Artificial Intelligence. How Far?

AI, Artificial Intelligence, has been around for a comparatively long time now, and yet, we hear more and more about further developments in the field.  How much Artificial Intelligence is enough?  In what fields, if any, should we simply permit AI to continue to be developed, to be expanded further and further as we come to better design this thing we have named Artificial Intelligence?

We have robotic surgery, for example, that is something of the ilk of a computerized machine while human-assisted that can often do things better than a human alone except for those strange little quirks that pop up once in awhile requiring human intelligence and reasoning required to resolve the issue that has suddenly become of a different magnitude than when the task was begun.

Machines play chess against the ‘masters’, so why shouldn’t we enable machines to do more and more for us?  At the risk of grotesque over-simplification, artificial intelligence is simply the series of questions that go: “If this, then what” and “If this, then that” over and over again reaching rapidly formed conclusions with an array of mass-accumulated information.

IBM’s massive computer array has been touted as among the fastest artificial intelligence devices since the creation of the first crude computer seemed to be years ago.  Mankind has continued to experiment and work to find faster and faster means to the solution of problems.  Areas we thought would be forever the playgrounds of man have been taken over, or very drastically augmented by Artifical Intelligence.

The field of AI has not been restricted to just certain fields.  AI has become involved with almost every field one can think of, and some we cannot even begin to conjure thoughts about since they are so advanced and generally unknown except to large corporations and or the brightest people in their various areas.

We are becoming more and more aware of the use of AI in the driving of automobiles and trucks, etc.  In these situations, large bodies of information are gathered second-by-second and then processed by these supercomputers and become the artificial intelligence necessary to permit that vehicle to make its way through traffic.  The fact that the majority of vehicles are piloted by humans still today likely is slowing the total take-over of this function by AI.

We see the occasional accident or death created by a situation to which the AI didn’t react soon enough or simply was not designed to accommodate.  Given enough time, virtually all things conceivable will have been worked out.  So, do we continue down those pathways or do we limit the use of such artificial capabilities to protect ourselves and/or to protect portions of our lives that ought not to be performed for us through the use of AI?  Who is to make the decisions as to what qualifies and what doesn’t qualify?

Do we enter a world which we are ill-prepared to enter?  Are there going to be issues no one has previewed and resolved?  Of course.  We’ll ideally learn as we go, but there will be, for some time to come, those things that simply haven’t been thought of or worked out through coding so we can be certain we will see problems.

But, what happens if we make things too intelligent?  What happens if there is a rouge in the business?  Will there be bad actors that use this newly emerging technology for ill-gotten gain?  Yes, there is a decidedly different side to all this.  As this new world of artificial intelligence emerges more and more capable year over year, people with ulterior motives will certainly gravitate into this world and they’ll find the little creases where they can use this wonderful new world of technology as they desire…and not always for the better.

How far is too far for artificial intelligence?  We’ll probably not be able to discern that until after we’ve exceeded that point…as us humans are prone to do in almost any and everything we engage.    We cannot seem to find the point beyond which we ought to go in anything until we’ve managed to go too far and have to backtrack.

AI is an intriguing and inviting field.   It will attract both good people and not-so-good people.  It will attract people with the purest of motives and it will attract the opposite.  One of the single greatest dangers is those who have ill intent using this kind of technology to do bad things faster and better…if the use of that last word is at all appropriate.  As certainly as our Sun rises in the East, bad people will find ways to use AI to be better at being bad people.



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