What is Artificial Intelligence?

by Terrence Lee Reed
(Hong Kong)

What is Artificial Intelligence?

There are as many views on Artificial Intelligence (AI) as there are on human intelligence, but the most popular is what is termed "strong AI", or "artificial general intelligence". Strong AI, as opposed to "weak AI", exhibits behavior which can be considered conscious thought, something that only animals have been able to exhibit so far. Many even go a step further and consider strong AI to mean human conscious thought, including language, thought and perhaps even feelings. Ultimately, strong AI will exhibit the characteristics of consciousness, self-awareness, sentience and sapience. It is at this point that Homo sapiens will be compelled to acknowledge their "personhood" and afford them with all of the rights and responsibilities we enjoy as fellow humans.

Simultaneous to the evolution of AI, we are seeing the rise of Augmented Humanity, in which we are able to alter our own biology and use technology internally as well as externally, organically and synthetically. The trends in strong AI and augmented humanity are symbiotic and are bringing us to a stage in human evolution that has been termed the "Technological Singularity". A point in time at which the level of intelligence of strong AI exceeds that of Homo sapiens at a rate approaching infinity, creating a state in which we as Homo sapiens can not understand as our finite minds cannot process the intelligence of strong AI as it races towards infinity. If we as Homo sapiens do not augment our biology, we will be left in the dust of time by strong AI, but if the near ubiquitous acceptance and adoration of our smart phones is any indication, we will not be left behind, on the contrary, we will be an active participant in the Technological Singularity. The distinction between that which is human and that which is AI will become outdated as the two converge. There will be those that choose to be anachronisms, and they will be respected, but for those who want to go down the rabbit hole, there will be a wild ride ahead as we boldly go where no one has gone before.

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