Our relationship with AIWith the development of science and technology, our lives are changing rapidly. It is increasingly difficult to keep up with the accelerated changes.
?However, it is futile to ignore the development of science and technology. While individuals can take a break from technology, the society cannot neglect the evolution of civilization.
Fundamental to these changes are computers and the internet. The essence of the computer and the internet is artificial intelligence. Therefore, understanding AI helps us adapt to the fast-changing environment.
Living organisms survive by adapting to the environment. The basic adaptation is an instinct at the genetic level. Most species on earth survive with instincts.
We instinctively adapt to the predictable change of environment. On subtle and unpredictable changes, our brains and intelligence help us adapt. About five percent of the ecosystem has intelligence.
Social animals would have a hard time adapting to the environment individually. ?
?Humans are best at adapting and became the core species of the ecosystem.
AI is literally a kind of intelligence. It is similar to human intelligence and personality and responds on equal terms. It is a different from conventional technologies by nature, and that makes artificial intelligence revolutionary.
While human intelligence does not improve, artificial intelligence evolves constantly. Naturally, AI will gradually replace human intelligence.
In many fields, computer programs supplement human intelligence already. These programs, called expert systems, not only make decisions based on the rules and data referenced by experts but also adapt to new situations by learning.
A symbolic case was made a generation ago. One of the early triumphs in topology was proving the four-color conjecture.
Any map can be colored using four colors so that regions sharing a common boundary do not share the same color. The conjecture seems simple but proof was a challenge. It was finally proved in 1976. The process of proving is so complicated and extensive that only a computer program can follow it. In the highest intellectual activity of mathematical proof, human intelligence and artificial intelligence were used together organically.
Human intelligence is limited by the size of brain, but AI has little limits. Therefore, AI will continue to advance and some day will have awareness and become super-intelligent beyond human intelligence.
A human brain processes 400 billion bits of information a second. A computer of the biggest capacity can store infiniately more. The difference is still considerable.
However, a computer is not the brain in AI but the nerve. All computers connected through the internet are the brain of AI. When Internet of Things becomes widely used, the brain will grow enormously. Super-intelligence is likely to emerge based on the expansive physical foundation. It is the spontaneous process of life and consciousness. Science fiction writers Robert Heinlein and Vernor Vinge proposed convincing scenarios.
The essence of life is information processing, and evolution increases the information processing capacity of the ecosystem. Therefore, it is logical to assume the appearance of a species that processes information better than humans.
What matters in evolution of ecosystem is the improved information processing power, not which species takes charge. So the super intelligence will ultimately become a new biological species. Science fiction writers already named it “Homo roboticus.”
What will humans be when such advanced artificial intelligence appears? When super-intelligence makes important decisions, how should humans live? Will super-intelligence be friendly to mankind?
We most frequently feel the impact of artificial intelligence in the economy. Traditional jobs are disappearing, but not many new jobs are added. Those who adapt to the new environment make enormous incomes, but the majority struggle to adapt, and income disparity grows.
The economic impact is certainly serious, but we are faced with more existential problems that determine the fate of the mankind.
The future of humanity will be determined by how we build a favorable and cooperative relationship with Homo roboticus that will undoubtedly appear in the near future.
Translation by the Korea JoongAng Daily staff.
JoongAng Ilbo, Oct. 8, Page 35
The author is a novelist.
by Bok Koh-ill