Artificial Intelligence, Other Minds, and Human Factor Development: The Fate of Man in the World of Machines

Artificial Intelligence, Other Minds, and Human Factor Development: The Fate of Man in the World of Machines

Ikedinachi Ayodele Power Wogu, Jesse Oluwafemi Katende, Ayotunde Elegbeleye, Comfort Olushola Roland-Otaru, Hosea Abalaka Apeh, Nkechi J. Ifeanyi-Reuben, Sanjay Misra
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-1279-1.ch014
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While the majority of scientists agree that artificial intelligence (AI) technology have provided excellent platforms for inventing tools beneficial for enhancing man's quality of life on earth, there are a host of others who have identified existential and ontological hazards associated with the proliferation of super-intelligent machines (SIM), now utilized for virtually every human endeavor. The Marxian alienation theory was adopted for the study while Creswell's qualitative and Marilyn's ex-post facto research design approaches were adopted as viable methodologies for the study. Justifiable grounds by which existentialist scholars continue to promote the ‘extinction risk threat' and the impending job annihilation theory were identified. Scientists and existentialist scholars are therefore enjoined to urgently identify pathways for aligning the goals of SIM with those of mankind.
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Background to the Study

Artificial Intelligence (AI) as a field of study among contemporary scientists, is founded on the supposition that the feature of ‘Intelligence’- a feature initially believed to be typical and solely associated with beings known as Homo sapiens alone - is today, also possible to simulate and duplicate in non-living things such as artifacts and machines. The acceptance of this notion among scientists and scholars of AI research from the beginning of this dispensation, has raised philosophical, ontological and existential questions about the nature of the mind in individuals who are perceived as the only class of beings capable of partaking in the feature of ‘intelligence’. This reality for scholars like McCorduck, raises vital questions about the bounds of scientific proclamations and endeavours, which have been exemplified, discussed and presented in scientific fictions, mythologies, and in philosophical debates for decades now (McCorduck, 2004; Wogu, Olu-Owolabi, Assibong, Apeh, Agoha, Sholarin, Elegbeleye… & Igbokwe, 2017).

Today, however, the argument has gone beyond whether machines possess a mind of their own or whether they can indeed think for themselves. The real challenge for scholars seems to be that these machines are developing to the point of acquiring super-intelligent capabilities in the nearest future, to the disadvantage of man. Scholars like Fallenstein, Benya in his work (Marquart, 2017), corroborate this when he noted that:

…intelligent machines have transformed and are presently at the verge of acquiring super-intelligent capabilities, a scenario feared would grant machines the domineering advantage with which to relegate its human counterpart to unimaginable conditions and situations, a scenario feared would take place earlier than was initially expected (Marquart, 2017).

This fear calls on contemporary researchers and scholars of AI to seek out ways of preventing machines from possessing ‘super human intelligence’ in the future, which is feared would lead to the eventual and total annihilation of the job of mankind. A resultant consequence of this situation would lead to the eventual taking e over of the place of man’s jobs in virtually all life’s endeavours. This fear is further personified in the words of Moshe Vardi’s when he exclaimed that:

Machines have already automated millions of routine working-class jobs in manufacturing industries. And now, AI is learning to automate non-routine jobs in transportation and logistics, legal writing, financial services, administrative support, and healthcare…humans have never competed with machines that can outperform them in almost anything. AI threatens to do this, and many economists worry that society won’t be able to adapt from its consequence… (Davey, 2017).

The above situation notwithstanding, it is important to note that the 21st century has witnessed a host of technological advances and innovations especially in the information and Communications Technology (ICT) sector with regards to education, (Ghafourifar, 2017 and Wogu, 2019). Machines for instance, are now able to analyze and calculate complex figures and issues as can be witnessed in the Google search algorithms (Hawking, Tegmark, Russell, & Wilczek, 2014). These same innovations have now given machines the capacity to play and defeat humans in games of chees and in the very complex game of poker (Wogu, 2011; Kasparove, 1996 and RileyMar, 2017). There is also the innovations that have given machines the ability to possess and display the human like feature of facial recognitions, which is now available in virtually every modern devise. The same intelligent systems and technology is what is used today to power self-driving cars and other powerful and complex systems capable communicating with each other (Wogu, 2019). These were features that were generally believed would not be possible to accomplish in machines in a very long time. From the above examples, however it is clear that innovations in technology in the 21st century has gone beyond man’s expectations. This scenario is believed to have inlfeunce the opinion of Max Tegmark when he opined that:

Everything we love about civilization is a product of intelligence, so amplifying our human intelligence with artificial intelligence has the potential of helping civilization flourish like never before – as long as we manage to keep the technology beneficial… Technology is thus giving life the potential to flourish like never before… or to self-destruct. Let’s make a difference (Tegmark, 2016, p. 1).

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