Computer scientists are working very hard to create an artificial intelligence that solve problems in many domains (general intelligence). Turns out there’s already something with general intelligence, humans.
I am reminded of how grateful we should be about the human intelligence we take for granted and the gap between what we are doing with this intelligence and what we are capable of achieving.
Studying AI, we can take its example for improving its intelligence by trying to improve our own. One way I’m doing that is by learning how machine learning works, so I can do more with the tools at my disposal. Another way we can do this is by looking at what may be holding ourselves back from achieving our goals and making plans to change that part about ourselves, the same way that any halfway decent general AI would, given the chance.
The warnings about general AI sounds kind of familiar. A group of intelligent organisms shape their world to make it suit their every need despite all other organisms. Yes, it sounds like humans. Need wood? Get it from rainforests. Need power? Burn some fossil fuels. Need feelings of love? Make a website just for cat videos. The only difference may be that our human conscience feels bad about the damage that we’ve done to the planet and strive to repair it. Computers don’t have this conscience yet, but they’re going to need that if we’re going to survive with them.
We can take the analogy of a stamp collecting machine and imagine how we would do that. Then, being human, apply our conscience when thinking about what our “stamp” would be and collect that, be it money, power or good in the world. Time’s ticking. Better get on it.