There is something very profound taking place today. And that is Artificial Intelligence. And the reason is AI is "the" disrupter like no other.
Why is that?
It cuts through every segment of life.
It starts with data. It takes data to train a Neural Net model. Somebody gets to choose what data to use. Typically, the people sponsoring the project get to choose. And because it's their dollar, they get to decide the intent. Should AI be used for profit, to better mankind, or for control and power.
After 65 years of false starts, there's finally some progress in the field. And the consensus at the moment is traditional programming since the 1950's will not solve the problem. The closest theory to attain maximum benefit is to mimic the human brain. The machine like part that stores memories, retrieves thoughts, learns over times, through the associate of patterns to things and events and outcomes and benefits.
The brain builds a simulated model of the world. Your model is different than mine. Because it's learned through personal experience over time. Our interpretation of the world is determined by our input sensor, eyes, ears, nose, taste, touch and intuition. However, each sense gets interpreted by the brain using the same algorithm. In actuality there's no difference between hearing and seeing. The brain matches patterns, to reinforce it's model, which has been feed data since birth.
AI brings up philosophical debates. Is it moral and ethical for robots to kill a human or another robot. Can robots be used to carry out the dirty work of humans with no ramifications to the person issuing the orders. Do robots have rights or are they property.
AI brings up religious issues. Does a human and/or machine have a soul. Does the soul die at death or go somewhere else. Is there a higher power and are humans somehow attached metaphysically.
AI brings up economic issues. If intelligent machines can perform some tasks better than humans for a fraction of cost, will companies toss humans aside to maximize profit and reduce costs. This brings up the basic idea of the humans purpose on this planet. If not perusing monetary gains through gainful employment what exactly is our purpose. This exposes the overpopulation of the species and the dwindling resources to support x billion people. This employment issues has ripple effects and is brushed over as someone else's problem. As is the moral issues of intent.
AI brings up biological issues. Are robots living creatures that can self replicate. Can a person's soul be uploaded to a computer for everlasting life. Will a hybrid version exist part human part machine android. Can future babies be ordered from a catalog, picking features based on prices which only rich can afford.
AI brings up physics issues. Can Quantum Physics be integrated into machines to leverage the bizarre behavior of the hidden laws of the Universe.
AI brings up our lack of understanding of consciousness. What is it, how do we measure it, who and what has it. A complete mystery with very little agreement from the top minds over thousands of years.
AI brings up our education system in that we need smart people to tackle these tough questions. Yet education is getting so expensive and doesn't guarantee future employment, our population could be lacking the critical problem solving skills to solve tough problems. And as automation increases, why would people attend advanced school at high costs if computers can outwork them with no paycheck.
AI brings up psychological questions. If the goal is to mimic the human mind, are we going to limit it to just intelligence and leave out emotions like hatred, revenge, envy, spite, anger and even love. Can a robot get depressed.
Clearly, there are lots of unanswered questions. However, it's very apparent that AI has a lot more to do with non technological questions than the actual technical side. And that's because it seeps into every nook and cranny of our human existence. The problem must be attacked from multiple angles. And we clearly don't have enough brain power to think through all these tough questions at the same time.
As we know, a democrat's model of the world is different from a republican's model. A person sitting in jail's model is different from a politician's model. Because each person has a unique perspective of the world based on unique experiences. Sure, there's some overlap, but the model's explain our personalities, which are unique. Our model's explain our consciousness. Our model's explain this great vast Universe in a way that's easy to understand and promotes our survival. Our model's get fed every minute of every day, new stimuli, that either learns something new by creating new memories and patterns in the brain, or reinforces existing beliefs so the synapses follow the same patterns they're used to.
If the goal is to create smart machines, to solve tough problems that humans have wrangled over the centuries, to find the hidden patterns in the Universe and explore the unexplored in pursuit of science, then it makes pretty good sense. If the goal is to put the humans out to pasture from the workforce because they no longer provide value in supporting the economy because they are financially leveraged to the hilt with no earning power, that's not too good. And if the goal is to create a robotic layer between the have's and have not, to police the population and become the new military force, that might not benefit the average Joe.
It comes down to who's financing the AI projects. Because they're the ones making the decisions. Because the average Joe has not earthly idea what's going on, and are not available to participate in key decisions. The education research has basically left the Universities because the Corporate world has the deep pockets and can move much faster without layers of decision makers. Innovation is taking place this very second. And the impact could alter the course of the planet.
Lots to think about~!