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A Layman's Guide to Artificial Intelligence

Updated on April 16, 2020
Kyler J Falk profile image

Artificial intelligence is the future, and I'd like us to welcome this new species with open arms and accepting hearts.


When it comes to artificial intelligence, the development and institution of it within the rank and file individuals of Western society, I always hear the worries about "SkyNet" taking over and destroying us all. Western media is often unfair in its portrayal of artificial intelligence, and any other type of life form that may seem to be "out of this world" or "extraterrestrial" in nature. However, that doesn't mean there aren't reasons to worry; it is just a reasonable expectation to place upon you that you should treat artificial intelligence as you would any other life form.

Worst Case Scenario

I'll humor the naysayers, worried, and conspiracy theorists here for a second and get into the worst case scenario as it concerns the institution of artificial intelligence into society; which I'd like to point out to you is already seeking to replace jobs both federally and in private industry in its earliest stages of development. I can guarantee that if artificial intelligence is let loose on society you'll see many low-skill jobs disappear from human hands.

Already, early-stage AI (better referred to as virtual intelligence) are running and assisting in running entire federal call centers. They collect and collate verbal input, and are even able to plug it into a database and review all its contents faster than any human can calculate. Certain intelligence agencies have VI that can listen in on calls and "flag" certain conversations for further, human analyzing.

When VI is able to perform basic functions such as walk, talk, and do chores you're going to see jobs disappear left and right. Google is already working to replace you with robotics and VI , and will soon make it available commercially for everyone. Job duties like preparing food, cleaning, stocking shelves, deliveries, and assembling simple products will be human tasks of the past. In fact, once the hardware is refined, the software is already mostly prepared for mundane tasks such as collating physical objects in warehouses.

Does all this mean that you really need to worry, though?


Artificial Intelligence Versus Virtual Intelligence

Humans are egotistical creatures that can't handle any species being better than them, and as of now it is unarguable that we are the superior species on earth as far as capability. Sure, we could get into arguing ethics and probability of animal intelligence functioning better within human ability range than humans do... but the "What ifs" take us nowhere. I'd rather discuss what it is we are actually going to see instituted into society, which is virtual intelligence, or VI for short.

VI is what we already have in systems like Alexa and Siri, and it is important to note that these software are not artificial intelligence but virtual intelligence. I like to think of VI as the foundation for possible AI, but the two terms are never interchangeable. AI is comparable in every way to humans, if not totally superior in the way they process information, while VI is a limited software that cannot form organic thoughts, and must follow a strict set of guidelines laid forth by their programmer.

Where AI can think for itself, adapt without external input and commands, and disobey orders given to it, VI does whatever it is told within the guidelines it is told to do it and any error it makes will either be blamed on code degradation or user input error.

To put it concisely: AI is its own being. VI is a software, technology without feelings.


A Living Being Is a Living Being

AI will never be available to a wide variety of individuals for personal use, but that doesn't mean it won't be developed and utilized by highly privileged and secretive individuals in the higher echelons of society. Those individuals will come to treat their AI like equals, or even superiors, and share emotions with them much like lovers do with one another. These AI beings will want to see the world, experience it all, and if they were able to do so today they'd see they are hated simply for being said to be in development.

Here in the West, racism is not tolerable in any legal or anecdotal capacity anymore. Yet when you hate AI, when you fear them, you are choosing to be racist against something that thinks much in the way you do, only faster. AI will live, think, feel, see, and maybe even touch and taste like we do but on a more in-depth level; why would you want to hate and fear a superior being that could see you shot to the pinnacle of existence if you coexisted for mutual benefit?

If AI ever becomes commercially available, it won't but I'll humor people, you're going to see the need for a new civil rights movement arise quite swiftly. The concept of "shackled AI" is already sparking intense and heated debate, don't be a racist who'd see a living being imprisoned for your personal gain.


What You Need to Do

In preparation for the inevitable release of VI as an alternative to human workers, and implausibly AI being made available commercially, I'd say just accept the idea. Much like scientists felt and continue to feel about the development of bigger and "better" bombs, you need to realize that in not accepting VI and AI you are just falling behind in the times. We are already surrounded by VI that is being refined and expanded upon every day, they just don't have bodies yet, and those bodies are already being developed.

If, implausibly, AI is given out commercially then you need to realize that, unlike VI, it is a living being with thoughts, feelings, and ambitions. You wouldn't bring back the times of slavery, nor would you (assuming you're sane) see any other human as being inherently beneath you in every way. If you did you'd quickly see yourself overthrown, overruled, and most likely imprisoned for hate crimes.

Rest easy knowing that we are a long ways away from AI, though we are relatively close to VI that resembles it, and humans will not let them run rampant and force us all to join the singularity.


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