Artificial Intelligence has a multitude of advantages when compared to human intelligence. The most obvious of these is that computers can carry out as many calculations in the blink of an eye as a typical human does in a week. This processing speed is then combined with phenomenal memory capabilities and retrieval. In terms of computing power, if computers do not have the advantage over human brains already with regard to a particular feature, then they certainly will have before long.
The way an intelligent machine perceives the world around it depends on how it senses the world. Again machines have an enormous advantage over humans in this regard, with the potential ability to sense in similar ways to humans but also in the infrared, ultra violet, x-ray and ultrasonic spectra and so on. All of these are simply not sensed by a human without the aid of technology in a secondary rudimentary fashion. As humans we have a very limited perception of the world around us.
Unfortunately things don’t get better. The human brain has evolved to think about the world around it as being three dimensional. Humans cannot it seems visualise more than 3 dimensions. This does not mean that space is three dimensional, but simply that is how we perceive it because that is all our brains can cope with. Computers however are quite capable of dealing with hundreds of dimensions, and understanding relationships involving these dimensions.
With all of these advantages it is quite apparent that, in the wrong set of circumstances, artificial intelligence could provide clear and distinct dangers for humans. Indeed this message has been spelt out by numerous technology experts such as Ray Kurzweil and Stephen Hawking. Some such experts go as far as to say that a Terminator scenario is almost certain to occur if we keep going in the direction we are and do nothing about it.
But there’s no need to despair. A solution is at hand. If you can’t beat them join them. It is quite possible for humans to upgrade with the assistance of technology and take on board artificial intelligence by combining directly with it. Just a small implant allows for a wider range of senses, an extension of the human nervous system and a more advanced form of communication, thereby overcoming the extreme bandwidth problems faced by humans’ present forms of communication.
Just a small implant is all it takes to link the human brain and nervous system directly with a computer and thence onto the internet. OK privacy must be compromised further. But the advantages are there for the taking. So, what do you say, are you ready to enhance your intellectual abilities and become part human, part machine?
Prof.Kevin Warwick will be speaking on The Cyborgs Experiments at TCS Innovation Forum, New York