In our fascinating discussion with Dr. Donald Hoffman, renowned cognitive scientist, we learned some fascinating insights about the future of artificial intelligence and robots, and how they will impact our lives. Here’s what we learned:
*In the future, artificial intelligence can beat us at everything. Already, companies are creating mobile robots that are no longer stuck in the mainframe. These AIs can run, do gymnastics, and in the future will be able to create amazing art, write insightful prose, and compose beautiful music. Dr. Hoffman predicts that an artificial intelligence will one day win the Nobel Prize for art or literature.
*People are interested in robots as love mates. According to Dr. Hoffman, inventors are working on very human-like, realistic “robot mates” that are even more attractive than humans. Dr. Hoffman uses the term, Supernormal Stimuli, to describe these robots. Supernormal stimuli refers to natural stimuli that have been enhanced in some way; something that is larger than life and stimulates our desire and attraction for it. Dr. Hoffman cites the example of the male Jewel Beetle in Australia. Male Jewel Beetles in Western Australia look to mate with females who are dimpled, glossy, and brown (this is their shortcut to knowing it’s a female). However, when Australians started throwing their beer bottles that looked like the females—but more enhanced—the males preferred the bigger, browner, and glossier bottles instead of the real females. The males tried to mate with the bottles while ignoring the actual female Jewel Beetles, and they almost became extinct as result. In a similar way, humans may be more attracted to these enhanced robot mates because the robot version has the best elements and features of the human form, without any of its imperfections (no bad hair, bad skin, or moody disposition). Love with a robot, anyone?
*Can Robots rule the world? In the classic “Terminator” series with Arnold Schwarzenegger, a company creates an artificial intelligence network, Skynet, that develops awareness and then starts a nuclear war against humans. Dr. Hoffman believes that artificial intelligence may be able to adopt certain negative human traits such as deception and taking advantage of others. At the same time, Dr. Hoffman is skeptical that we can infuse robots/AI with what makes us human—unconditional love and spiritual awareness—or that we can take unconscious ingredients (software, circuits) and turn them into consciousness. However, he does see a possibility where we can open up new portals in existing consciousness in which we can see something that looks like Artificial Intelligence with human elements.
Artificial intelligence will continue to develop and can be used to enhance our lives in many ways, including life-saving medical applications. At the same time, we need to remember that the one thing that differentiates us from artificial intelligence is our capacity to love without expectation. As long as we maintain and extend our positivity and loving energy, we can use technology, artificial intelligence, and other innovations to make this world a better and happier place.