Jim Westergren
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"If we did all the things we are capable of, we would literally astound ourselves." - Thomas A. Edison

My Input on Theories About Intelligence by Isaac Asimov

I have studied the works of Isaac Asimov and I do admire his stories which inspired me a lot in my own writings. But I became a bit disappointed when I found out that Asimov has a materialistic viewpoint. In one of his essays he laid out that if mankind would be replaced by robots in a distant future it would not be too bad. This kind of cynical viewpoint on man is what disappoints me.

The factor that he had omitted in all his essays and evaluation is the factor of life. There is more to man than just a body and a brain, believe you me.

Now there is a great difference between human intelligence and the artificial one.

The value of any mechanical object is measured in the degree it serves life. Computers and machines are programmed by humans to do something. A computer can be programmed to give a specific response way when given a specific stimuli. When the traffic light turnes red the robot does not cross the street for example.

It is in my beliefe that to construct a robot with the same intelligence and same behaviour as a human would be impossible except in science fiction were everyhting is possible.

If you really think how complex a person is it would be real to you as well. Probably 90% of all your movements are done on routine that you are not even thinking about. But a robot needs to have everything and all data programmed. It would probably be a major project only to program the robot on how to tie shoelases in all different situations and motions etc. etc.

I have one theory on how a unit could be built up to run a robot as a human is run.

The first to understand is that man is composed of three parts: the body, mind and the spirit.

The spirit is simply giving life to and controlling the body via the mind. In the mind is facsimiles recorded of the whole existence of the person with all perceptions. That is why you can remember things and how it looks etc.

For a robot to react it has to have data, lots of it. If we were cabable of duplicating the mind of a person and putting it into the robots memory banks the robot would have data to operate on. The more data the robot would posess the more intelligent it would be.

The first point is that the robot needs to have receive data via data channels. With a human you call it senses. A robot needs to have mechanismes to be able to see, hear, smell, feel etc.

The mechanism who is picking up data in the robots memory banks would have to be extremely fast. Then you would have a phenomenom that let us say a robot is standing. A car comes in the road of it, the robot observe the car, picks up data from the memory banks of similar incident and act what the human which the mind was duplicated from. Now let us say that you duplicated 100 minds of humans and put it into the memory banks of the robot. When the car comes, the robot looks instantly for similar incident and may find 174 of them. The robot then needs to choose which one of them is the best one. And how does the robot know which one is the best? That is up to the senior programming laws of that specific robot.

Another factor which must be added is that when the robot perceive something it does not already have in the memory banks it has to record it. In this way the robot can learn. The actions from the robot is evaluated very carefully - but extremely fast - solely from its memory banks and does those actions most in accordance with the senior programming laws for that robot, like the Asimov's laws of robotics.

A robot is only as value as it is serving life. Only when you have the senior programming laws of the robot to serve life it will be of value. Then it will be up to the robot per what he knows that he will do.

But a human is always superior to a robot. The human is the creator of the robot and has the quality of life. These quality which brings life is what is the most valuable thing. And this are the spiritual aspects of existense. The nice artistic work of an artist comes from his spiritual side and not just from his body. A robot could never be able to make an artistic piece of its own, maybe copy from its memory but never create something new.

Also a robot cannot make its own decision like a human person can do. If the robot for example is programmed to not cross the street if the light is red it will not do it, not even if the lamp is broken and shows only red and there has been no vehicle for 20 years. The robot will still be there and cannot and will not cross the street if it is not re-programmed. So a robot that is misprogrammed can make fatal consequences.

Also another point is that when man does not work and does not do something specifically but is only idle he is not a happy man. He will start to get sick and his morale go down etc. So if a robot replaces humans work the humans that got replaced has to get new jobs, otherwise it is destructive.

So the conclusion is: Robots can be used if used correctly to serve the betterment of living organisms and humans and when always considered to have much less value than man with its quality of life. If violated disasters can occur.

2 Feb 2003

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About the Author Jim Westergren Jim Westergren is a Swedish web entrepreneur. He is happily married and has two lovely children. Some of his interests are web development, SEO and writing. He is the Founder and owner of TodaysWeb offering SEO, web development and manages projects such as DomainStats and N.nu. Read his ..

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