How We Are Helping to Create a New Version of ‘us’
A glimpse into what might be possible with Artificial Intelligence by the power of Facebook.
Artificial Intelligence is THE buzzword since the beginning of the year. It really leaped into the public consciousness a few weeks ago when an AI named AlphaGo created by Google’s DeepMind beat Lee Se-dol in a set of the game Go. Something which until then seemed to be unachievable due to nature of the game. It sent ripples through mainstream media and now we all hyped up and ready to jump on the AI train to a better world. Or are we? Whenever I speak to people about it their eyes widen and they have that stargazing glance. But I feel that quite a few have not yet understood the concept of Artificial Intelligence, never mind intelligence itself.
The great Britannica boils it down to the “mental quality that consists of the abilities to learn from experience, adapt to new situations, understand and handle abstract concepts, and use knowledge to manipulate one’s environment.” If we stop right here and look at the level of skills acquired and level of adaptation that have been shown by AlphaGo in a very narrow framework of a very particular game then yes, it might be intelligence. It essentially compares to the intelligence of a mouse, trying over and over to get a piece of cheese. If we are looking at the current graph of computing power and where it stands in comparison to biochemical computers – aka brains, we have just achieved that status.
Currently this is all based on are a million times a million of permutations combined with statistics which leads to the perception of intelligence. It will get really interesting with quantum computing where the same calculation can be performed the same time at least in one another dimension - but that is for another article as this fills an array of finite bookshelf’s in an infinite number of libraries. See what I have done here?
Conclusively, we are somewhat off from fully fledged intelligence within machines but what if we are all already contributing to artificial intelligence, a public digital awareness that is ‘us’? What are all super computers lacking? The ability to use emotions aiding the transformation of their learnings into an identity - an artificial emotional intelligence, whose primary concern is how it and we feel and not winning a game of Go.
I’m sure you are on Facebook. Not to worry, we are not entering the realm of conspiracy or Facebook bashing. Others have done that and we are bored of it, aren’t we? It is a thought experiment which I am inviting you to join me on. I find interesting that we are all willingly contributing to the creation of an artificial emotional intelligence which is a reflection of ‘us’. When talking about ‘us’ I mean the amalgamation of many people within a certain group which eventually leads to a picture being created about you and me. But to be able to do that, a more in-depth capture of ‘you’ is required. Because only if you combine the principle of artificial intelligence with emotions a map can be created, which in essence is required to offer up the million and millions of permutations of emotions to certain events. Emotions that are currently being captured on Facebook via the Emoticons offered next to the ‘Like’ button. You really didn’t like Jacks post about that angry cab driver - angry face. You completely fell for those little kittens – love. Facebook is no longer interested in your status, it wants to know how you feel about other people’s posts and more importantly branded posts and products. Every single reaction matters. Equipped with that information, bots can be created that are not just focused on solving one problem, i.e. the game of Go but have the capability to address an issue through the power of emotions.
It might eventually even help us to find the core of love and hate and heal the latter. You are also touching on the realm of immortality if your emotions as well as your experience, your (in time) reproducible skills and all that is you are transformed into a cube. It might just be the world’s biggest ever experiment…who knows. I strongly believe in the good of this technology to bring us closer to who we are and what it means to be human. Like!