Science fiction movies about robots and advanced technological machines capture our attention and do well at the box office. Man fights against the machine as he uses his intelligence, reasoning ability and emotional reactions to outdo the machine that is functioning on Artificial Intelligence(AI). But sometimes, the machine wins. Are these movies just entertainment, or are they warning us about the future? Is there a need to be worried?
Is it possible that mind uploading can be accomplished so that our very essence and consciousness is stored within the machine? Will machines soon be programmed so that when our bodies die, The Machines Will Live On With Our Consciousness Extended Into Infinity?
THE RISE OF SUPERINTELLIGENT AI
Yale professor and Author Susan Schneider Has Written Extensively about machine consciousness. She notes that over the last few years, there has been a dramatic rise in attempts to create “superintelligent machines” that will out-perform human beings with advanced “thinking” skills. The machines will not only answer questions and do complicated research, but they will be programmed to have “common sense reasoning and social skills.”
Will these machines discover cures to diseases, solutions to poverty and preservation of resources? Or Will The Machines Turn On Us and result in the destruction of the world as we know it?
DR. JOHN LORBER: WE MAY NOT NEED OUR BRAIN
There are many theories of consciousness. Not so long ago, researchers believed consciousness was a function of the brain. As research and technology have expanded, the scientific community has not accepted a definitive theory on consciousness. Dr John Lorber, A British Neurologist, became convinced that the brain may not be necessary for overall functioning, nor is it the seat of consciousness.
In his practice, Dr Lorber treated patients with hydrocephalus: hydrocephalus is a condition where fluid accumulates in the brain. Many individuals with hydrocephalus are disabled and do not function well. However, Dr Lorber saw tremendous achievements by some of his patients who had almost non-existent brain tissue.
Dr Lorber reported on one patient who had “virtually no brain.” Even so, the young man graduated with honours from college with a math degree. He was socially normal and had an IQ of 126. This inspired Dr Lorber to do research to confirm that his findings were not just anecdotal. He studied the brains of 600 patients with hydrocephalus whose brain scans showed very little brain matter. Ten percent of them were severely handicapped. But half of them had normal functioning and IQs greater than 100.
In order to stimulate more interest in his work, Lorber posed the question, “Is your brain really necessary?” Lorber’s work was published in Science Magazine in 1980, but his work was not accepted within the scientific community. He died in 1996, before the proliferation of computers in general and before the public was privy to AI. But, some have taken his theory and expanded on it.
RISE OF ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE
The onward march of technology can be quite exhilarating as new developments promise to usher in a new era of ease, education and wellbeing for all of humanity. But who will claim superiority when technologically augmented humans beings clash with the rise of artificial intelligence?