AI: Actual Intelligence

By Fran Buontempo

It has been said, to err is human, to really foul things up requires a computer [citation needed]. Given the long tradition of AI, which sometimes attempts to make a sentient being from hardware, or body parts (think Frankenstein’s monster), are humans unique, or is this dream possible? Or desirable?

Intelligence is also used to mean information the state or businesses gather on you; this is increasingly done by machine. We frequently have to prove who we are by stating Mother’s maiden names, passwords, even swiping fingerprints. Much of this is processed by machine, powered by algorithms. What if they don’t believe we are who we say we are?

There is more to intelligence than an algorithm. Your thoughts have a context; belief systems, experience, insight, thinking, learning. SciFi offers Asimov’s law of robots. Clearly first order logic isn’t enough. Obviously brute force isn’t intelligence. So what is? Do we need it to run on hardware? Conversely, could we exist in cyberspace without a body? Where will it end?