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Artificial Intelligence

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Introduction

Artificial Intelligence Artificial Intelligence is a broad subject, which demands an equal understanding in Mechanical and Electrical Engineering, Computer Science, and Psychology. More specifically, Mechanical Engineering governs the way that a robot would physically interact with its surroundings. Electrical Engineering is incorporated by using sensors such as voice recognition circuits, or light sensors to give input to the "brain" of the robot. When this input is received by the brain, high level computer programs take the information and "decide" upon what reaction would best fit the given circumstances (Brooks, 1999). It is at this point that the field of Psychology comes into play. The cycle mentioned above requires that researchers of Artificial Intelligence have a basic knowledge of stimulus and response, reasoning, problem solving, cognition, perception, and finally consciousness and thought. Artificial Intelligence, or simply A.I., is defined as "the field of research that attempts to emulate human intelligence in a machine"(Kurzweil, 1999). Computers and thought have been aligned to develop A.I.. New break-throughs found in the research of A.I. may lead to exotic new technologies. By looking at recent studies in the field of A.I., one will get a better understanding of just what A.I. is, and, quite possibly, what it will hold for the human race in the future. ...read more.

Middle

Does this mean that in this world, where information is becoming increasingly more important everyday, that all of these computers in our everyday life, are already superior to humans? If our lives are becoming more and more reliant upon computerization, than that means the survival of the fittest scenario, will be redefined, because the fittest will no longer be the strongest animal, or the most predatoraly fit organism, but instead, fittest will mean which organism is smarter, holds the most information, or has the fastest computational power. So will A.I. computers of the future realize this, seize their superiority, and establish themselves as the dominant species on earth. Although all of this might seem very grim and pessimistic, there are practical and helpful ways that A.I. can be utilized to ensure that life is more easily sustainable. For instance, Nanotechnology would allow genetic engineers to "manipulate single atoms to create structures (like molecules or genes) that can in turn be used to create even larger structures (like materials or beings)" (Seeholtz, 1992). Such technology would allow creations such as artificially intelligent nanorobots to be installed into one's immune system to help fight off diseases or even repair damaged organs. Consider downloading information directly into your brain. ...read more.

Conclusion

By allowing computers to control most everything that we interact with on a daily basis, we are causing ourselves to become dependent upon them. If all computers were to simultaneously cease to work, for how long could mankind exist without the commodities that computerization has bestowed upon us. This could possibly be the downfall of mankind. Each of these theories offer no evidence as to what exactly will make up an artificially intelligent, living, thinking lifeform. It is just as difficult, however, to give any evidence of what exactly makes biologically intelligent, living, thinking lifeforms. If an A.I. was to ask us for proof of our existence, how could we give it evidence that we are alive, when neither modern science or philosophy has been able to prove what life is? I believe that A.I. researchers are looking for the answers to questions that all humans ask themselves at one point or another. Such questions as "what is the meaning of life", "what defines consciousness", "what makes humans unique",and "what exactly are souls and spirits." It was my desire to find answers to these questions that ultimately lead me to want to pursue a career in Artificial Intelligence. I also strongly feel that once human-kind is able to produce a free-thinking, self-aware, conscious entity in a controlled environment, we will then have in our hands the answers to these and many other questions that have been plaguing it since the beginning of time. ...read more.

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