We get fascinated by the power of computers and then we forget their limitations. A computer is a machine which follows the instructions of a programmer. Through greed human motivations have let the computer get out of control. The greed that is Microsoft has created the monster that is Windows, and this operating system currently provides limitation of usage. Any serious user and owner recognises that there is instability within the use of Windows, some argue that it is Windows itself whilst others argue it is the software that uses Windows. Either way Windows regularly crashes.
Initially computer industry focussed on the machine but now because of crashes their attention is much more directed to protection of data. Sophisticated backup procedures and drive image software are the first priority of the network manager, and once that is established security of the data to protect from computer crime such as hacking, phishing and computer viruses.
Herein lies the nub of the fears about computers and the internet, we look at the potential that a computer can be used for and suddenly we start to see that a computer can be used for crime. Far worse a computer is required to control our weapons leading to some doomsday scenarios. We further have speculative science fiction in which robots go out of control with Asimov's laws of robotics being a famous example of control and loss of control.
The mad scientist programmer then introduces terms such as artificial intelligence and now artillect claiming that the computer has the potential to develop intelligence, and yet typical of descriptions of such potential are that computers can process information faster. Is that all that humans are - processors of information and slow at that?
The Asimov and doomsday scenarios consider that a robot might develop artificial intelligence by means of logic, and follow that through with the logical conclusion that such machines are better equipped to survive. This conclusion itself is illogical in contemporary society for the simple reason that machines are always breaking down. Would this designed obsolescence not apply to robots? Robots can conceivably build robots but would it be common sense for man to allow machines to have control of that longevity? Is there a Natural lifespan for the technology of machines? Although they can be repaired how long do our machines last now?
It is necessary to take a perspective on these doomsday scenarios, and develop information on the debate. Are the fears justified? And the answer is yes. Look at nuclear bombs. These were machines that brought the planet to the brink of disaster. Or did they? What machine decided to drop itself on Hiroshima? What machine decided it should want to threaten Cuba in the Bay of Pigs? What machine decided that it would be necessary to build thousands upon thousands of themselves so that they could destroy the planet a thousand times over?
The answer is that no machine made such a decision, Humanity did.
What machine decided that they would replicate themselves to produce excessive emissions that are producing climate change?
The answer is that no machine made this decision.
Without getting too political Humanity's created these potential disasters.
Is artificial intelligence an issue that is different? Can Humanity create machines that can destroy Humanity? Yes, it has already done so. Can Humanity inadvertently create machines that can destroy humanity? I would claim NO. Does it matter whether the machine that destroys Humanity is a bomb or a robot? Destruction is just the same.
The bomb that destroyed Hiroshima did not have intelligence, the US and her advisors, Oppenheimer et al, did. Cars are not intelligent nor are fridges but their waste products have caused climate change because Humanity did not use intelligence to cope with the technology.
The very real fear I have of “artillects” is that there are so many humans involved with artillects, and these humans have the serious potential not to use their intelligence.
Let us begin this analysis of the inabilities of computers by creating some building blocks of language. Is there a difference between
intelligence and intellect?