Automatons and Super Intelligence

Original article was published by Adam Sabra on Artificial Intelligence on Medium

In the Case of Automatons:

There are many different modes of automatons currently operating today, none of which come close to the potential of AGI. Ignoring typical AI programs for a moment, mechanical arms, claws and other automated machinery dominate factory production because of their consistent output rate compared to humans and it will only ramp up further as time goes on.

We are already accustomed to automation in many aspects of our life. It is only a matter of time before more and more jobs becomes automated out to robots. When compared to the potential of AGI, I would argue that most — if not all — AI programs that we see and interact with will be considered basic automatons in the future, due to their simplicity.

But wait, Google and Facebook leverage massive amounts of data on us and probably know more about us than we do. Isn’t that considered super intelligent?

You very well could make the argument that Google and Facebook’s advertising AI is super intelligent, when compared to humans. However, I still consider it to be an automaton — just the smartest one we have so far. The main reason for this consideration is quite simple: everything it does can be boiled down into one objective: serve us posts of what it thinks we like (be it pictures, videos, advertisements, etc.) It has one objective and is constantly optimizing to get this objective done, and done well.

Quick tangent: I want to make it very clear that its knowledge base comes from an insurmountable amount of data. There is no point for me in trying to describe how large the data really is because neither of us will truly understand it. Think of it like the size of space, you know it’s big but how big is it really? With this data comes intelligence in getting us to interact with what is tailored to us. However, because of its “limitation” with its sole objective, it is simply a really smart automaton feeding us more and more posts of various forms without truly understanding how we interpret the posts — it just (accurately) assumes we’ll interact with it.

So, with all of this laid out in front of us, where do we go from here?

Automatons will inevitably get smarter in their respective fields of application and replace humans for performance of these tasks. These tasks can vary from flipping burgers at McDonald’s, delivering mail to us, cleaning our streets, and building our skyscrapers. Any physical task can and will be automated.

Our job as a collective is to allow the evolution of technology to improve our lives, not ruin it. It is one thing to be angry for losing your job to a machine for a fraction of the price (long-term) but it is also another thing to be angry at the machine for taking your job. This ignores the fact that it was a human’s decision to replace you, not a robot. When it comes to automatons, they will not determine the future of a hard working class family bordering financial instability. Another human being will.