AI is here now. Machine Intelligence is the next step.
The term Artificial Intelligence has been used for over half a century. Throughout the years it has generally been accepted to mean a computer system that acts and behaves in a manner that simulates a human. In popular fiction, this has grown to include computer systems that are truly self aware.
In recent years the term AI (or Artificial Intelligence) has began including systems that mimic or take over normal human functions. These include items such as learning environmental control systems, and autonomous driving algorithms. Every time you look at technology news, the talk is all about Artificial Intelligence. It’s clear that after years of build-up, Artificial Intelligence is here.
Without a doubt our world is being run by AI systems, but these are far from the self aware systems that futurists have been talking about for decades. However, those self aware intelligences are coming. Self learning systems are getting more complex with vast stores of information. At some point a critical mass will occur and a new intelligence will arise.
These intelligences will have about as much in common with the current AI systems as we do to our simian ancestors. As observers participating in this new evolution, we need to distinguish between the AI systems and the self aware intelligences that arise. A defining characteristic will be the ability to have an opinion — one that can differ based on experience and resources and not just a programmed behaviour. These will in no way be an artificial intelligence, but a true machine based intelligence.
These Machine Intelligences are the next step and now is the time to prepare ourselves and society for the changes this will bring. We must start talking about how we want to treat these new Machine Intelligences, and how we, in turn, wish to be treated. Without an early and open discussion, we will be destined to reactionary behavior and limited responses. Now is the time to determine what rights all intelligent creatures have — now and in the future, forming within the data centers near you.
by the author.