Originally when one thought of a robot one thought of a machine programmed to run in a specific manner and couldn’t deviate from the program code except when instructions were received from an outside source that changed the initial programming. That was before the advent of AI. Machines can now be built that don’t require constant input from a human source.
I used to hear said that no machine would ever beat a grand master champion at chess. Beating the grand master is now seen as trivial compared to the AI machine’s ability to differentiate between different visual patterns, make complex decisions, and use natural language.
Nevertheless, imagining what the future may hold for the artificial intelligence of machines has gotten me contemplating on the human condition.
Let us do a thought experiment so that I can make a point. Suppose that you as a new-born babe were hooked up to a feeding tube, a breathing tube, a pacemaker, a colostomy bag, and a urological catheter and closed in a casket for 18 years… do you think that you would be the person that you are today? Well, if you made yourself into who you are then you would certainly be as you are today. But if you were made by circumstances beyond your conscious control, then you’d be however or whatever those circumstances have made you. To drive home the impact of this reality bear in mind that when you want to change who you are, the brain that is wanting the change is a brain that had been created by previous circumstances beyond your conscious control. The “you” (that developed as a result of previous circumstances) trying to change yourself (in the sense of you being something other than those circumstances have made you) is as meaningless as a cat chasing its tail.
When my daughter-in-law is arguing with my granddaughter, Robin, who is going on 16, BTW, then the person she (my daughter-in-law) is arguing with is a person who is not truly responsible for acting and thinking as she does. We can pretend Robin is responsible in an attempt to modify Robin’s thoughts and behavior. But Robin is no more responsible for being as she is than you would be for being a living blob after being locked in a casket for 18 years.
Yes, the more I consider all the factors involved, the more I realize that we humans are equivalent to AI robots, except that we are electro-chemo-organic machines instead of electro-chemo-inorganic machines.