Intelligence is a word that has two meanings. We hear about it a lot these days in the news media: “intell”, meaning (military) information. Somewhat of a misnomer, I would say. Information is a collection of facts / data, but does that make it intelligent? We hear about “fake news”.
The intelligence we are talking about here is from the other meaning; i.e. the ability to acquire and/or apply knowledge and skills.
Artificial Intelligence (AI), as most people know, is a form of “thinking” and decision-making carried out by computers and other man-made devices. A very simple and unsophisticated example would be your furnace thermostat, which triggers the furnace to start automatically when temperature drops below your preset value.
With computers, elaborate intelligence (decision-making) can be automated by firing preset rules and by accessing stored data.
An example of simple data would be Gender. We are now realizing data can be tucked away in many places: computer hard drives, memory sticks, cookies, the internet Cloud, your mobile phone, integrated circuit chips, etc.
Some computer software applications have been programmed to learn (store data) as they are activated. For example, Google can learn what things you are interested in and pop up Ads accordingly. Hence, algorithms can be programmed to learn how to behave or perform actions.
With the Internet Of Things (IoT), we have devices other than computers that can “talk” to each other.
Jacob Morgan gives us A Simple Explanation of the IoT. https://www.forbes.com/sites/jacobmorgan/2014/05/13/simple-explanation-internet-things-that-anyone-can-understand/#6e9dbf21d091
A challenge for humanity is to safely administer and control this form of intelligence.
An interesting article I came across: Using AI to help humans behave better = https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/using-ai-program-humans-behave-better-dennis-r-mortensen?trk=eml-email_feed_ecosystem_digest_01-hero-0-null&midToken=AQGVeSm9lR8_dw&fromEmail=fromEmail&ut=13QuMiHgBD-nM1
But, will AI help humans behave better? Here’s the thing…
Human Nature apparently is never going to change. History tells us this. A lot of people are influenced to do things because of ideology or insecurity or control or greed or jealousy. As an example, we have computer hackers, cyber viruses, malware, and the list goes on.
So, what is to stop Human Nature from creating an AI machine with sinister intent?