posted on May, 13 2008 @ 01:35 PM
Okay, time for me to jump in.
First, you must understand that there are multiple types of Artificial Intelligence.
They can be broken into two main categories.
HARD AI, and SOFT AI.
Hard AI is essentially Artificial Intelligence through hardware. No programming involved what-so-ever. Essentially, this is a re-creation of a natural
brain in every way shape and form, only using artificial components.
A hard AI does EVERYTHING a natural brain can. Including emotions.
There is one such hard AI that I know of... or at least it used to be around.
It occupied the size of a few rooms, and was remotely tethered to a basic robot (representing it's body). The AI had the IQ of a grasshopper, but it
did indeed display independent desires... such as the desire to play with Blue Spherical objects placed in the pen with it. Anything that was of
another color or shape, it moved to the corner of the pen, and ignored them.
I cannot remember the name of the project. But I found it very interesting at the time.
Basically soft AI is merely a computer with some intuitive programming.
This is the type of AI that remains a mystery as to whether it would be able to think for itself. We already have adaptive AI, a software trick that
permits the program itself to learn from it's inputs. You will often find these Soft AI's in video games to make for a more realistic opponent.
These AI's however are restricted to the inputs they are intended to learn from. Essentially, theres a limit to how much you can learn from a yes or
no binary input.
Eventually, I'm sure soft AI's will be used widely in many applications. The great thing about soft AI is that the programmer has ultimate control.
The programmer can decide on what the "personality" of the AI will be, and just how "intelligent" it can become.
Soft AI will be able to very realistically mimic human emotions, however, they remain just a piece of code that generates a response.
Many people in the tech fields refuse to call Soft AI Artificial Intelligence at all, and refer to it as "Adaptive Programming".
Hard AI is where we have to look if we want something with genuine emotions.
If you artificially re-create the human brain, with the same materials the brain is made of, you essentially have just cloned a brain. Theres no
question to whether a cloned brain can feel. It's identical to the original.
Now, if you use artificial components to make each synapse in the artificial brain respond the same way the natural one would... the only difference
between the artificial brain, and the natural one, is in how it looks. Ultimately, they will operate exactly the same way as each other.
Movies screw this difference up quite often. Take "Terminator" for example. The machines are said to have a Hard AI... yet they are pre-programmed.
Essentially, the movie takes some huge liberties with what an AI is.
... but they can get away with it, because the layman never gets to look under the hood.
Soft AI would be able to be convinced to go fight for you, or be your slaves.
Getting a Hard AI to do your dirty work, would be as difficult as asking your neighbors to do the same tasks as a favor... because Hard AI thinks and
feels for itself.