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Exploring the Social, Economic, and Technological Issues Posed by Artificial Intelligence

By Dr. Robert L. Gordon | 11/09/2015 | 11:51 AM | Categories: Current Affairs

Recently Bill Gates and Elon Musk have joined Stephen Hawking in discussing the dangers of Artificial Intelligence (AI).  Given that three of the smartest people alive today are concerned about this indicates that it is a topic that deserves further exploration. 

Bill Gates has gone on record that we should be worried about AIElon Musk has stated similar concerns. Beyond their concerns about super intelligence,  there are issues concerning any level of artificial sentience. The ethical issues of creating intelligence and then holding it under control is certainly an alarming matter in society today. However, before one can have the ethical quandary, one must first identify and define artificial intelligence.   

Many organizations have attempted to define artificial intelligence, and I feel that there are many new intelligences that have been created. The big question is not if artificial intelligence will occur, but when and what shape it will take and how much a threat to humanity will it become. 

Programs like the iPhone’s Siri offer knowledge and information and a level of human interaction.  Google and Amazon are using artificial intelligence algorithms to sort through emails and online product reviews. 

To address the social, economic, and technological issues surrounding artificial intelligence and its various forms, a panel of experts will be convening in Washington, DC as part of the Policy Studies Organization Dupont Summit 2015 on Science, Technology, and Environmental Policy.

Dr. Andrew Colarik, Massey University – New Zealand will take the position that artificial intelligence is defined when an entity shows true learning and independent decision-making. He offers the example of a child. A parent can impart all the wisdom and knowledge to a child, but the child will make a decision on what to follow. 

To this end, an expert system would not be classified as artificial intelligence because it would always follow all wisdom and knowledge programmed into the system. This might be classified as super intelligence because an artificial intelligence that was enhanced by supercomputing power could certainly be defined as a potential threat to society.                 

I will share the position that artificial intelligence is defined when an entity passes the Turing test, the benchmark for artificial intelligence for some time now. An expert system becomes artificial intelligence by gathering enough experience to pass the Turing test. 

There has been a strong claim that an entity has been able to pass the Turing test, but the skeptics remains unconvinced. Once an entity does pass the Turing test, what are the rights of that entity once it is known to have passed this benchmark?

Dr. Kandis Wyatt, American Public University, will explore the position that artificial intelligence might take on a different form than super intelligence or artificial intelligence as previously defined. There are certainly a large number of expert systems in use that are used to predict future events with greater and greater accuracy.

For example, the satellites and expert systems currently in use for weather modeling and prediction have become quite sophisticated. These networks of knowledge are combined to collect and compare important, relevant data to come up with a predictive model for future activity. 

Does the artificial intelligence marketed by Google or Apple in their products truly display intelligence or are these just clever databases of available information? Does this kind of expert system that takes meteorological, historical, and satellite observational data constitute intelligence? Clearly, this kind of system is using multiple areas of knowledge and comparing them together to make predictions that are more accurate than the ability of a single human. 

I hope you can join us for this important conversation.

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About Dr. Robert Lee Gordon

Dr. Robert Lee Gordon

Dr. Robert Lee Gordon is program director of the Reverse Logistics department at American Public University. Dr. Gordon has over twenty-five years of professional experience in supply chain management and human resources. He holds a Doctorate of Management and Organizational Leadership and a Masters of Business Administration from the University of Phoenix, as well earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in History from UCLA. Dr. Gordon has spent more than 14 years teaching reverse logistics, transportation, project management, and human resources. He has published articles on reverse logistics; supply chain management; project management; human resources; education, and complexity. He has also published four books on Reverse Logistics Management; Complexity and Project Management; Virtual Project Management Organizations, and Successful Program Management..



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