We Need to Talk About Robots and A.I.

I’m not sure if I made my position clear on AI, so let me try one more time here. Not what I consider a vital topic, but a very fun one to discuss. The question, “Will we ever make REAL A.I., (meaning self aware robots that can make free will choices)?” can’t be answered until you have a world view from which to answer it.

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IF atheism were true, then the human mind would be synonymous with the human brain. There would be no self or being outside of the meat machine in your head. The brain is made of cells which are made of molecules, which are made of atoms, all of which obey the laws of physics and chemistry BECAUSE THEY MUST. When one oxygen bonds to two hydrogen to form water, they do not CHOOSE to do so. In those conditions, those atoms HAVE to act in that manner. It is the only thing they can do, just as a brick must fall to the ground when you drop it. Matter obeys the laws of physics and chemistry because it can do nothing else.

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Your brain is a VASTLY complex machine, but it is a machine none the less. Every part of your brain does what it MUST because of the material/chemical make up of its parts, and because of the structure and arrangements of those parts, just as the computer you are using does what it does because it MUST. Inside your computer are metal and plastic parts built into certain shapes and arranged in specific ways. When there is input through the keys or mouse, the computer takes the input and reacts according to its programming. It does not weight its options and decide what to do. It does what it must because it must. The laws of physics and chemistry govern its every action.

Like your computer, your toaster does what it does because it has parts made of metals and plastic which are in certain shapes and in certain places. When you push down the lever, it does not CHOOSE what to do. It does what it MUST do, just as the brick falls when you drop it.

If atheism were true, then your brain would differ from the brick or the toaster or the computer only in the complexity of its make up. But not in what you truly are- atoms. You would think and feel and do and believe what you do- NOT because you CHOOSE to do so, as if the many cells in your head talk it  over and then decide. Every thought, feeling, word you say or action you take is decided by your chemical make up and the laws of the universe, just as the darkness of your toast is predetermined by the settings on your toaster.

And this is not merely my opinion as a Christian. It is not a put down of atheism, but the logical following of the ideas. Popular atheists from America and Europe have declared free-will to be an illusion because atheism DOES NOT ALLOW IT TO EXIST. To be a consistent atheist, you Must reject your belief in your own free will. But you must CHOOSE to do so.  Which proves that you HAVE free will. Which, like so many things, proves atheism to be unbelievable, unlivable and indefensible.

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So what of AI? If atheism were true, then the question is not, “When will we make a program or machine with self awareness,” but rather, “Why do we cling to the illusion that WE have self awareness and free will?”

And I suppose the answer is that we HAVE to according to our programming, which has evolved to have a survival advantage. Just like all of our beliefs, we have no real choice in the matter. Why would the machines we build have choices when we do not?

As a Christian I would say we never will make AI (in the sense of a self aware, free will agent) because that is a facet of our SOUL and not our body/brain. Since we cannot make a soul, we cannot make a self aware being. We can CERTAINLY make programs and machines capable of mimicking our actions and behaviors such that most of us could not tell we are not talking to a real person. But fooling people is not so hard. Magicians do it for fun and money. We are fooled every time we watch a video. We think we are watching objects and people move, when we are in fact only watching a series of still images played back quickly. Chat Bots are already getting hard to distinguish from real people, so the rest is only a matter of time.

But the droids will still be merely complex toasters. Unlike us.

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1 Response to We Need to Talk About Robots and A.I.

  1. jsneese62 says:

    I do agree with you that A.I. will never have real free will and never have feelings and choices like humans do because as you said that has to do with our soul and not the machine that is our brain. I have worked with computers since 1992 and if something becomes corrupted in the computers programming in critical place the computer will stop working. This can also happen in the human brain as well, but many times the human brain can repair itself at least to a point. In 2009 I had a moderate stroke in my cerebellum this stroke could have caused me to never walk again, not be able to speak again, or even understand speech again. What it did was make it to where I cannot close my eyes when standing up, I walk like what a drunk toddler would walk like, and I have very small bouts of vertigo throughout the day and that is the end result. The brain is amazing at rerouting and mending damaged areas elsewhere. I learned to walk again in a little over a month and my speech improved in about the same time frame. What fine motor skills I had lost were back in a couple of months as well as was speech. A computer cannot repair or reroute anything if it is damaged then it stops working and if it is not repaired it will never work in any capacity again.
    I do believe as you do that eventually A.I. will fool any people and I believe they will be dangerous as well because they will not have feelings and cannot think for themselves even if it seems that they do. On a side note Google awhile back had to shut down two of their computers because they developed a language of their own and were talking to each other and they had no idea what they were talking about. Lets just hope they never make them where they can walk or are totally in control of vital weaponry or the government. They female A.I. that guy made she even said she wanted to kill humans. She is creepy to the max too and I do not see her as a good thing at all.


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