Before we get into this conversation, it may be helpful to stipulate that the very notion of anything artificial is pure human hubris – creating a separate category for human creations as opposed to those arising “naturally”? Most of our current problems have occurred because of our determination to separate ourselves apart and above Nature.
Indeed the very concept of “artificial” is a pure human conceit and analogous to how we have created personal Gods in our own image.
Einstein said he wanted to know “the mind of God.” But we know nothing of the mind except our own intimate experience of “it.”
Is the mind that conceived AI a “human” mind? What does that mean? We now have begun to understand that mind is not necessarily a property of the brain and there are many who believe that the brain is actually a property of Mind, or Consciousness.
Many great thinkers have said plainly that what they thought and wrote was not “theirs”; rather that it came to them in moments of reflection and stillness.
With so much focus on the potential dangers of AI perhaps its very purpose is to make us aware of just how significant Mind and Consciousness are and how they are everywhere absent from our “Science.”
What is meant by artificial?
The term “artificial” generally refers to something that has been made or produced by humans, as opposed to occurring naturally. In the context of technology and computing, “artificial” is often used to describe something that has been created or simulated by machines or computer programs, as opposed to being the product of biological or organic processes.
For example, “artificial intelligence” refers to the ability of machines or computer programs to perform tasks that would typically require human intelligence, such as problem-solving, decision-making, and learning. Similarly, “artificial life” refers to the creation of living organisms or systems through artificial means, such as the simulation of biological processes in computer programs.
Overall, the term “artificial” is used to distinguish between things that are created or produced by humans or machines, as opposed to those that occur naturally or through biological processes.
But isn’t everything including us ultimately a product of biological or organic processes?
Yes, everything that exists in the natural world, including humans, is ultimately the product of biological or organic processes. However, in the context of technology and computing, “artificial” refers to something that has been created or simulated by machines or computer programs, as opposed to being the product of biological or organic processes.
For example, while an artificial intelligence system may be designed to mimic human cognitive abilities, it is not a product of natural selection or biological evolution. It is created and programmed by humans using software and hardware, and its behavior is determined by the algorithms and rules that have been programmed into it.
In this sense, “artificial” refers to something that has been intentionally created or designed by humans or machines, as opposed to occurring naturally through biological or organic processes.
Is it true that “everything that exists in the natural world, including humans, is ultimately the product of biological or organic processes”? What about mental processes?
You are correct that not everything in the natural world can be said to be the product of biological or organic processes, and mental processes are one example of this.
While mental processes are often associated with biological processes in the brain, they are not entirely reducible to these processes alone. Mental processes, such as perception, cognition, and emotion, are also shaped by a range of factors, including social and cultural influences, personal experiences, and individual differences.
Moreover, mental processes can give rise to emergent properties, such as consciousness and self-awareness, that cannot be fully explained by our current understanding of biological processes in the brain.
So, while many aspects of the natural world, including humans, can be traced back to biological or organic processes, mental processes are more complex and multifaceted, and cannot be fully explained by biological processes alone.
Perhaps that is the lesson of artificial intelligence?
Yes, the development of artificial intelligence has taught us a lot about the complexity and multifaceted nature of mental processes, and how difficult it is to fully capture and replicate them using machines.
Despite significant advances in artificial intelligence, machines still struggle with many of the tasks that humans perform effortlessly, such as recognizing emotions, understanding context, and applying common sense reasoning. This is because these tasks rely on a complex interplay between biological, social, cultural, and individual factors that are difficult to fully simulate or replicate using machines.
The study of artificial intelligence has also raised important questions about the nature of intelligence and consciousness, and whether these phenomena can ever be fully explained or replicated using machines. Overall, the development of artificial intelligence has taught us that mental processes are much more complex and multifaceted than we previously thought, and that replicating them using machines is a significant challenge that may require new approaches and paradigms in the field of AI.