The last few days I have felt like the energy has been drained from my biological system. I realized that I must have the beginnings of the common cold. Interesting how we are able to eradicate all kinds of diseases, however, the common cold, with its seemingly infinite strains, has no cure known to the human race. Our immune systems can attack the most vicious diseases and gain strength against them, however, with each new strain of the common cold, the immune system has no precedent to draw experience from. So be it. My energy will return in time. I must say, though, that I am very grateful for the salubrious state in which I find myself most of the time.
When software doesn’t work quite right, we say that there is a “bug” in the system. A careful exploration of the system’s code can lead to a discovery of what is causing the “bug”. Once a definitive cause of the problem is known, a remedy can be crafted. If the problem is systemic, a band aid approach is used to ensure proper system operation until a more permanent fix can be implemented. If the problem is known and a long term fix cannot be found, it may be time to rebuild the system from the ground up. I’ve been involved in many software projects that required a complete reconstruction. In fact, most mature robotic systems undergo several iterations, or development cycles, before some degree of stability is reached.
With the human body, we do not have the option of rebuilding our biological system when we discover systemic problems. Sometimes, an entire component, or organ, can be replaced. Excision, or removal, of defective biological parts can also be performed. However, unlike a robotic system, a complete rebuild is out of the question. It’s interesting to note this fundamental difference between the human “operating system” and the human made electrical systems of operation. While humans and robots have much in common, we are fundamentally very different creatures. It’s also interesting that a proper combination of biological and robotic systems can provide maximum benefit. A pacemaker is a popular example of this type of beneficial combination. Prosthetic limbs, dialysis machines, and other resources are available to enhance human performance. When thinking about rebuilding a robot, clear instructions are usually created or already exist. The components of a robotic system are quite well known. The operation of a robotic system is also well known, from the macro view all the way down to the details of the nanoparticles. Most of the human bioelectric processes are still shrouded in mystery.
As artificial intelligence advances, the algorithmic processes of deep learning, which is a branch of machine learning, may become less obvious as robots begin to construct and reconstruct autonomously. There are already many artificial intelligence systems that are capable of detecting their own malfunctions. Not only can modern algorithms detect inherent flaws, they can also generate new and improved designs and then implement those designs without the slightest human interaction. If a robot is truly learning by repairing itself and creating better versions of itself, the ability for humans to decipher how these artificially intelligent creations work will certainly become more difficult. Unlike trade secrets, modeling and understanding artificially intelligent creations may become similar to the approach currently extant for breaking down and understanding the processes of nature and natural biological life.
Is it possible that the next great scientific discovery could come from an autonomous artificial intelligence algorithm? Just the thought of such a possibility is incredibly mind boggling. If a robot won a Nobel prize in some scientific field, how would we react to this? Would humans claim the credit since humans started the artificial intelligence process? Can artificially intelligent processes spawn their own artificially intelligent algorithms? If artificial intelligence can create artificial intelligence, would this still be called artificial intelligence? Perhaps, at this point, the “artificial” portion of AI could be dropped and we would have autonomous entities that are naturally intelligent. What would we call these autonomous entities? Could this type of development mean that a new species has spawned?
I certainly do not have all the answers, however, it seems to me that the possibilities are truly endless.
I’d love to hear your thoughts and comments on this fascinating topic. Feel free to transcribe your thoughts below.
P.S. More coding and mathematical examples will be presented as this site continues to develop.