Can AI Surpass Human Intelligence with Superintelligent AI?

by July 1, 2020

Artificial Intelligence


Would Artificial Intelligence make itself smarter and super intelligent?

Artificial Intelligence is making a great noise adding weight to the superhuman intelligent machines and long-term goal of human-level intelligence. It could be catastrophic for the human race if that happens to be true. At the current juncture, we are unable to specify the objective, nor can we anticipate or prevent the potential pitfalls that may arise if machines capacitate themselves with superhuman capabilities. Already, an alternate world of deep fakes exists which has caused a great deal of hullabaloo across the world, with disastrous consequences for well know personalities and power figures.

Thus, with so much at stake, the great minds of today have already locked horns over a serious debate, seeking solutions, ferreting out loopholes, weighing up the risks and benefits, and so on.


The Foundations of Superintelligence

The Superintelligence concept was discussed way back in 1951, by computer pioneer Alan Turing. Turning raised the possibilities that the human species would be “greatly humbled” by AI, and its applications may surpass the general unease of making something smarter than oneself. Restricting this unease by curtailing progress on AI may be neither feasible nor preferable. The most interesting part of Life 3.0, a term used to discuss the advent of AI in human life explains that the real issue is the high potential of facing misaligned objectives. Cybernetics founder Norbert Wiener echoed the same thought way back in 1960, “We had better be quite sure that the purpose put into the machine is the purpose which we really desire.”

We can say that though it is unclear how to imbue a superintelligent AI, being a gift to humanity and potentially will not to the elimination of humanity. Perhaps the most common response among AI specialists and data science experts being “we can always just switch it off.” Alan Turing himself raised this possibility, though he did not put much faith to this in 1951.

It is safe to assume for now, that if a machine can think, it might think more intelligently than we do, and then where should we be? Even if we could keep the machines in a subservient position, for instance by turning off the power at strategic moments, we should, as a species, feel greatly humbled. This new danger is certainly something which can give us panic attacks.


Debunking the Rise of Superintelligent AI

The risks of superintelligence can also be dismissed by arguing that superintelligence cannot be achieved. These claims are not new, but it is surprising now to see AI researchers themselves claiming that such AI is impossible. The super intelligent set of thinkers speculate that if machines were to attain general human intelligence, the machines would quickly become super-intelligent. They speculate that a computer with general intelligence would be able to speedily read all existing books and documents, absorbing the totality of human knowledge. Likewise, the machine would be able to use its logical abilities to make discoveries that increase its cognitive power.

Such a machine, would not be bounded by bothersome human limitations, such as slowness of thought, emotions, irrational biases and need for sleep. Instead, the machine would possess something like a “pure” intelligence without any of the cognitive shortcomings that limit humans.

The assumption seems to be that this A.I. could surpass the generality and flexibility of human intelligence while seamlessly retaining the speed, precision and programmability of a computer. This imagined machine would be far smarter than any human, far better at “general wisdom and social skills,” but at the same time it would preserve unfettered access to all of its mechanical capabilities, but it would for sure lack humanlike common sense.

There are many valid concerns about the rise of AI, from its impact on jobs to its uses in autonomous weapons systems and even to the potential risk of superintelligence. However, predictions that superintelligence is on the foreseeable horizon is currently not supported by available data. Moreover, the doom-and-gloom predictions often fail to consider the potential benefits of AI in preventing medical errors, reducing car accidents, and more to the benefit of the human race.