Artificial Intelligence: Do Machines Have Consciousness?

The statements released a few weeks ago by the Google engineer, according to which one of Google’s BOTs proved to be “sensitive”, that is, capable of producing ideas without the need for human support, have caused confusion and conflicting opinions in the technology sector …

Words that have divided public opinion and experts into two distinctly opposing factions: on the one hand, the proponents of Blake Lemoine’s vision and, on the other, those who instead consider scholars to be baseless words because they believe that the autonomy of the machines is impossible ..

In a contrast scenario, it becomes significantly impossible to understand who is right and who is wrong, also due to the lack of scientific evidence that can totally confirm one of the two positions. A recurring theme, as demonstrated by Isaac Asimov, who in 1950 wrote “Io Robot”, a futuristic tale that foresaw the present.

Has artificial intelligence surpassed humans? The discussion is heated, we have consulted some experts, met at an important event, dedicated to research in the field of artificial intelligence.

The LOOP Q Prize Award goes to Italy

Important considerations about the autonomy and intelligence of the machines are those that appeared below LOOP Q Prize Award, an event that rewards the best young researchers in artificial intelligence. The selection took place with a competition involving the main European universities and some prestigious African universities. Winning the “competition” was Diego Biagini, student at the University of Bologna, thanks to his work in machine learning. In addition to the competition, several experts participated in the event with interesting interventions that could help people get a clearer overview of the topic.

The first to intervene was Patrick EhlenChief AI Advisor for Loop AI Group and Vice President for AI of Uniphore, or, for those unfamiliar with it, one of the leading exponents in AI.

The main question that the whole discussion revolved around was only one: “have we reached the moment when artificial intelligence can be considered sensory? Patrick Ehlen tried to reflect on the issue by turning the question around. His words can actually be summed up in this way: The question to be asked is not so much whether artificial intelligence is already independent of humans, but rather whether it can be safely and securely ruled out that it is.

A reasoning that stems from the possibility of errors that scientists face when working on the analysis of a particular phenomenon: the first error consists in considering a phenomenon that does not actually exist as real, the second is it quite the opposite, that is, not to see something that is actually already real. In the eternal discussion involving the possibility of artificial intelligence becoming autonomous in relation to humans, we are faced with a situation of this type.

To try to explain his vision, Patrick gave the example of a man who at night is in the middle of the jungle and in the dark looking at two shining elements that could be, either just the reflection of moonlight or the eyes. of a ferocious tiger looking for food. At this point, the man could interpret what he sees as a possible danger and therefore move away, or ignore the threat, approach and continue on his way. In both situations there is a risk of having acted incorrectly.

Hence the idea of ​​the scholar, according to which the best approach to adopt is the one involving three phases of action: Ask yourself the problem, assess the danger and investigate possible solutions to maintain control over the situation.

The technological “singularity”

To speak of sentient artificial intelligence means to speak of the theme of “Singularity,” viz. the ability of machines to function in a completely autonomous way without necessarily submitting to human commands.

He also spoke on this topic during the Loop Q Prize Award Davide CasaleggioCEO of Casaleggio Associati, great AI expert.

According to the expert, it is so-called “Computer Singularity” is already present and operates in some sectors, such as when you trust the navigator, without “discussing” his choice, to get the fastest route, or when you compete in chess against a computer where artificial intelligence is able to win practically always against man.

The best solution

The past leads us to believe that the best solution is the one where the two forms of reasoning work together for the common good. The problem is that they are not yet present tools that are able to understand when computers will surpass human capabilities and therefore the handling of the subject is still a big puzzle to be solved. The real question to be addressed, however, is not whether artificial intelligence has surpassed man, but how to maintain an intense and positive collaboration for humans, between the two forms of thought when this happens.

The doubt that arises is whether we will be able to do so without placing ideological barriers: We probably already know the answer, we hope that reality will go other ways.

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