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A Paradox for AI Researcher

Updated on February 1, 2017
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Jack is currently a volunteer at the Westchester County Archives. Jack has worked at IBM for over 28 years.


Some scientists and companies are working hard to create the human replacements using AI and robotics. Great progress has been made over the last 25 years and yet we are no closer to understanding human intelligence and how our own brain functions. A parodox emerges as we get closer to that dream.

- Feb. 2017


As we blur the line between humans and computers, we need to understand what implications and effects will occur in the future. They will encompass our scientific community, our legal system, our social welfare system and even our very definition of life.

What is this paradox? Simply stated, If a machine can replace a human in every way, what does it mean to be human?

What will our relationship be to these machines? If God created humans in his own image, and we are his subjects, now we created AI robots in our own image, what is that relationship? Are we Gods to these machines?

These ideas and hypotheticals have been posed in various sci-fi movies and TV shows such as Star Trek.

If an intelligent machine can learn, can perform physical tasks, can interact via speech, and can perform complex calculatons and even engage in sex... what differenciates it from humans. Humans are biological entities, machines are "man-made" and yet if they are equal in every other way, what is the difference? Will a machine have "rights" under our laws? Will a machine have independence or is it strictly the property of the owner. Will this be a new "slave" class?

Maybe There is no Parodox?

There were a lot of assumptions in the previous discourse that was glossed over. It assumed we have or we will achieve this amazing task of creating a human like machine. What if that was wrong?

What if we can't create such an entity? What if these machines lack the one element of being human? That element being "emotion." Can a machine have emotion and be ruled by it and still be a machine? Machines work on a set of principles and guidelines and rules. There is no emotional component. How would a designer even introduce this component to make any logicsl sense? That is a paradox in itself.

Perhaps, the answer is simple. There is no paradox. Machines are just a tool, or a helper, or a convenience to humans as sophisticated as they may become. They are just machines, no more, no less.


Ockham's razor (also spelled Occam's razor, pronounced AHK-uhmz RAY-zuhr) is the idea that, in trying to understand something, getting unnecessary information out of the way is the fastest way to the truth or to the best explanation. In this case, the simpliest explanation is the best. We are making more out of this than necessary. The whole concept of singularity is fiction. We cannot create a machine superior to us that will eventually destroy us.

© 2017 Jack Lee


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