Future of Artificial Intelligence (AI)

Pa‍ge 74 - 135‍


Artificial Intelligence (AI) is the idea of machines being able to create original thoughts without the assistance of humans. To make conscious robots, engineers and scientists must have a thorough understanding of the human brain in order to electronically recreate it. These sentient machines will be seen everywhere, doing work in homes and in everyone’s daily lives. The problem that researchers have to consider is what happens when the robots become smarter than humans?

Essential Themes

In each chapter of Physics of the Future, Michio Kaku introduces many different ideas. As a group, you will select three ideas from the chapter you are responsible for that interest you the most. This could be because some of you have a personal connection to the idea, question the idea, or are intrigued by the idea. Compare and contrast the three ideas. Be sure to include individuals and events that are involved in the ideas.

This should be completed in paragraph form and be roughly 350 words for each idea. Please make headings for each idea and work with your partners to incorporate multimedia (no more than 1 video), graphics (no more than 3) and other items with this. Your explanation should be understandable by an average middle schooler or higher.

Merging with Robots

In the future, instead of controlling robots, we will be the robots. You might think that as impossibility, but some examples are already happening. Artificial cochlea is giving the deaf the ability to hear for the first time by connecting electronic hardware that receives sounds waves and transmits them. 150,000 people have these implants. Some groups are trying to let the blind see. There are different ways to do this. One way is to insert the silicon chip into the eye. Another is to connect the chip to a special cable that is connected to the back of the skull. These groups gave the blind the ability to see 50 pixels of lighting. The patients can see the outlines of their hands or fireworks. Robin Ekenstam, who had his hand amputated, now has a robotic hand like the one Luke Skywalker had. Ekenstam’s robotic hand can be controlled through his brain, and he can feel objects that he touches.
"Android Hands." Android Hands. N.p., n.d. Web. 24 Mar. 2014. <http://www.androidworld.com/prod76.htm>.
"Android Hands." Android Hands. N.p., n.d. Web. 24 Mar. 2014. <http://www.androidworld.com/prod76.htm>.
A Robotic Hand

History/Future of AI

As stated above, Artificial Intelligence is a field of study that looks into computer systems being able to perform tasks that would normally require human intelligence. Artificial Intelligence will either be one of the greatest accomplishments of the human race, or it will be the destruction of it. After World War II, the general public was amazed by the idea that machines would be able to do many tasks that humans could do. Soon, people realized that these contraptions were very far away, so interest in artificial intelligence dropped. Interest rose again in the 1980's and 1990's with the Deep Blue computer defeating the chess world champion Garry Kasparov. We are now creating robots, like Honda's ASIMO, that will be able to perform many helpful tasks, but some people think that robots are going to take over the world once real artificial intelligence is created. People are saying that we will be able to have robots that are chefs, doctors and many other jobs that humans occupy. We may even be able to have avatars like in the movie Avatar that we could control remotely with our minds without our bodies being affected. For example, this would let astronauts roam Mars as robots, with their real bodies safely on Earth.
Honda's ASIMO. 2011. Wikipedia. Web. 14 Mar. 2014. <http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/3/39/ASIMO_4.28.11.jpg>.
Honda's ASIMO. 2011. Wikipedia. Web. 14 Mar. 2014. <http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/3/39/ASIMO_4.28.11.jpg>.

Technological Singularity

The word singularity comes from relativistic physics, and it means a point of infinite gravity like a black hole. The Technological Singularity is a hypothetical scenario where robots create one giant computer in the ultimate search for computer power. However, before they can do that, they must exceed the intelligence of humans. In the movie, The Terminator, when robots become superior humans, they attempt to destroy them. Some people like Douglas Hofstadter think that this might be the natural order of events someday; robots at the top of the food chain, with humans being an afterthought only seen in zoos. We really have no idea when the singularity will occur. Ray Kurzweil thinks that we will be part of the singularity, putting the computer in our bodies to make ourselves better. Robots will probably be made so that they cannot be dangerous, with easily-used off switches in case they display dangerous or errant behavior. There will also probably be enforcer robots who would neutralize the dangerous robots. So, the singularity will probably not be as unpleasant as it is in The Terminator.
Exponential Growth of Computing. N.d. Wikipedia. Web. 14 Mar. 2014. <http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/d/df/PPTExponentialGrowthof_Computing.jpg>.
Exponential Growth of Computing. N.d. Wikipedia. Web. 14 Mar. 2014. <http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/d/df/PPTExponentialGrowthof_Computing.jpg>.
A Graph of the Advance of Technology

Neural Research

A thorough understanding of the way a human brain's neural system works is imperative to creating an artificial version. In order to change and improve intelligence, we must first understand it. A relatively new branch of science, called optogenetics, is essential to this research. Scientists who study optogenetics are seeking to better map out the neural relays of the brain so that a replica may be constructed. So far, barely enough research has been conducted to simulate the neural activity of a single fruit fly. This may seem a discouraging realization, but someday, with more computer power and capacity, it will almost certainly be possible to create an artificial replica of a human brain, which could think as any person does. Once this is reached, other advancements such as improving intelligence are likely to arise. Integrating machines and humans will also be a real possibility, as a map of a neural system allows transplants and connections to be made connecting the device and the neurons of a human to the electrodes of a machine. However, charting courses through these forests of mind is difficult, and such results are not to be expected for at least another twenty to thirty years.

Predicted Impact

Artificial Intelligence. Digital image. Psoda. N.p., 4 Mar. 2014. Web. 14 Mar. 2014. <http://blog.psoda.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/artificial_intelligence.jpg>.
Artificial Intelligence. Digital image. Psoda. N.p., 4 Mar. 2014. Web. 14 Mar. 2014. <http://blog.psoda.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/artificial_intelligence.jpg>.


History/Future of AI

The creation and integration of artificial intelligence will impact the world's economy in several aspects. The first implication is that there will be fewer jobs for humans, due to the fact that robots will not get tired and will work more efficiently. Computer sales will also increase because people are interested in the newest technology and staying with the trend. Meanwhile, today’s personal computers will be obsolete compared to the new, more powerful devices.

Technological Singularity
There are not many economic effects of the technological singularity, and perhaps the only one is that the economy will be largely improved and nearly perfect. This is because the robots running the economy will be much smarter than humans, one of the implied effects of the technological singularity. They would be able to compare prices and find the best possible economic decision. The intelligent machines would not only be able to make smarter financial decisions, but they would also be able to make them nearly instantaneously. Quick, smart decisions will lead to a much improved economy.

Merging with Robots

If humans begin integrating mechanical parts into their bodies, there will be fewer disabled people. Having fewer humans with disorders would mean that more people could work, allowing more jobs to be taken. Currently, there are 43 million people in the United States that have a disability ("Disability Statistics", date unknown). Imagine 43 million more jobs added to the economy. The government would also have to send fewer disability checks to disabled citizens, meaning the government would have more money to spend on domestic and political issues. A perhaps undesirable side effect is that insurers would have to pay larger amounts of funds to have these mechanical parts put on, possibly raising health insurance.


History/Future of AI

Using AI in society will also alter the current political scenario. The humans in all militaries will be replaced with intelligent drones to fight wars for while citizens remain safe at home. Arguments, however, will arise regarding the rights and freedoms of such intelligence. Some will believe that an artificially intelligent program with the same capabilities as a human should have the same rights as humans. Since humans have the right to run for office, it may also be possible that intelligent machines will as well. AI is also going to be used in campaigning, as it will be a hot topic with large appeal to many people.

Technological Singularity

The political world will be affected by the technological singularity. In many ways could the singularity be bad for us. For example, two people are running for election. One of the candidates has the technology to mind control an entire city or population without anybody knowing. The candidate that has the technology to do this could win every election he/she ran for. We could not trust anybody anymore. The government will completely change; the way we vote, the advertising for the candidates, etc. If people are able to control people's minds we will not be able to have a safe country. We could elect somebody that would have a negative effect on our country.

Merging with Robots

Politics will change if we merge with robots. For instance, war and medical care will not as big of subject for presidency as it is now. Since we will be together with robots, we will not need to worry about being sick and our troops getting fatally injured. The big subject of this futuristic time is hackers. Since hackers will always be here, the government will have to ramp up security when comes to electronics. We will also have to worry the president being hacked in his new robotic body. Other countries could easily spy on us. They could hack or military bots and send them to attack us like in Iron Man 2. The government would have to quit spying on us and worry about rival countries. Political aspects will change if the merge happens.


History/Future of AI

Within the next century, robots will be a common sight in homes, accomplishing tasks from creating meals to diagnosing sicknesses, jobs usually reserved for humans. Although this sounds good on its face, the increased labor of artificial intelligence may lead to the owners of the robots becoming terribly lazy, as seen in the Pixar movie WALL-E. Not only will artificially intelligent machines be in our homes, but parts of them may be in our bodies. This scenario, called merging with robots, is where instead of humans living alongside these machines, they integrate parts of them into their bodies, essentially elongating their lives. For example, in Star Wars, Luke Skywalker has his hand chopped off but he replaces it with a mechanical hand. If humans do indeed merge with robots, there would be fewer visits to the doctor because mechanical parts would not require medical treatment and would be less susceptible to wear and tear.

Technological Singularity

The singularity will completely change social interactions with others. In the beginning, when only a few people or robots are part of or are in charge of the singularity, those few individuals will have an advantage over the rest of the population, using abilities like mind control to further their own causes, but eventually everyone will be on equal ground. With everyone having computers in their heads, or the robot overlords all being connected, everyone could literally know all there is to know about everyone else, even their thoughts. The term stranger will be made obsolete. The inhabitants of Earth will lose the one trait that everyone has no matter who they are: individuality. At the same time, we will be made more unique than any person from any era before then will ever have been. The population of Earth will, for the first time, be able to work together without butting heads every time a major decision has to be made. We will not be able to. Using every mind and computer on the Earth’s surface, we will be able to make decisions that are best for everyone. Social problems will be eliminated, because everyone will truly be empathetic to everyone else, and we will not tolerate anyone being in a worse situation than anyone else.

Merging with Robots

Merging with robots will change social interactions forever. People who lose limbs will no longer have a physical disadvantage to those who have not, but will actually have an advantage. With tougher, stronger, and more versatile robotic limbs, some people will consider giving up their organic limbs in favor for robotic ones. Why not? People have always striven to be the strongest and fastest athletes, and soon they will be able to become that without having to sacrifice nearly as much of their time. Eventually, with the use of brain implants, we will be communicating telepathically. This brings up the problem of people communicating with each other when they should not be. How will teachers be able to know whether students are talking if they are not making any noise or looking at their phones? They could very easily lose control of their classes and have no idea. Another problem is reading minds and mind control. Students could access the thoughts of other students or the teacher to cheat on tests. A random stranger could read your thoughts and you would have no idea, or if they have the technological know-how, they could control your mind and force you to perform actions against your will.
Digital image. Trending Central. N.p., 7 Feb. 2014. Web. 16 Mar. 2014. <http://www.trendingcentral.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/technological-singularity.jpg>.
Digital image. Trending Central. N.p., 7 Feb. 2014. Web. 16 Mar. 2014. <http://www.trendingcentral.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/technological-singularity.jpg>.

Essential Terminology

As you read the chapter, you are responsible to select 5 words that you'd consider important vocabulary for understanding the chapter. These words should be either words you do not already know the definition to or words you don't use on a regular basis. For each word complete the following. Each student must include 5 vocabulary words and draft the meaning and use it in a sentence but all students should work together to come to a final agreement on the word's meaning and sentences. The sentences should show an understanding of the word's meaning and be related to the topic. Use the comment feature for this.

Vocabulary 1

Overhyped (page 79)

make exaggerated claims about (a product, idea, or event); publicize or promote excessively
Sentence: This place gets so overhyped that people forget how nice it is.

Neural Network (page 81)

a computer system modeled on the human brain and nervous system
Sentence: If he is correct, he would try to program a neural network.

Heuristic (page 88)

enabling a person to discover or learn for themselves.
Sentence: I am letting my friend be heuristic for a change.

Demographic (page 90)

a particular sector of a population
Sentence: I am in the demographic of teenagers.

Polymorphic (page 92)

relating to the crystallization of a compound in two or more different forms; "polymorphous crystallization"
Sentence: This crystal seems to be polymorphic.

Vocabulary 2

ASIMO(Advanced Step in Innovative Mobility) (Loc 1257)

a robot designed and built by Honda
Sentence: ASIMO is the world's most advanced robot.

Deep Blue (Loc 1331)

A computer, made by IBM, that can compute 11 billion operations per second
Sentence: Deep Blue beat the world's chess champion.

Top-down approach (Loc 1349)

Treating robots like regular computers, and programming all the rules of intelligence from the very beginning
Sentence: ASIMO was programmed with the top-down approach.

Turing machine (Loc 1351)

A hypothetical device consisting of three basic components: an input, a central processor that digests data, and an output.
Sentence: Studying computers like they are Turing machines makes it much simpler.

Singularity (Loc 1887)

When AI make one gigantic computer in a search for computer power
Sentence: Some people say that the singularity will be the end for humans.

Vocabulary 3

Subroutines (page 81)
- program instructions used to perform specific tasks
sentence: They put subroutines in that let the robot walk.

Modular (page 90)

- an approach that subdivides a system into smaller parts
sentence: The project was modulated so it wouldn’t seem intimidating.

Dexterity (page 93)

- a skill performed with hands
sentence: Writing is a dexterity.

Endoscopes (page 94)

- long tubes inserted into the body that can illuminate and cut tissue
sentence: Doctors can use endoscopes to make surgeries simpler.

Illuminate (page 94)

- To expose to or reveal
Sentence: The lamp illuminated the dark cave

Vocabulary 4

Optogenetics (page 101)

The combination of optics and genetics to control specific events in living cells
Sentence: Optogenetics can be compared to creating a road map, except with neural systems.

Bottom-up Approach (page 81)

Treating a computer like an infant child, forcing it to learn instead of being programmed
Sentence: Using the bottom-up approach better insures that an intelligence will grow as we do.

Limbic System (page 97)

A neural system that controls instinct and mood; dictates emotions
Sentence: The Limbic System is important in decision making as well as stereotypical emotions.

Surrogates (page 128)

Substitutes; replacements
Sentence: Instead of living in our own frail human bodies, someday we may live in robotic surrogates.

Progeny (page 115)

A descendant or descendants of a living organism
Sentence: Humans are the progeny of apes.

Vocabulary 5

Transistor (page 82)
An electronic terminal that can be open or closed, represented by a 1 or 0
Sentence: The transistor opened, letting the electrical current through.

Superintelligent (page 78)

Surpassing human intelligence
Sentence: After the singularity, robots will be superintelligent.

Smart truck (page 78)

A failed project in the 1980's that would perform battlefield tasks by itself
Sentence: The creators of the smart truck saw it roaming battlefields to assist troops.

Deep Blue (page 78)

A chess-playing computer built by IBM that was a breakthrough in artificial intelligence
Sentence: Deep Blue defeated the chess world champion, Garry Kasparov.

Hebb's Rule (page 82)

A rule stating that every time a correct decision is made, the neural pathways containing that information are reinforced
Sentence: Hebb's Rule is a large part of learning by trial and error.

Team Members

Put your username or first name only and your school below. If your team designated you with a specific task like lead editor, copy editor, or another task that you want done on the page, please note that.

  • Nick C. - Westwood Schools
  • Tristen H. - Westwood Schools
  • Mac C.-Westwood, Camilla, GA
  • Max H. - Bettendorf Schools, Bettendorf, IA
  • Josh T. - Bettendorf Schools, Bettendorf, IA


Insert your references below using the footnote feature on the wiki. This should be included for any direct quotations or citations of studies. Remember that you should ALSO use a hyperlink in the sentence for the appropriate word.

"Artificial Intelligence." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 12 Mar. 2014. Web. 12 Mar. 2014. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Artificial_intelligence>.

"ASIMO." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 03 Mar. 2014. Web. 12 Mar. 2014. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ASIMO>.

"Cochlear Implant." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 28 Feb. 2014. Web. 12 Mar. 2014. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cochlear_implant>.

"Deep Blue (chess Computer)." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 04 Mar. 2014. Web. 12 Mar. 2014. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deep_Blue_%28chess_computer%29>.

"Douglas Hofstadter." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 20 Feb. 2014. Web. 12 Mar. 2014. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Douglas_Hofstadter>.

"Optogenetics." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 03 Jan. 2014. Web. 12 Mar. 2014. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Optogenetics>.

"Ray Kurzweil." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 04 Mar. 2014. Web. 12 Mar. 2014. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ray_Kurzweil>.

"Robotic Hand That Senses Touch (w/ Video)." Robotic Hand That Senses Touch (w/ Video). Phys.org, 2009. Web. 12 Mar. 2014. <http://phys.org/news175354299.html>.

"Singularity." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 09 Mar. 2014. Web. 12 Mar. 2014. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Singularity>.

"Technological Singularity." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 12 Mar. 2014. Web. 12 Mar. 2014. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Technological_singularity>.

"The Coming Merging of Mind and Machine." Scientific American Global RSS. Scientific American, 2008. Web. 12 Mar. 2014. <http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/merging-of-mind-and-machine/>.

"The Human Brain - Welcome." The Human Brain - Welcome. The Franklin Institute, 2004. Web. 12 Mar. 2014. <http://www.fi.edu/learn/brain/>.

"Towards a Virtual Fly Brain." Towards a Virtual Fly Brain. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society, 2014. Web. 12 Mar. 2014. <http://rsta.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/367/1896/2387.full>.
  1. ^ Long term future of AI
    Source: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CK5w3wh4G-M