Will we ever build machines that we can say are intelligent?
Stephen Hawking has recently stated that “the development of full artificial intelligence could spell the end of the human race.” This provoked a spirited reaction from computer scientists who were unable to reach a consensus on whether it would indeed be possible to build a machine that outperformed humanity to such an extent that we created a life-form that could make ourselves extinct.
In fact, while computers haven’t yet passed the Turing test, the existing test for intelligence, some argue that the test itself is insufficient to measure “true intelligence”. Put simply, we don’t know what intelligence really is.
There are therefore people who take very different stances in this debate. Some technologists are actively trying to create true artificial intelligence, while some technologists (even those doing the same research) believe that is impossible. Some scientists are trying to understand what it means to be conscious while religious leaders believe that such pursuit of a logical definition of the soul is elusive by design.