Artificial: Artificial Intelligence and Ethical Issues Essay

Submitted By vanfo32
Words: 739
Pages: 3

John Van Fossen
Engg 19
The Growth and Use of Artificial Intelligence Humans have been fascinated by the concept of Artificial Intelligence since antiquity. It began with myths and legends telling about artificial beings endowed with consciousness or intelligence. Today humans are still researching to find a way to create a completely sentient being. Not only would this artificial being be capable of feeling emotion but would also be extremely intelligent; more intelligent than any human on earth is now or ever has been. While scientists are still a while away from completing their goal, many people are concerned about the possible consequences that could come from making this super intelligence. These concerns are not insane, but actually raise valid questions about AI that need to be answered. Man’s interest in Artificial Intelligence can be traced back all the way to Aristotle. Aristotle created a way to describe human thinking as a symbolic system. However the field of AI was not formally founded until the year 1956 when the term “artificial intelligence” was coined. This term was coined at Dartmouth College where many scientists had very optimistic views of the future of AI. Their views however were overly optimistic and when research progress hit a wall, funding was ceased by the government. This lack of funding led to what was called the “AI winter” that lasted from 1974-80. The field later made a recovery in the 1980’s when the British government started funding it again. A huge breakthrough occurred in 1997 when IBM became the first company to create a computer to beat a chess champion. The computer was given the name “Deep Blue” and has even gone on to beat two reigning Jeopardy champions in 2011. Like the term “robot” itself, artificial intelligence is hard to define. Robotics play a huge factor in the advancement of artificial intelligence. The concept of creating machines that can operate autonomously dates back to classical times, but research into the functionality and potential uses of robots did not grow substantially until the 20th century. Robots have been made to mimic human behavior and perform tasks in a similar fashion as well. Many robots perform jobs that are very dangerous for human beings to accomplish. These tasks however are very difficult even if robots are being used. It is difficult because the robots can only follow the set actions it is told to do by the programmer. It has no way of adapting to its environment and therefore cannot be considered to be conscious. With this relatively new field of science evolving ethical issues have been raised and even warnings have been issued by revered scientists. The ethical issues raised about the possible creation of machines with general intelligence that far exceeds those of a human are quite distinct from any other ethical issues being raised today. Such an invention would not just be another development, but it would completely change the game