I just watched Horizon. The episode was about ‘The hunt for AI’ (Artificial Intelligence). It’s interesting to know how much work is being done in this field. We think computers will sometime replace us but we can still question even this idea. It’s established that computers are big number crunchers. However they don’t really have a sense of creativity. It is true that there are many processes happening in our sub-conscious mind that do all the necessary calculations without us (conscious-mind) even knowing to get through life every day. How do we define creativity? I understand that to be creative we need to learn to form a connection between two distinct things that’s didn’t have a connection in our conscious mind yet. I suppose this can be computed into a computer and there, a computer can think creatively.
When we are born, we have no idea about the world. We are a lump of flash. When we are born, our brain probably thinks ‘what just happened? It’s a whole new world. I must do anything to survive.’ So the baby learns the smile that gets him attention and learns to cry to get food. However even the baby already comes loaded with a set of instructions. The baby doesn’t have a free mind. It seems that one of the instructions it comes loaded with is to follow the crowd and survive. If we left two babies in a room completely alone, I’m sure they would resemble the actions that are required from the instructions and also develop their own language just like the two robots experiment in the documentary.
Our sub-conscious mind knows things about us that our conscious mind has no clue. Our sub-conscious mind is like the programmed bit of a computer and our conscious-mind resembles the bit that does the number crunching in a computer.
The ability to learn a new skill comes with practise. Neuroplasticity means that our brain is like a plastic. Which means we can bend it and form new connections and learn new skills. Learning a new skill translates to forming new connections in our brain. If we keep practising the act we’re trying to learn becomes second nature. It goes from conscious mind to sub conscious mind. This means we can programme ourselves.
Scientists are questioning whether this is possible with computers. I think it is if we make their brains out of something that can make new connections instead of staying with the same connections all their life.
Scientists in the field of AI now think that it is important to have a body in order to have a sense of its self. I think that’s true. We humans are nothing without our bodies. What could we do if we were brains in a black box or white if you were a mac?
The documentary I watched: http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b01fmbvb/Horizon_The_Hunt_for_AI/