I’m Happy, Therefore I Am…

HAL in vector

The other day, I was reading a book about artificial intelligence and the turing test, and I was really drawn in. It made me stop and think about what makes us human, and what decisions shape our lives. So many of our decisions have such a profound effect in our lives, and they are often connected with one another. So, a man called Alan Turing created at test to see if a computer could actually be intelligent and make human decisions.  A turing test works like this:

A person and a computer are put into a room, and in another room another person is sitting at a monitor. For a computer to pass a turing test, the person alone in the second room has to be unable to determine who they are typing to, a person or a computer.

This leads to an interesting question, what determines artificial intelligence? Now, I’m no engineer or robotics specialist, but in my mind, the very nature of humanity is based on emotion. A Robot by its very nature doesn’t feel emotion. It doesn’t make decisions based on how it feels, or on abstract thoughts, and illogical thoughts. Humans on the other hand will. We sometimes make completely illogical decisions based on solid information. A good example of an illogical decision is to smoke. At this point, everyone knows that smoking is quite bad for you, and yet, millions of people still smoke. If a computer were to analyze this situation, it would say: Myself (self preservation)+smoking= early destruction, conclusion? Don’t smoke. Humans on the other hand take into account many more non logical variables. For example, peer pressure, and how we look around others. These two things don’t directly affect a computer, so it cannot include them in its decision making process. This makes me think that the human brain is not wired like a computer. It is obviously organic, but more than that, it associates decisions with abstract ideas and thoughts. That, in my humble opinion is what separates us from machinery, and makes us human, our ability to feel things that cant be quantified. It is what makes us each unique and special.

Creative Commons License photo credit: abelmon007

I’m Happy, Therefore I Am…