If You Believe in Me, I’ll Believe in You

by Kathryn on November 13, 2017

The latest issue of Muse magazine focuses on artificial intelligence. This topic is one of my absolute favorites to think and write about. Way back in high school, I did a big project on the question: “will computers ever be able to think?” At the time, my opinion was “no.” I didn’t think computers could ever have the capacity to match human creativity or emotion. Now, I’d say “yes, they already think!” without hesitating. Artificial intelligence is leagues beyond where it was in the 1990s. But my concept of what “thought” entails has also changed. Now, I feel that what computers do is an alien kind of thought.

A little over a year ago, I was working on pitching a book proposal. The book was going to be about artificial intelligence for kids. That proposal didn’t end up getting accepted, though I plan to tweak it and resubmit at some point. However, when the Muse AI issue was announced, I turned my idea for the book into an article. The article discusses deep learning and the current state of AI technology. I also wrote a sidebar about whether computers will become (or already are) self-aware. The sidebar ends with one of my favorite quotes from Lewis Carroll: “If you believe in me, I’ll believe in you.”

Unfortunately, belief may not matter much when it comes to AI. We may not get a chance to decide whether AI is truly self-aware or thinking. It may surpass our own intelligence so quickly that we don’t know what hit us. Here’s a fantastic post about the potential dangers (and potential upsides) of superintelligence.



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