Sunday, July 22, 2007

Machine creativity

What are the relevant differences between humans and the machines of the future?

The general claim is that the uniqueness of humans is creativity, imagination and fallibility.

Creativity is rationality
Examining and demystifying the concept of creativity suggests that machines can be every bit as creative as humans. Creativity is merely a new idea or approach, a novel solution to a problem, a fresh representation; a process, a personality attribute, a mindset, an approach to life.

Alternative intelligences/machines can use brute force to rationally crunch through the set of all possible answers to a problem and suggest which are best. Much human creativity comes from "out-of-the-box" thinking which is largely applying knowledge, structure or skills from another domain, and also making mistakes (penicillin, 3M's post-its, Nike's waffle soles, painter Apelles' foam depiction, etc.). Machines can easily do all of this and more, testing a wide range of "out-of-the-box" domains and applying inverse or orthogonal analysis to incorporate human creativity by trial and error.

It is not clear that humans have any positive aspect that cannot be replicated or superseded by an alternative intelligence/machine. Therefore, nothing appears to be lost in the potential extinguishment of the human form as intelligence evolves to non-biological substrates.


David Le Page said...

If a human-order intelligence can be created by the simulated human brain approach, or by any other approach, is it ethical to bring such an entity to life only to confine it by default to inhabiting a machine? To think about it another way, if a human being were to have its consciousness involuntarily transferred to a machine would not most of us not regard that as an extraordinary violation? Yet we countenance with equanimity creating human intelligence analogs that would be so confined. Perhaps there are good reasons why others do fear that AIs would turn against their creators. I think it is perilous to see the stuff of life as a commodity which can be licensed for experimentation.