Banks commonly use artificial intelligence systems for underwriting (actuarial mathematics), at stock exchange and property management. In August 2001, robots defeated people in an impromptu trading competition (BBC News, 2001). Pattern recognition methods (including both more complex and specialized, and neural networks) are widely used in optical and acoustic recognition (encompassing text and speech), medical diagnostics, spam filters, in air defense systems (definition of targets), and also to ensure a number of other national security tasks.
Developers of computer games also use AI. Standard tasks of AI in games are finding a path in two-dimensional or three-dimensional space, imitating the behavior of a combat unit and determining the best fighting strategy.
Artificial intelligence is closely related to trans-humanism – the belief or theory that the human race can evolve beyond its current physical and mental limitations, especially by means of science and technology. Along with neurophysiology and cognitive psychology, it forms cognitive science.
Philosophical aspects of AI
The science of “creating an artificial mind” could not help but attract the attention of philosophers. With the advent of the first intellectual systems, fundamental questions about man and knowledge, and partly about world order, were raised. On one hand, they are inextricably linked with this science, and on the other – they bring some chaos into it. Among AI researchers, there is still no dominant point of view on the criteria of intellectuality, the systematization of the goals and tasks to be solved, and no universally accepted definition of science.
The term “strong artificial intelligence” was introduced by John Searle. His own approach was characterized by the belief that an AI program would not be merely a model of the mind; it would itself function as the mind, in the same sense in which the human mind is the mind.
On the contrary, supporters of weak AI prefer to consider programs only as tools that allows them to solve certain tasks that do not require the full spectrum of human cognitive abilities. In his thought experiment, “The Chinese Room,” Searle specifically demonstrated that passing the Turing test was not a criterion to prove that machines possess a genuine thinking process. Thinking is the process of processing information stored in memory: analysis, synthesis and self-programming.
Roger Penrose, an English mathematical physicist, mathematician, and philosopher of science advocates the same position. In Penrose’s book, The New Mind of the King, he argues that it is impossible to recreate the thinking process based on formal systems.
How is intelligence characterized?
There are different perspectives on this question. The analytical approach involves the analysis of human higher nervous activity all the way to a lower, indivisible level (a function of higher nervous activity, an elementary reaction to external stimuli, stimulation of synapses of a set of neuron-related functions and subsequent reproduction of these functions.
Science of knowledge
Epistemology, the science of knowledge within the framework of philosophy, is closely connected with the problems of artificial intelligence. Philosophers involved in this process solve issues similar to those addressed by AI engineers on how best to present and use knowledge and information.
AI and religion
Among the followers of the Abrahamic religions ( Judaism, Islam, Christianity), there are several points of view on the possibility of creating AI on the basis of a structural approach. According to one of them, the brain, the work of which the systems try to imitate, does not participate in the process of thinking and is not a source of consciousness or any other mental activity. Creating an AI based on a structural approach is impossible.
In accordance with another point of view, the brain is involved in the process of thinking, but in the form of a “transmitter” of information from the soul. The brain is responsible for such “simple” functions as unconditioned reflexes, reactions to pain, and so on. Creating an AI based on a structural approach is possible if the system being designed can perform “transfer” functions.
Victoria Liset is strategic business & technology consultant to SMEs. She helps businesses improve their performance by using data more efficiently, and helping them to understand the implications of new technologies such as AI, Machine Learning, Big data, blockchain and IoT.