked for the railways for many years, his job was with Australian National Railways, while I spent 12 years working for the STA, later TransAdelaide the Adelaide city transit system. After leaving that job I worked in hospitality until 2008. We moved to Tasmania in 2002 to live in the beautiful Huon Valley. In 2015 David became ill and passed away in October of that year. I currently co-write two blogs on WordPress.com with my sister Naomi. Our doll blog "Dolls, Dolls, Dolls", and "Our Other Blog" which is about everything else but with a focus on photographs and places in Tasmania. In November 2019 I began a new life in the house that Naomi and I intend to make our retirement home at Sisters Beach in Tasmania's northwest. Currently we have five pets between us. Naomi's two dogs Toby and Teddy and cats, Tigerwoods and Panther and my cat Polly. My dog Cindy passed away aged 16 in April 2022.

8 comments

  1. It is absolutely going to revolutionize many things — including surgery. Robots can perform tasks that no human hand can manage. I’m sure AI will take over most business writing and a lot of advertising where I think it is already an active participant.

    It will NEVER be original. It will never create something new and unique. And it won’t ever care.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Isaac Asimov interestingly enough is IA and yet also in reverse AI – the strange side to me finds that spooky in a way given how much of his time was spent writing about science fiction. Interesting post Vanda .

    Of course the biggest problem is if humans lose control of the AI, they lose control of so much and yet like the imbeciles they seem to pride themselves on being in the same breath seemingly don’t understand they are creating monsters that will eventuall overrun the systems.

    It will be literally a case of Artifical Intelligence to a case of Superintelligence. Humans will leave humans in their own puddles of confusion too late to stop it. Machines could turn the tables on us and exterminate us.

    Liked by 1 person

      • I think things are progressively going to worsen and the speed in which things are advancing people are becoming dumber in their inventiveness to create not realising that all they are doing is creating more for people to not think for themselves.

        That is how technology will start to take over.

        In the so called new age when people don’t need to think, manipulative engineers are already creating software to make people’s lives easier so that they don’t have to think.

        We are already seeing cases here in the UK and l should imagine other areas where people are so reliant upon digital information that they fail to research for themselves and independant free thought is lost to the robot.

        Liked by 1 person

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