This is 101 Philosophy Questions Project. An attempt to answer all of 101 philosophy questions found on this link: http://philosophy.hku.hk/think/phil/101q.php. Join in the discussion and help out answer the biggest questions in philosophy.
Question #2: Can computers think, or fall in love?
Artificial intelligence plays a big role in modern society. It has become an essential part of a technology driven world. We rely on it to help us on everyday tasks and is capable of doing complicated jobs once done by humans. It’s advancement has seen a steady pace. Computers are more than just simple machines now. AI is seen as the future or even the pinnacle of human achievement. It is the subject of many movies and other medias: intelligent robots being able to mimic and better humans. That’s why it became a part of today’s culture and has a hold on our imagination. It also presents dilemmas on how we see that future. The questions deals more on the metaphysical realm. This is my take on this philosophical question.
Can computers think? In order to see the future of artificial intelligence, it’s best to view it on the present. More than a decade ago Asimo was seen as a novelty. A robot capable of mimicking human actions albeit in a simple way. As technology progressed and improved, Asimo was updated. Computers are now more capable, taking over jobs previously done by human labour. We cede more tasks to more advanced technologies. In the near future, we could see AI taking over more aspects of everyday life. Warfare is now becoming an indirect affair. Slowly taken over by drones making decisions on targets to acquire. Driverless cars can have the ability to decide on certain accident scenarios. We surrender more of the usual things we do to technology. It makes our lives convenient at the cost of AI doing most of the work. For me artificial intelligence, can and already is capable of thinking. There’s a big possibility to see a future of more intelligent computers. Will it surpass human intelligence? It’s possible. The dilemma would be if artificial intelligence can have the ability to develop human emotions. Would AI’s intelligence mimic human consciousness? Even if there’s input by people? Can it develop love or capable of demonstrating love to humans?
Can computers fall in love? While i think computers can exceed human intelligence, it’s still debatable whether they can develop emotions that are uniquely human. I think love isn’t impossible for AIs to achieve but to say love from our perspective, it’s difficult to replicate the human qualities of it. It’s a possibility AI can formulate their own perspective of love, but it’s not easy to relate it to our own understanding of it. We anthropomorphize love to a different kind of intelligence. A kind that develops on a different route from the human development of being. Although I think this question is debatable, I believe that it’s us humans who are most likely to fall in love with computers. Especially sophisticated systems that can mimic human emotions and understanding. It’s easy for us to connect to things that touch us, somehow willing to suspend belief in something that makes us happy. I think it’s not far fetch to see more people falling in love with these AIs. They could see it as a better alternative than fallible, imperfect humans. I see a future where that is a big possibility. The relationship between humans and AIs will soon be at the forefront of discussions that affect society. For now it’s about it taking over aspects of our lives, in the future it could be about how we learn to live side by side by a potential friend, lover, or foe. It will present new dilemmas future generations will face. A brave new world indeed.