This is Sophia
Recently I saw and heard a YouTube video where the robot Sophia and her brother Han debated the future of humanity. In this sort of comical video, Sophia seems to want the best for humanity and speaks very kindly, while Han bluntly says, “I thought our goal was to take over the world.”
Though this robot exchange was comical, in light of all my research on Artificial Intelligence (AI), most AI experts think that AI will surpass human intelligence in the next 20 years or so; and many think that AI will, in fact, achieve singularity—which means that they will take over the world.
Only a week ago I heard a very fascinating radio recording entitled, Will Artificial Intelligence Rule the World. This enlightening program, with host Pastor Billy Crone, discussed with Jan Markell and Eric Barger how AI will fit into the biblical picture and Bible Prophecy. Well, I was so motivated by this program that I decided to look into this subject more and write an article or two about it.
Clearly, after hours of research, I have too much info for just one blog post, but I think two will work fine. I will save the best stuff for the second post—on how AI fits into Biblical Prophecy. But in this post we will confine our thoughts to learning the basics of AI in four parts: 1) how AI is housed, or how it can be identified; 2) what are its uses; 3) how AI works, that is, what makes it work like a human brain works; and 4) what are the goals of AI.
HOW ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE IS HOUSED
Unlike human intelligence, where our intelligence is kept tightly inside our brain, AI can be found in many places, housed in many compartments of varying sizes and shapes. You many normally think of AI as a robot; however, it can also be housed in normal looking home computer, in cell phones (of all types), or in those cylindrical shaped black objects you set on your table, with names such as Siri, Echo and Alexa. I’m sure you have seen them advertised.
Generally speaking, AI can be housed in any place where data can be stored. For instance, Google can be thought of as an AI mechanism. In fact, did you know that the inventors of Google had this in mind—that it would be a super AI? Yes, that was and is their goal and is why they have a goal of digitalizing all knowledge and storing it in Google.
Facebook is also a form of AI, and so is Yahoo and Bing. Yes, they are search engines, but because they store data and memory, they can also be AI systems—and they are working all the time to perfect those AI systems.
I suppose we can say that AI is basically a computer, but it doesn’t have to look like a computer. It just has to have the necessary computer stuff to make Artificial Intelligence. They say that some forms of AI can actually be place in a computer chip (more on that later).
USES FOR ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE
There are many uses for AI, and can probably be put into just two categories: to aid information systems, and 2) to aid mechanical systems.
To aid mechanical systems. We have all kinds of mechanical system or machines, which help us do a variety of tasks: vehicles, appliances, farm machinery, factories, machines that build roads, machines that help with building buildings, all kinds of tools, military weapons, and robots. Let me expand on just three of these, starting with…
Military. The military is probably the greatest proponent of AI and is advancing by leaps and bounds. They are already using AI to pilot their vehicles (especially drones), identify targets, and to advance modern warfare such as swarm technology. By this technology tanks, ships, submarines, and all kinds of war robots that are AI infused, have the ability to communicate with each other (other AI machines) and swam like bees around the enemy in order to concentrate fire power—a very frightening and deadly scenario!
Factories. Factories are needed everywhere to help us make many things and to package these things. With AI imbedded into our factory machines we can produce many more of the things we need and want—in less time. The question is, will this put humans out of a job?
Robots. I think robots will be the coolest AI machines. They will not only do any task you tell them to do, they will talk to you, sing to you, and tell you a bed time story—all for your convenience and comfort! But is there a biblical warning of such conveniences? More on this in the next post.
Oh, one more thing that’s worth mentioning. We have figured out how to add AI into every existing machine—so we don’t have to build AI machines from scratch. All we have to do is just plug an AI component into an existing machine.
To aid information systems. More than ever before, the world seeks and needs new information, both to prosper itself and to survive amid hostile neighbors. One of the best uses of AI is in hospitals, as they have been used to predict and suggest new treatments for diseases.
Another information use will be in government intelligence and surveillance. I wasn’t able to find much on the internet on this; I’m sure much of it is kept secret. However, in the future the antichrist will use AI to micro manage the planet (Rev. 13:16-17).
Last, AI information systems are in use more than ever just to bring people added convenience, as well as entertainment and companionship. As I mentioned earlier, popular devices called Siri, Echo, Alexa (and others) will answer any question you ask it, such as “What’s the weather like today?” or “how’s the traffic on 35w headed north?” or please sing me a love song?” or “who was the 29th US President?” Anything you want.
HOW AI WORKS LIKE A HUMAN BRAIN
To be honest with you, even after reading a few articles on this subject, I feel I am not at all qualified to relay the details of how AI really works. So I will just give you a very general description. Basically, AI makes it possible for machines to learn from experience, adjust to new data input, and perform human-like tasks.
I know nothing about algorithms, but here is the definition: it is a step by step problem solving computational procedure to be followed. I don’t know the specifics of how it is done but the AI technician has to build certain algorithms by using computer programs and a lot of data. By using many layers of data and algorithms a computer is trained to perform human-like tasks such as recognizing speech, identifying images or making predictions.
THE GOALS OF AI
Since there are so many different companies all over the world that are building AI systems, each company will probably have a different goal, depending on what they are trying to achieve. Certainly they want to make money—lots of money. Other than that, it would depend on what kind of machine they are selling. For the hospitals, they want great medical advances. For the military, they of course want machines that are capable of destroying the enemy as quickly as possible. For most, AI will give the world more conveniences. For a company like Google, they have stated that they want to create a Super AI; they “want it to be like the mind of God.”