Some feel that Artificial Intelligence (AI) is just hype and will never truly happen. They are mostly confused, because we can see under the hood at the details of AI programs, but we do not yet see such detail within the human brain. Some will point to the massive, dumb searching techniques of chess game programs, or the emotion recognition algorithms in robots that then produce “fake” emotional expressions on their synthetic faces as evidence.
Others will point to the overwhelming complexity of achieving true AI. The brain or mind could never be replicated since it is simply too complex to ever be understood. The complexity problem will be overcome by the age old “divide and conquer” technique with its progress driven by the market. More complexity will merely move the date further out where true AI is finally achieved.
We do not yet see the details of how the human brain works, so we feel we possess true intelligence because the results of our work appears to us as evidence of our own intelligence. Once we see the details, some may feel that all intelligence is an illusion, or re-evaluate their notion of what intelligence really is.
Much less than one percent of the processes in the brain ever make it to our consciousness. Human beings are conscious of the high-level patterns produced by the mind-brain only. What we are conscious of is still a part of a causal chain that the conscious “I” did not start. Just follow the causal chain backwards another step, if you think you started something.
If a thermostat were conscious, it would feel in control too. The conscious thermostat would be right. It controls and is responsible for keeping the temperature at the setting. The thermostat’s initial setting had a cause that set it in motion.
As we see more and more how the brain works, and it becomes common knowledge, then it will be obvious that all of the “tricks” that are played to make machines “appear” intelligent are no more tricky than natural intelligence is. After all, we live in the same universe and are made up of atoms, just like any machine that can be created. Eventually, the human brain will be replicated and surpassed by machines.
Parts of the brain can and will be replaced and augmented. The research and work today points in this direction. Aging populations will demand it in the market place. Biology and silicon will merge. Eventually, every part of the brain will be replaceable by a man-made machine.
The human brain is extremely complex, yet it is routinely created by nature in about nine months. The brain is grown, based on a set of instructions from DNA. In the future, some machines will be grown based on a set of instructions from DNA and by other means. An artificial brain may consist of parts that are grown. Other techniques will surely be discovered. Artificial Neural Networks may one day work as the core of the brain.
Market pressures will insure competitive approaches will be taken and an economical solution will be found, if there is one. Not having an economical solution simply moves the date out further where true AI is achieved.
The intelligent machines will be made of man-made biological devices, ordinary state-of-the-art computers, and hybrids. The machines may be required to contain both analog and digital features, but this is not yet known.
There are many recursive loops within our brain-body system. Massively parallel searching is taking place anytime an idea is retrieved from memory. Some memories take longer to retrieve than others, but a young, healthy brain is too quick to work without parallel searching, and the hardware (network or neuron cells) is there.
Our low-level processes are subject to exactly the same causal laws as the machines we create. Our high-level pattern-recognizing consciousness, with our associated willful and intelligent choices must be what emerges from the low-level neuron-glial cell interactions: within the brain, as the brain connects to the body, and as it interfaces with the external world through the senses.
AI machines will evolve very quickly at some point. It is not clear when that point will start. Some predict much sooner than others. Exponential leaps in technology are real, but the problem being solved may be orders of magnitude more complex then currently believed in the AI community. There is undoubtedly a wide range of opinion on this matter. Experience teaches us that most useful goals take longer to achieve then believed.