BBC – Future – Technology – Artificial intelligence: The machines with alien minds

Why should our biological manner of thinking determine our approach to silicone-based circuits and electronic logic? Our machine creations are more profoundly divided from us than anything else in nature. They do not need to think like us to serve us, work with us, or even understand us – as our own relationships with nature should teach us at a glance.

via BBC – Future – Technology – Artificial intelligence: The machines with alien minds.

An interesting perspective on artificial intelligence.  It mentions Doulgas Hoftstadter, who is frustrated about the current direction that AI research has taken.  I can understand Hofstadter’s frustration, if our only goal was to create a human like intelligence.  But most AI research is more concerned about simply making automated systems more intelligent.

And that is where this article’s central insight becomes important.  Humans are one type of intelligence.  An intelligence programmed by billions of years of evolution with certain goals and motivations.  Personally, I suspect that increasing machine intelligence where we can will eventually give us the ability to make a human like mind, if we desire.

However, as I’ve commented before, I’m not sure many of us will necessarily desire that.  Most of what we need from AI devices is to accomplish specific tasks, and having an AI that worries about its own survival and fulfillment is not something that will be of use to most people.

Actually, I predict there will be a few university research projects that will create a human like intelligence, publicize it, and then receive a backlash as people are both creeped out by it and start to contemplate the morality of creating an intelligence that fears its eventual retirement and dismantling.  At least, I hope that is what will happen.

3 thoughts on “BBC – Future – Technology – Artificial intelligence: The machines with alien minds

  1. It will be interesting to see whether or not the uncanny valley effect holds or we become acclimated to a nonhuman human physical and/or mental presentation.


    1. That’s a good question. But I wonder how strong the effect is today. I remember 70s movies like Westworld and Alien getting a lot of mileage from it, but it doesn’t seem to have quite the same kick anymore. Or maybe it’s just that triggering it requires a more extreme image.


      1. I don’t know – searching the term it looks like there are a few recent articles on it and a video that from the description I don’t think I’ll watch tonight. I may have to look into it(the effect and the video) at some point.


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