Artificial Intelligence Computer Neural Networks
A popular subject of research today is in the nature of consciousness and whether computers can be made to replicate human thought. The 'holy grail' of this research is the creation of A.I., Artificial Intelligence -- computers that can think independently in ways that go beyond the initial programming or foundations provided by human creators. If humans manage to do this, it will help us understand so much more about the nature of consciousness and thinking than we currently know. Will this succeed? Should we want it to succeed?
I'm sure we've all seen at least some of the many stories about the possible negative consequences of creating Artificial Intelligence, but those stories are usually more allegories about current situations than genuine warnings about likely risks, aren't they? It's implausible that the creation of A.I. is 100% risk-free -- every scientific and technological advance carries risks of some sort, even if sometimes minor. Every time we learn how to do something, we open the door to people doing something improper with that knowledge. We shouldn't get too carried away, though, with dystopic visions of a future laboring under robot overlords.
On the other hand, there are a host of ethical issues that could be unleashed by
Source: About.com Agnosticism / Atheism
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