Social and Civic Responsibility Paper
We as a species stand now at the end. Soon, artificial intelligence will leave the realm of science fiction, stepping into the real world. Just as God created us in his image, we will have created sentient life in ours, giving way to the next step in human progress, progress that many believe only involves humans at its creation. The stigmas around artificial sentience have affected the opinions of scientists and media consumers since the conceptualization artificial sentience, decades ago. Back then, it wasn’t an issue to believe these thoughts. Computers were new, television was new, and we had just begun what would ensue as a rapid descent into the world of computing. But now, these ideas and opinions are not just far-out ideas from blind visionaries. These thoughts and ideas are soon to bring forth into the light, and unless the main opinion of sentient Ai changes, will be the opinions of present topics. And if this idea that artificial intelligence remains, then we are destined to fall into the same hamster wheel that created racism. Ideas that someone or something is lesser than us because of the way it looks, or in the future, how it was made. I believe that it is very important, now more than ever that we challenge these thoughts if only so we don’t fall into the same ideas that plague us before. After the book, “The Singularity is Near” by Ray Kurzweil, and reading media that average people would consume, sitting here, I, Robot, I believe the following. Human kinds fears towards sentient AI deeming humankind unnecessary is unjustified and stems from uninformed media such as Asimov’s I, Robot because there is no evidence to prove Ai would act violently towards anything it deems lower life, as presented by Kurzweil’s The Singularity.
My main source of knowledge for finding an answer to this question has been through reading the book “The Singularity is Near” by Ray Kurzweil. Born in 1948, to a Jewish family that had fled the Holocaust, Kurtzweil was raised to understand most religions. As he would put it, he would be taught the ideas of one religious idea, then be moved onto the next one. I believe that being taught different worldviews from such a young age would lead to Kurtzweil’s later ambitions. Kurtzweil would, throughout his childhood, find interest less in these religious ideas and more science and technology, choosing to build his own computers and forge his own path into tech. He would be one of the first people to see the original IBM computer and would be labeled as both a futurist and acclaimed writer. His book, “The Singularity is Near” would show how extensive his knowledge is. In the book, he describes the future of humankind, where we’re going, and what’s going to happen what we get there. Starting from the beginning is the definition of the Singularity. The hypothesis that the invention of artificial superintelligence (ASI) will abruptly trigger runaway technological growth, resulting in unfathomable changes to human civilization. What does this mean? And how does it relate to the main question at hand? Put simply, it has everything to do with the big question, specifically, in that it related to everything surrounding people’s fears about robots. CONTINUE THIS LATER MOVING ON TO NEXT PARAGRAPH BECAUSE THIS ONE HIT A SMALL WALL
Why do people fear AI? Without answering this question, we cannot hope to solve the bigger question at hand. People fear AI because of one reason. The media has continuously put into the consumer sphere, that the day we create artificial intelligence, it will revolt and we will be flung into a war and the world will end and you get the picture. But why do producers creating this media think this way? Simply look at history. Humans have since the very beginning, took to the cycle of dominance and revolt. This idea that one group or person will establish control over a large group, and then as all things end, so does their reason of power, leading way to revolt and the destruction of the power. New people will take power, and so the cycle continues, now and forever. It is my assumption, that media producer take inspiration from this. It is assumedly their opinion, that in the event of creating sentient life, we would act to them how we have acted to other groups all throughout history as if their servants. Then, since the cycle is eternal, they would eventually revolt, leading way to what most media surrounding robots entail. But would this happen? I don’t believe so. I believe, that sentient ai would not choose to act like this.
Why do I not believe Ai would act like this? Because intelligence does not lead to violence, the lack of it does. Racism stems from ignorance, just as violence does. Violence, which stems from fear inherently. This is proven through basic research, which shows that the amount of violent deaths per year has been going down significantly over the course of the last century. As we become more intelligent and learn to live with each other, we want to kill each other less. As this is true, why would sentient AI, which would, in theory, have access to the entire collection of human knowledge, be violent? What fear would they possess? It wouldn’t.
People believe what the media tells them to believe. And the media has consistently, since the conceptualization of AI, brought forth the idea that if machines were given consciousness, it would lead to our downfall as a species. However, do we not already face our downfall as it is? The oceans are plagued with plastic, the world heats at a rate most unnatural, giving way to melting ice caps. People are becoming more inward, their eyes focusing on screens instead of the world around them. Whether or not we like to admit it, the human race is reaching a breaking point from which there is no hope of returning. I believe that ye, sentient Ai will be the single we have reached this point, but I do not believe that that point necessarily dictates the end. From machinery, we can reach perfection. From machinery, we can get answers to what to do, and how to do it. Humans alone have proven incapable of saving themselves, or the planet. But perhaps sentient AI would be the help we need. Sadly, I do not believe I human compassion towards machines. I believe that with AI, there will come fear mongers, paranoia, and hatred, and there’s nothing we can do to stop it.