(These are excerpts from my book "Intelligence is not Artificial")
Transcendental Intermezzo Revised: You are a ?
Science explained too much, even things that we didn't know had to be explained. Science found out that there is a multitude of equations at work that regulate every event in the universe. Science introduced determinism in our thinking: maybe everything is already planned and inevitably proceeds from the initial conditions according to some formulas, and we are just cogs in this giant clockwork.
But we could live with that. Say what you will of me being driven by physical equations, i still feel otherwise.
However, when machines get to the point that they can do everything that we can do well, it will be harder to feel that there is something special about us. It will be proven that we are just machines.
Underlying the project of Artificial Intelligent is precisely the tacit belief that humans are machines. If we think that we are not machines, we can have a philosophical discussion about the possibility that machines can become human like us. If we think that we are just machines, the discussion is not philosophical: it is technological. It becomes a problem of reverse engineering.
Therefore, when machines finally match all our capabilities, technology will have proven conclusively what Science only hinted at. All those equations failed to convince us that we are mere machines, but technology may prove it beyond any reasonable doubt by showing us a machine that can do everything we can and even better. Then what?
Maybe we do need a new religion to give meaning to this bundle of pulsing organs wrapped in skin that is me.
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