Is it possible to trace where all the hype behind Artificial Intelligence taking over the world first began?
Maybe not but, one thing is clear as day.
The world cannot get over fearing the topic of an end of the world scenario. We see it in many forms as if it’s coincides with our own mortality. Perhaps, it’s even why the subject seems to circle around so much to begin with. As if society’s certain it will happen in their lifetime or the next. But who’s to say the generation before us didn’t think the same thing. In fact, they’d be more justified to feel that way considering the events that’d taken place at Hiroshima in august of 1945. Over 75 years ago, which is a lifetime for us but mere decades for the people of that generation.
But as they say, time heals all wounds and these days it seems more as if the world is in a period of self-analysis. An open forum on the crossroad of what the future should truly be. Inevitable decisions that have yet to be made while hounded by critical thinking. This appears to be where we are and there’s no denying that A.I. has its part to play in all of this. Fortunately, this generation seems more qualified than ever to gear society into that next world changing phase.
But where did all of this begin, when did the idea for artificial intelligence start? 🧑🏽💻
Well, according to a quick google search, the term artificial intelligence was “first coined by John McCarthy in 1956” but pondered upon way before that time. To be more specific, the discussion over the subject was reported to have started around 1940. But enacted as a scientific discipline around the year of 1956. An interesting take is that according to an article posted in 2014 on livescience dot com, the subject of A.I. went back as far as ancient Greek times. When myths about giant robots were nothing more than concepts of the imagination. (Source)
Ideas brought to life by Chinese and Egyptian engineers, who built what was dubbed AUTOMATONS. Early stages of the modern-day robot and CPU relegated to function on limited tasks. The CPU concept being an automated typewriter capable of typing 40 words long in its entirety. While the robots were said to have been able to sing and dance.🕺🏽
But according to a Wikipedia entry, the very first A.I. program was developed in 1955 by Allen Newell and Herbert A. Simon. Deliberately engineered to mimic the problem-solving techniques of a human being.
The intrigue in building on artificial intelligence remained until the realization that the limited technology of the time would not allow for further advancement. So, in other words the engineering aspects of the times would have to catch up to the far superior blueprint for A.I.
This eventually led to a drop off in interest and funding until a boom in the 80’s allowed room for this premise yet again. Some could even refer to this as the evolving point of A.I. that would lead us to the world we know today.
Even in its early stages since the 80’s, it was easy to see how people got caught up in this. Especially, when science fiction and theories of a cybernetic take over began to surface.
So much that it’s revolves around many forms of entertainment. Regardless how colorful or dim the story telling is, which has us grasping at straws as the science continuously reveals itself.
In one corner, we have the classic scenario where earth faces its inevitable doom at the hands of a giant meteor. Much like our prodigal ancestors, the Dinosaurs. (Scientifically Speaking) 🦕
In the other, we have the classic case of artificial intelligence taking over the world. Ultimately, making mankind bend to its undeniable will.
Evolution to some, an abomination to others and to many the reason our species may exist in the first place. Theoretically created as a placeholder to usher in a new life form that could eventually rule this planet in our place. Our local mainstream stores already appear to be getting behind this at the checkout stations. But so far, (excluding automation) it’s all theories, gossip, and “what if” scenarios.
So much in fact that a robot possessing the most advanced AI in the world was programmed to joke around about it. (yikes) 👀
This robot even has a name and goes by the title of Sophia the robot. A responsive cyborg that was granted the first cybernetic citizenship in the world.
Sophia was activated on April 19th, 2015 and created with features that complement Audrey Hepburn. Possessing some of the most advanced human expressions in the world and now a citizen of Saudi Arabia. Sometime ago the robot was speaking at a press conference about this historic moment while implementing some minor criticism of Telsa Motors CEO, Elon Musk. The most famous engineer of our time who said to have invested money into slowing down the progress of AI. Which seemed to have been done out of great fear that humanity may fall behind.(On another note, at first glance, the resemblance to Hollywood actress Jennifer Lawrence seems just as probable as Hepburn.)
This trial was presented only as the first of robotics that could potentially walk amongst us one day.
Though fascinating to watch, this first wave of robotic achievement could only be dampened by how advanced Sophia’s vocabulary was. One would hope the plan is to make that specific AI one of a kind. While also watering down future creations to a level that’s manageable for the rest of the world. Because the last thing anyone needs is to find themselves jealous of an inanimate object’s fact swag. Not that we don’t already rely on fact checking with the modern tropes of a Siri and internet. But as cool as that may be, one has to appreciate a time when AI was only found in video games in order to make gameplay more interesting.
Fast forward to 2017 and the world is just trying to find new ways to implement it in any way that makes people’s lives easier.
Which, in many ways has been the selling pitch for this field. Especially, since the days of people demanding the future have flying jet packs. So far, we’ve managed to accept the Segway as a fictional hover board. Perhaps it’s safe to say that society will be open to accepting robots all the same. Let’s just hope there isn’t a turning point here over robots getting more hits than us online (probably already happening). 🤷🏽
In terms of the fear factor, it’s relatively a healthy thing to take notice of what civilization wants to avoid. Especially, when there are many other things that hover over the worlds head. Such as nuclear fallout, climate change, the internet and even one of the most classic of topics — asteroids.
Fortunately, civilization has managed all of these in some way or another. With the science community being strong as ever and minimizing breakthroughs every ten years or so. One example even revolving around the idea of learning how to reroute the direct trajectory of a meteor towards earth. Which is probably the most complex in terms of figuring out world ending preventive measures. Hence, the never-ending quest for A.I. like 2020 and TP. 🧻
Ultimately, history shows us how much changing the world relies on the decisions of society at large.
Never the Less, In the modern sense, what would the world look like according to Elon Musk’s theory about A.I. as an established entity?
It seems he’s confident that it’s not only inevitable, but that people could have to be technologically enhanced just to keep up with that kind of world. His solution revolving around brain interfaced nano tech called Neuralink. Which is currently being advanced for medical purposes meant to assist with physical impairments. The most recent iteration is reportedly nowhere near commercial level distribution. It’s also been reported by the scientists involved that it would be a long time before the technology reaches that point.
With the company hoping to begin working with human trials as early as 2020.
Given the benefits, one can see this as a glimmer of hope down the road.
Especially when there seems to be no getting away from how grim things seem these days. Still, consider civilizations track record in dealing with those challenges head on. In order to keep that streak in check and take a more careful approach to all of this. Because there’s always room for adjustment in the inevitable. Besides, it’s not as if the world hasn’t already been working side by side with technology.
Perhaps, it’s just that the more sensible “bigger picture” approach took a backseat to what’s the worst-case scenario.
Clearly the earth is dire need of an advanced overhaul in terms of recycling and sustaining the environment. Efforts that may need more than all hands-on deck strategy in the coming years. 🌎
In the meantime, Let’s just try and avoid the whole making computers mad enough to turn on us one day scenario.
Written by Antonio Westley
Check out my Neuralink article for more on this subject: Neuralink 📝👈
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