Sunday, 18 November 2012

Digital Mind

In this week’s blog,I will be looking at robots and artificial Intelligences (A.I.) across the world today and, try to find out why we make them and what it means for society on a whole. Firstly I have to look at just what exactly the two terms mean; National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) define robots as; “Robotics is the study of robots. Robots are machines that can be used to do jobs. Some robots can do work by themselves. Other robots must always have a person telling them what to do.”- Reference from: It is really strange that before deciding to use NASA’s definition of robots I search the internet and, many different websites and companies had different terms and definitions for the word robot. This just shows that they is many different types of robots out today, not as people may think they look like but they all do many different things. But one thing that was clear in all most all definitions of the word is that, the robots’ main objective is to work for or, with humans.  The term I understand to define Artificial Intelligence is “The theory and development of computer systems able to perform tasks that normally require human intelligence, such as visual perception, speech recognition, decision-making, and translation between languages.”- Reference from Google dictionary. Robots and A.I. generally have the same job in this world which is to serve humans or, assists them in their needs but, for how long? Every year scientists are progressing into making these machines smarter more intelligent and maybe, they will have equal rights to us or even more important than we are if, it their intelligence continues to progress.

There are many different types of robots that roam the earth and parts of Space in this present time. The vast amount of robots that are present in today world as I mentioned before, make it quite difficult for us to give the word a precise definition of the term. Due to many science fiction movies we all have an idea of just what we think a robot is, due to us being bombarded with Hollywood’s ideas and imaginations. Before researching my thought of robots had to come across looking like; Robo Cop, The Terminator, look like the robots in I, Robot or even, Transformer cars. All of the examples just given either look like a human or function by themselves very intelligently. However there is much more to a robot than just its looks, for example NASA use their robots to send them to Mars to gather information about the planet. Also there are robots that design to counteract and defuse bombs and explosives at war, to avoid human fatalities.
this picture is of an explosive destroying robot

As you can see from the images above neither one of the images appear to look like Hollywood’s idea of what robots look like but, they are still considered to be robots. Which obviously draws me to think that many things in the world today can operate in the world today using its own intelligence, to assist humans in day to day life such as; Satellite Navigation systems, Siri on iPhones and, machines that use voice recognition. Robots are amongst us very much today and we hardly notice to them for what they truly are.
On the other hand Artificial Intelligence (A.I.) is considered to be “It is the science and engineering of making intelligent machines, especially intelligent computer programs. It is related to the similar task of using computers to understand human intelligence, but AI does not have to confine itself to methods that are biologically observable.” Reference from:  Artificial intelligence tends to have the appearance of human beings even possessing skin like material to protect their circuitry.  Having witnessed various forms of artificial intelligence on YouTube I find them rather disturbing on how, amazingly they seem to resemble human being and some traits they have learnt. My thoughts of A.I. are that if they progress to a certain level that is beyond human intelligence, what happens next? An extract from Wikipedia also details this more: “Artificial Intelligence is a common topic in both science fiction and projections about the future of technology and society. The existence of an artificial intelligence that rivals human intelligence raises difficult ethical issues, and the potential power of the technology inspires both hopes and fears.
In fiction, Artificial Intelligence has appeared fulfilling many roles, including a servant (R2D2 in Star Wars), a law enforcer (K.I.T.T. "Knight Rider"), a comrade (Lt. Commander Data in Star Trek: The Next Generation), a conqueror/overlord (The Matrix, Omnius), a dictator (With Folded Hands), a benevolent provider/de facto ruler (The Culture), an assassin (Terminator), a sentient race (Battlestar Galactica/Transformers/Mass Effect), an extension to human abilities (Ghost in the Shell) and the savior of the human race (R. Daneel Olivaw in Isaac Asimov's Robot series).
Mary Shelley's Frankenstein considers a key issue in the ethics of artificial intelligence: if a machine can be created that has intelligence, could it also feel? If it can feel, does it have the same rights as a human? The idea also appears in modern science fiction, including the films I Robot, Blade Runner and A.I.: Artificial Intelligence, in which humanoid machines have the ability to feel human emotions. This issue, now known as "robot rights", is currently being considered by, for example, California's Institute for the Future, although many critics believe that the discussion is premature.[170] The subject is profoundly discussed in the 2010 documentary film Plug & Pray.” –Reference from:  Though I think in the world today the Artificial intelligence that ordinary people of today witness it is still very vague in the world today or, very basic in how it works i.e. Eliza, ‘Eliza is a chatterbot computer application which gives you an impression that it is engaging in conversation with you when really, it is programed to respond to certain words that you input to keep the conversation going.’  But saying this what scientist are working on currently and aren’t very far from perfecting is only around the corner. Here are some videos I found on the web:

On a whole i think that humans can benefit from integrating with robots in our everyday lives' as they seem to be very useful and powerful tools in our lives' today but, on the other hand Artificial intelligence has a different effect for me. I do not see the need or the benefit for scientist to make A.I.  there are billions of humans on the planet today so, the need to make substitute human replacements bewilders me. 

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