The use of technology has always been vital to the life and survival of the human race. Ever since the Neanderthals utilized wooden tools to hunt and cook 500,000 years ago, humans have been fascinated with developing the next cutting edge technology or invention. In 1955, John McCarthy used a term called artificial intelligence, and defined it as “the science and engineering of making intelligent machines”. Over the last 60 years with the inventions of computers, cell phones, and the internet, artificial intelligence has become prominent in the news and in mainstream media.
Today, the phrase is a hot topic, not just in tech circles, but around the globe, as many experts believe the ensuing breakthrough will come through A. I. Artificial Intelligence is an enigmatic problem in today’s world. The simple truth is that the extent of what is understood about A. I. is vastly dwarfed by what isn’t understood. The future of A. I. is uncertain, with tech experts on both sides of the argument. The emergence of an A. I. or Superintelligence concerns Bill Gates, and Elon Musk called A. I. our “greatest existential threat.
Stephen Hawking suggests, “Success in creating AI would be the biggest event in human history. ” nevertheless, this event could be humanity’s last breakthrough unless we learn how to avoid the risks. While these three have theorized that A. I. might spell the end of mankind, professionals such as Charlie Ortiz, the head of A. I. at a software company based in Massachusetts have posited that there is no evidence that an A. I. would want to destroy us or do us harm. Another opposing viewpoint says artificial intelligence may help us combat global climate change, poverty, and disease.
However, the apocalyptic threats and utopian scenarios divert attention from the ethical issues raised by technological developments. Privacy in an ICT world, increased stress at work due to information overload and speed of communication, and the stability of capitalism are recent, contentious matters that potentially could just get worse with the advent of an A. I. Comparatively, these issues might appear less intriguing on the surface, but when delved into, the problems are more immediate, relatable, and reasonable, no matter your stance on whether A. I. means the end of humanity.
The extent of speculation surrounding the prospect of artificial intelligence is reasonable with the many hypothetical scenarios. With positive outcomes in mind, even those opposed would agree, exploring artificial intelligence is necessary through cautious testing. Therefore, how can we harness the possible positives of A. I. without the potentially disastrous outcome? A tangible answer to this question would provide clarity for the future of A. I. , its funding and its research. Given that, understanding how artificial intelligence works and what the limits to a machine are is fundamental to answering this question.
The ethics and philosophy of A. I. including questions like: “Can machines have a conscious? ” will also be paramount. The answers to these questions would advise engineers to start reassuringly building an A. I. , or start repressing the possibility one could emerge. Since 1955, several theories, arguments, and proposals have been voiced about the limits of artificial general intelligence. These limits, or lack thereof, will provide a foundation for answering the questions I set forth in the previous section.
Meanwhile, under the umbrella topic of machine ethics, research on computationalism, Strong A. I. Hypothesis, machine consciousness, and malevolent vs friendly A. I. will be useful in determining my stance on the research questions. At the same time, a majority of this research is theories and opinions from philosophers and members of the tech sector; they aren’t scientific fact. Regardless, this information is everything we know about A. I. , and some of the world’s greatest minds have given thought to this subject. Their combined research will provide me with enough material to offer an informed answer on this topic.
I will be presenting my findings as if I were advising prominent members of the tech field about their future courses of action with regards to A. I. I will communicative my main points and suggest a proper course of action. This presentation will be a simplified version of what is written above, although since I’m presenting to the class I will forego a suggested course of action. I will provide a brief but detailed background into the basics of A. I. , and how a superintelligent machine might function. The rest of my presentation will comprise of the findings of my research, and how it relates to my research questions.
In conclusion, I will answer my research question based on my findings. Scholarly Essay The scholarly essay will reflect the audience it’s intended for, leaders in the tech field. Therefore, there won’t be any explanation of artificial intelligence; the essay will discuss the findings of my research on machine ethics, philosophy, etc. Ultimately, the essay will finalize with the answering of the research questions, and a suggestion as to what those in the tech field should do. My popular essay will be in the form of an Op-ed written in a major newspaper like the New York Times or the Boston Globe.
While my research and findings will remain the same, the essay’s style will be drastically different. Because the audience is an everyday reader of the newspaper, I can’t assume they know about artificial intelligence. I will need to provide a brief but detailed description on the basics of A. I. The whole essay will be a slightly simplified version of my scholarly essay, and while my research questions remain the same, my purpose of the essay is different. When writing the Op-ed, its purpose will reflect a more informative tone in hopes of telling the general public about what A.
I. has the potential to do. The fate of the world may lay at the hands of artificial intelligence. We might need its help to fight against a super virus or stop global warming, or we also could be victims of a genocide. It depends on my research question: how can we harness the possible positives of A. I. without the potentially disastrous outcome? Through research of the limits and ethics of machines and artificial general intelligence, I will determine the path we should take with artificial intelligence.