Tuesday, August 7, 2012

So I'm having an interesting debate with someone and we're discussing Artificial Intelligence. 

What he said: That is true, there will be something that robots lacks, (it could be pheromones, if they are biologica) or something fundamental like personality, fears or dreams, things that humans have. But before we can give that to a robot, we need to understand it for humans first, what do we mean w
hen we say we have a soul?, or what are our dreams, our fears, what is love... I mean, there is so much ambiguity in these topics, Just see, A chinese have a different view on love and honor than an American...

But then we reach a wall, those are things that apply to humans, I mean, how can you apply honor to animals?, or to robots?, I mean, the first are drive by instinct, the second are deterministic, I mean, they do what they are programmed to do.

Jose Ortega Y Gasset, a spanish philosopher, said once "There is no ethic relationship more than with man"... And that could be expanded to other "Virtues" of man... I mean, they just apply to humans....

My counter:
You make a valid point, but if we stick to the very necessities and beginnings of everything such as 'Love' or 'Honor', it's really not that complex. Love, for instance, is the human's way of justifying their fear of being alone. Nobody wants to die alone, human beings are social creatures. As for Honor, Honor is the human's way of justifying why they go so far to do something when it'd be easier to do something else. It helps lessen the anxiety and stress level in our bodies, otherwise we'd find ourselves crashing in burning. We may define what is 'right' and what is 'wrong' differently, but it all serves a great purpose in the end. Dreams are aspirations that we set before ourselves to lessen the fear of the unknown. Humans tend to hate it when they don't know what is going to happen, or hate things they don't understand. That's why religion is here and so widely accepted. It's easier than figuring stuff out on your own and a lot less frightening. Humans refuse to think they were here because of some accident, we like to think our dreams, morals and goals all mean something, but what if it doesn't?

Animals have these qualities as well, but like the different cultures in the world of humans, they have different ways about it. Elephants, for one, know and understand compassion. They know where past friends and relatives have fallen and they mourn the loss of another. They'd risk their own lives to help another. Another example, creatures like swans only mate with one swan and one swan only. Some animals may be predatory, but so are some humans. In the end, it all comes right down to survival. Survival in the form of biology.

His return:
You have valid points too, Indeed Love, honor, and other "Virtues" of man, are simple, and some of them cross between instinct. But you have to remember something, Simple Rules produce complex phenomena. I.e Tetris, I mean, the rules are simply, get the blocks that fall, arrange them and clean lines. And that produce many outputs, I mean, there are a lot of ways that several blocks could clear a line. ( I think there are 7!, or 5040 permutations on tetris). 
But that is just a technical example, lets continue with the discussion... 

You are right, there are a lot of animals with the same "Virtues" of man, love, greed, compassion, etc. Darwin said it in the "Origin of the species", animals are not different from man in certain aspects. 
I agree with you, fear, dreams, honor, etc, they are just means to protect ourselfs from reality, we do not like to believe we are alone, or that there is nothing beyond death. And that is what could differentiate humans from animals, Complex thinking, I mean, I don't think there are another animals who have developed a writting system, or built computers, or Write some of the greatest love tragedies (Shakespeare). And they never will, because we control them, we are their masters... 
But that is just a part of evolution, thousands and thousands of years have passed until we developed all of the above, just 3000 years ago. 

We haven't understood human behavior very well, just take for example (again) love, people fall in love in the most strangest ways, Even with just letters!. :p 
And they made the greatest sacrifices in name of love, i.e Romeo & Juliet, their love was so strong that even Juliet follow Romeo to death. No one wants to die, and not even for a lover, but I'm saying that because I'm not in love, and I'm a little bit cynical hehe. thus, I don't understand the mind of a lover. 
We make feelings, that a lot of animals have, more complex. We create chaos!. :) 

My counter:
  • And no, some animals may not have developed the same systems we have such as writing and whatnot, but that doesn't mean they don't communicate at well. Dolphins and whales, for instance, use sonar to communicate and they can be heard for miles and miles. Humans do control animals, yes, but again it's all about survival. We created the ability to read and write in order to ensure our dominance and thus our survival 
  • Aug 7, 2012 – 11:21am
    As for love, once again it serves as a way to justify our actions. Humans know that we need each other to survive, that one human can not simply survive on their own, and so once again we develop love to act as an excuse for our otherwise selfless actions. Some people may fall in love in strange ways, but that is (in my opinion) because of how we are taught. Nowadays we are lead to believe that love (cynical myself) is the key to everything. We watch romance movies where characters fall in love at first sight (highly unlikely) or fall in love over the internet or something like that and so we are led to believe that love is easy to obtain and that love is guaranteed in our life, but its not. We influence each other, which will eventually be our downfall, while animals know a little better. They allow themselves to get close, but at the same time they know to keep their distance.

    Humans have yet to figure that out.

    But by giving a robot, something without our ability to truly understand what they know, we're putting ourselves in danger. I know that the stove is hot, but I won't understand what that means until I actually place my hand on it and discover just what 'hot' feels like. A robot, however, won't understand. They won't feel pain, they won't feel sadness or sorrow. All it would take is one misfire on a circuit, and a robot could very well turn into a major threat 
    His response:
    you are right!, it is how we are taught, but besides that, there is a "Heritage", 2000 years of Western Culture, there are things that have been taught since the early years of christianity, like the sense of Good and Bad, Which are not truly universal, just see the Muslims, they have radical rules, but that is because they have been like that for more than 1000 years, its part of their culture. 
    But furthermore, like you said, Love is not the answer, and thus we must find the answer, maybe in Religion, maybe in science, or something else. and It could be that there is no answer. 

    It could be interesting to give a robot the ability to dream, or love, etc, but it may be like opening the Pandora Box. One day we may have intelligent robots, but that was what people tought in the early days of A.I (50's, 60's). 
    So, until we reach 2100, A.I is still Sci-Fi

    MY tiny retort:
    Religion is not the answer either, it's just a way to explain the unexplained. Although to be fair, so is science. Science just tests and retests to make sure what they say holds up. 

    And yeah, but it's still a danger. Giving them human characteristics takes away from the human race as a whole. We'd be obsoleting ourselves, creating our own replacements. It's dangerous >.< and I suppose, but at the rate we're going, it may not be :P

    His response:
    Science and religion are very different, but it may be that its good to have both, I mean, <2 billion people on the planet, not everyone can be a scientist or a religious person. 

    Everything has it dangers, but as the way we're going, we will not create artificial humans, but We will be the robots, I mean, in a way we're robots now, we are connected, we carry a machine with us all the time (cellphones), even we communicate with machines, smartphones, computers. And our communication resumes to data, to space, just for example, this conversation won't pass 1MB of size, and all of what we could write in a timeframe (lets put, 1 month), its going to be less than 10MB of space.

    Do you think his point is a valid one? I did :P