Science Uprising on Artificial Intelligence

Science Uprising (Discovery Science) provides some short, informative and entertaining clips on various aspects of modern science. In Episode 10 they touch on artificial intelligence (AI) and what it means for humanity. Here are a few tidbits.

Some, such as Stephen Hawking and Elon Musk, have made frightening remarks regarding the potential of AI, suggesting it could advance to the point where the human race is annihilated, and the machines would have no remorse. Movies like The Terminator and The Matrix are among many warning about the inevitable doom awaiting us.

But more reasoned voices provide reassurance. What we know is that AI excels when given strict instructions, but struggles with non-specific instructions. Bob Marks, a former professor of computer science and engineering explains that AI needs detailed instructions, like an algorithm, in order to complete tasks. But much of what makes us human are non-algorithmic, so machines will never have true autonomy, and they don’t understand what words or symbols mean. John Lennox points out that computers have limits, so they’ll never become alive or sentient. And they can’t produce true creativity.

Lennox reminds us that AI is artificial: “it’s not real intelligence,” he said. This quote is obvious, but brilliant. People get caught up in the sensationalism of science and forget about its limitations.

AI will certainly be improved upon and appear more life-like, but that’s what we need to remember. It will never be alive, experience feelings, or know things. It will always respond as designed. So, the real danger lies with the programmers and how the technology is used. Like anything else, it can be used for good or bad.

This episode hits on another nugget, explaining what is behind the thought that machines could come to life. It’s materialism… and the belief that humans are nothing more than machines that can be reduced to physical matter. Some people deny that humans have souls, and since computers don’t have souls either, then it’s possible for computers to become human, not just human-like. But if humans do have souls, and we’ve been created in the image of God, then it’s easy to realize that computers will never become living beings in the same way we are.

Finally, Jay Richards, PhD. in philosophy reminds us, “A man is not a machine. A man is a maker of machines.”

Check out the latest episode.


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