Artificial Intelligence - Good or Bad? : LUSENET : Reflection in the Dragon's Eye : One Thread

I am writing a novel about AIs and their world. Please see my journal and read the August 8th entry. What I'm doing is collecting opinions and ideas about the nature of humans and the nature of artificial intelligent computers and robots. Do you think we can create an Artificial Intelligence? If we can, should we? What do you think humans will do with an AI once they have one? Do you think an intelligent computer will "run amok" like in 2001, or Alien? Or do you feel that they will be more interested in being human, like Star Trek Next Generation?

-- KT Hicks (, August 08, 1999


Well I was hoping someone else would have posted something first to help me organize my thoughts. I suppose the first question I have to ask is what level of AI are you planning on using in your story. From your journal article it seems like you're discussing an AI with a consciousness on par with humans, and presumably modelled after humans. If that's true, then I have to ask the question, "Do these AI's have emotions, or not?" If they don't have emotions then most of the premise of your story is gone (after all, what's logical about starting a war). If they do have emotions then please don't go start the whole, "Oh, I'm only a machine, I don't have emotions." Anything with that much angst has emotions, and if it's even moderately intelligent and literate will figure that fact out.

As for running amok...If they're completely sentient and modelled after humans then they'll run amok. The number one human imperative seems to be species survival through total domination of all outside factors. Course it sounds like you're planning on having alot of debate on the practical and ethic implications of that imperative.

-- Jeff Fiscus (, August 10, 1999.

I'll try to answer your questions roughly in order, in an attempt to stay on topic.

Can we create an AI? Eventually. What's the time frame on that? No bloody idea. Marvin Minsky over at MIT has been working on AI for fucking decades, and I don't know if he's made any real progress, and from all I hear, he's absolutely brilliant. You may want to visit his web page and take a peek around -- he's got some interesting papers up that you might find interesting.

Should we create one? Here's my take on it: Remember the quote that necessity is the mother of invention? I don't think until we come up with a really compelling reason to build an AI, we're not going to allocate the resources to it.

What will people do with it once they've got it? Honestly? The very first time, they'll talk to it a bit, and then shut it off. Because odds are it'll be developed by the government, and if they can reproduce an AI at will, why bother keeping it around?

I think the odds of an AI running amok are about the same as a person running amok. It's hard to tell. Other than the fact that people built it, there's nothing that insures that an AI will have human-like needs and such. We're social creatures. We seek out others of our kind, form relationships with each other, build communities, wage war, etc. Who's to say that an AI will have those compunctions, which come out of our genetic heritage, and the fact that a band of hairless monkeys is a more formidable target than one hairless monkey by itself?

As to an AI being interested in being human, that presumes that being human is an ultimate state -- the pinnacle of what an intelligent being would want to be. The AI would only have that desire if programmed with that conception. Otherwise, it might wonder why humans don't want to be machines. ;-)

Well, that's my quickie answers. We can talk later if you want to hear me ramble on about this in greater length.

-- Matt (, August 11, 1999.

First thing is first, THIER SHOULD NOT BE ANY KIND OF ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE!!! Have you seen these movies? Termenator, Red Planet,and the Matrix? If you have these movies have A.I. in the robots, and they all go bad. So, yeah humans can manufacture robots with A.I. eventualy. If the freaking goverment want's to freaking kill every bloody human on this stupid planet!

Second, the people of Earth would be celebrating because our scientists have invented robots with A.I. Then they would make it do stuff and entertain us, but if it has no emotions then eventually people would get bored of the robots and sell it for scrap metal.

E-mail back if you want to. See ya!

-- Kevin Song (, April 19, 2001.

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