AI will reach human intelligence, not imitate it

Ray Kurzweil’s famous quote — “Arti­fi­cial intel­li­gence will reach human lev­els by around 2029. Fol­low that out fur­ther to, say, 2045, and we will have mul­ti­plied the intel­li­gence – the human bio­log­i­cal machine intel­li­gence of our civ­i­liza­tion – a bil­lion-fold”, has spoofed many spec­u­la­tions based on just that — AI reach­ing human lev­els. Nev­er­the­less, peo­ple are crit­i­ciz­ing this pos­si­bil­i­ty on the basis of the fact that the human brain’s struc­ture is far from being re-creatable.

“Our brain is tru­ly mind-blow­ing”. A sys­tem con­tain­ing 86 bil­lion neu­rons, the human brain is def­i­nite­ly a supe­ri­or sys­tem. We know of the “brain” and the “mind”, but there is a big gap between them. The brain itself can be ana­lyzed in many ways, but it is still hard to com­pre­hend what the mind real­ly is. But it’s cer­tain that they both con­sti­tute to pro­duce “intel­li­gence”. The ques­tion aris­es – can AI real­ly reach human intelligence?

And in or to answer that, there is a pri­ma­ry ques­tion to answer:

Is human intelligence the base?

It would not be too wrong to spec­u­late that our intel­li­gence was cre­at­ed by some supe­ri­or pow­er that had dif­fer­ent “ver­sion” of intel­li­gence than ours. “Ver­sion” is the key­word here. It does not mean that the supe­ri­or pow­er has/had more intel­li­gence, but rather, it means that the supe­ri­or pow­er had a dif­fer­ent set of “rules” – a dif­fer­ent intel­li­gence”.

The com­par­i­son of human intel­li­gence with the intel­li­gence in oth­er intel­li­gent sys­tems shows this. Our intel­li­gence is based on our phys­i­cal sys­tem, capa­bil­i­ties and instincts. On the oth­er hand, there are AI pro­grams that are based on a math­e­mat­i­cal equa­tion or algo­rithm. In this case, the AI is “intel­li­gent”, but it’s just a pro­gram — a set of instruc­tions — that can give us results that we deem as “intel­li­gent”. Thus, all forms of intel­li­gence stem from some supe­ri­or pow­er – and intel­li­gence only changes itself from one form to another.

And in fact, it would not be too sur­pris­ing if AI reach­es human lev­el. Again, we’re not talk­ing about imi­ta­tion. A bird, for exam­ple has mil­lions — bil­lions of brain neu­rons. We did man­age to cre­ate air­planes, and we did not imi­tate birds. The work­ing mech­a­nisms of these two are dif­fer­ent, and the one cre­ates by humans is a bet­ter ver­sion of birds. Some­times, sim­ple exam­ples like this one man­age to explain a lot.

Just like airplanes, why can’t we create AI that at least ‘equals’ human intelligence?

The most com­mon argu­ment on why we can’t cre­ate AI equal­ing our intel­li­gence is that intel­li­gence can­not be cre­at­ed. But most­ly, they pre­sume “imi­ta­tion”, not “equal­i­ty”. We may not cre­ate a mind with free will, or a com­plex brain with neu­rons. But what we can do is cre­ate a sys­tem that can achieve the same result as what the brain is pro­duc­ing – intelligence.

Ray Kurzweil’s quote may be hard to grasp, not too because of his word­ings but rather, because of what we expect from AI. For exam­ple, in an instance where AI is tasked to pre­dict a text before a human does, the slight­est error in out­put would mean that it can­not be con­sid­ered as smart. But intel­li­gence is some­thing else — the abil­i­ty to adapt to change.

If you are not up-to date with our cur­rent AI advance­ment rate, refer to these articles:

These mile­stones illus­trate the rate of our AI devel­op­ment, and the cur­rent sta­tus of AI. AI-gen­er­at­ed images have already defeat­ed human art pieces. AI philoso­pher GPT‑3 has equaled, if not defeat­ed human philoso­pher Daniel Den­nett. From each and every view­point, it looks like AI is going to reach the lev­el of human intel­li­gence. And more the time pass­es, more it looks like the day is com­ing soon­er than ever predicted.

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