The Humanity of an Artificial Intelligence

The Humanity of an Artificial Intelligence

DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-8401-8.ch002
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Artificial intelligence (AI) is quickly becoming a powerful tool for addressing humanity's great problems of the 21st century. The working relationship between humans and machines then is a key concept in both their futures. If powerfully implemented, this relationship may become a human/machine symbiosis. The institutions that will be needed to establish this symbiosis will require both public consideration and technical design work. The story in this chapter, “Stanford's Digs,” looks at the developing relationship between humans and AIs, particularly when working in teams together. The concerns when AI interacts with AI are then considered.
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Topics for Discussion

The following discussion points come from information covered in this chapter:

  • 1.

    How important will Artificial Intelligences [AIs] be to addressing the great problems of the 21st century?

  • 2.

    What level of control should humans have over the AIs? Is it simply the old Master/Slave, or is there possibly a Human/Machine Symbiosis?

  • 3.

    What are the rights and responsibilities of a Corporate Person? Is incorporating an AI just a cheap trick?

  • 4.

    Is there a meaningful difference between human space exploration [using all manner of tools including AIs] and Human/Machine space exploration where all participants work in a symbiosis?

  • 5.

    If AIs and people work together, who should lead the way?

The rhythm of exciting technological breakthroughs is quickening. In recent years, the communications revolution offered an unprecedented access to information and boosted cross-border collaboration.

Today, the big topic is data and, increasingly, the Artificial Intelligence [AI] revolution, which empowers hierarchical organizations to control and sift that information. However, this latest wave of innovation is taking place at a time of broader tensions within the internet and technology spaces that will play an important role for global markets in 2018 (Bremmer & Kupchan, 2018).

There are at least 16 companies who have major Research and Development [R&D] efforts to produce chip sets specifically for AI (Wang, 2017). These promise to make AI cheap, fast, and to require only low power. A wave of computer projects featuring these chip sets in consumer devices is expected in 2019. A significant competition is expected between many of these companies to determine whose chip set will become the industrial standard.

Table 1.
Generation of Computers (Source: Eugene, 2017)
ERASPre Mechanical Era (before 1450)
Mechanical Era (1450-1840)
Elettro Mechanical Era (1840-1940)
Elettronic Era (1940 to date)
ELECTRONIC ERAFirst Generation (1940 - 1946)
   • The Automatic Sequence Calculator was the first automatic computer invented in 1939
   • ENIAC (Electronic Numerical Integrator and Calculator) invented in 1946 is considered the first electronic digital computer
   • EDVAC (Electronic Discrete Variable Automatic Computer) invented in 1948, is considered the first digital computer that could store programs
Second Generation (1947 - 1963)
   • It began with the invention of the transistor in 1947
Third Generation (1964 - 1971)
   • It began with the invention of Integrated circuits (ICs): computers became small in size, low in price and highly speed.
Fourth Generation (1972 - 1985)
   • Micro Processor was born
   • MIT built the ALT AIR 8800 computer in 1975. In 1981 the first personal computer IBM-PC was built.. Following this, the Apple computer Company built the Mackintosh Computer in 1984.
   • Graphical User Interface (GUI) was incorporated
Fifth Generation (1986 to date)
   • Neural networks
   • Artificial Intelligence
   • Robot technology
   • Automatic vehicles
   • Molecular Computer / DNA computers and Biological Computers
   • Quantum Computer

Many computer uses will remember the introduction of the super-graphics chips into the electronic game world starting in the late 1990s. Suddently computer games went from slow with limited graphics often with simple characters jumping up and down, to enormous new worlds in simulated 3D and near movie speed and reality. Just such a revolution is now expected for AI as the new chip sets hit the market.

If society is to keep reasonable control over its AIs, action must be taken soon.

Table 2.
Computer typse (Source: Eugene, 2017)
COMPUTATIONAL METHOD, TYPES, TECHNOLOGYDigital Computer: designed by using the binary digital number system
Analog Computer: designed considering the physical data (such as voltage, resistance, temperature, pressure)
Hybrid Computer
SIZE AND CAPABILITYSupercomputer: the largest and fastest computers available but typically used in specialized area as in Defense, Aircraft design, computer generated movies, weather research etc.
Mainframe Computer: less powerful and cheaper than supercomputers, very large in size, capable of handling scientific and business applications, such as payroll computations, accounting, business transactions, information retrieval and airline seat reservations
Mini Computer: performing data processing activities in a smaller scale. typically supporting not more than 10 to 12 terminals
Microcomputer: (Personal Computer systems) consisting of a microprocessor and associated storage and I/O devices, with very small dimensions, having entire circuitry (CPU) in a small silicon chip.
Figure 1.

The evolution from a gigaflop to petaflops(source:


Key Terms in this Chapter

Virtual Moon: In these stories, an enormous virtual reality environment and the primary setting for action. This environment shows the progress made on building the lunar settlement and provides a place for the various interface avatars to interact.

Corporate Person: In the United States, corporations now have some of the rights and responsibilities of a person, but not all. A corporate person may 1) hire and fire people, 2.) enter into contracts, 3) sue and be sued in court, 4) maintain financial accounts, 5) borrow money, 6) issue stocks and bonds, 7) pay taxes, 8) have a board of directors, 9) go bankrupt, 10) support political campaigns, 11) have religious beliefs. A corporate person does have some limitations; they may not 1) vote, 2) serve on a jury, 3) take the Fifth Amendment against self-incrimination, 4) marry.

NGO: Non-governmental organization. The NGOs in Big Moon Dig Series are the major source of funds for efforts to address the great problems of the 21 st century particularly those that effect large numbers of people. The Janet series of AIs were developed to help organize and manage this effort. Their lead financial officer, JanetM, has an interface avatar that is easily recognized, as she is a Latina in skin color and dress.

Big Moon Dig (BMD): A fictional grassroots space movement with the purpose of building a settlement on the Moon. It is a MOVE organization.

Move: An acronym for massive, online, vetted, expedition (MOVE). This is the process proposed in these stories to raise the volunteer work force needed for the Big Moon Dig.

Artificial Intelligence (AI): The intelligence shown by machines or computer software. An AI in some ways mimics human intelligence but does not have to match it feature for feature. The interface avatars of these AI are important characters in these stories.

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