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Artificial Intelligence (AI) is a subfield of computer science that focuses on computers being able to perform human functions that require acting intelligently. It doesn’t mean creating computers that can pass as humans, but more being able to evaluate a situation and use its knowledge to perform the appropriate action. It is difficult to define the concepts of thought and intelligence, but I find AI to be different than human intelligence. AI can draw conclusions based on data it has collected which is regarded as its own “knowledge” but doesn’t create original thoughts. It can only repeat what it has seen before. Humans on the other hand can have unique opinions and original, creative thoughts. We can also reason because we have goals, beliefs, and emotions that affect us in ways that cannot be quantified. The human mind is incredibly complex and impossible to recreate by human hands. That is why we are able to think and set ourselves apart from all other life forms and now computers as well. No matter the advancements in AI I don’t believe we will ever be able to mimic human intelligence for computers because machines will never experience emotion or a sense of individuality.

The current implementations of AI we have today are astounding feats of machinery and programming. The defeat of Lee Sedol, the best Go player in the world, at the hands of AlphaGo was one of the greatest AI accomplishments in history. The game of Go is considered the “Holy Grail” of artificial intelligence due to the infinite number of ways the game can play out. AlphaGo was Google’s AI program that learned all the countless possible moves by playing itself millions of times. It stored the resulting win percentage for every move. It could not be easily outsmarted, however it couldn’t even play. The AlphaGo program was not a robot – a human had to physically place the pieces on the board for the computer. In my opinion, this still counts as AI at its finest. AlphaGo was doing all of the thinking, and the human was merely following orders. Did the program need arms and legs to make a decision and also execute the move on the board? In most cases, it is unnecessary to evolve our AI programs into full-fledged robots attempting to disguise as humans. We have already defined the clear differences between artificial and human intelligence, so it makes no sense trying to bridge the gap. This is where society grows fearful of machines that can think and act like us with the ability to eventually overtake us. Even if we create such robots, I don’t ever envision a scenario where they develop desires and goals that involve being the dominant being. Truthfully, we can capitalize on AI for our own benefit instead of trying to make an independent being. We want them to process information at speeds we cannot so that we can make conclusions for ourselves, not for their own sake. To me, the biggest fear with AI is all of the information amassed by such machines. The fact that Siri knows all of the contents on my phone is discomforting regardless of whether or not I am hiding something. And all of the things I have said and done since I introduced Siri to my life are stored somewhere in order for Siri to help me in the future. I am in full favor of using an AI assistant to help me organize my life and be more productive, but it is also very scary that a machine can know more about me than I do of myself.

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