Understanding the ESSENCE of A.I.


Thursday, 08 February 2024 21:37
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Does the thought of Artificial Intelligence (A.I.) frighten you?  Do you ever wonder what the essence, the driving force of A.I. development is?  Well, maybe we can figure it out and put your mind at ease—somewhat.
 
When discussing A.I., most people dwell on what A.I. might be used for and rarely address the essence of A.I.  The only purpose of this pearl is to convince you that A.I. (Artificial Intelligence) cannot exist without H.I. (Human Intelligence) no matter what A.I. is used for—that is the essence of A.I.
 
But First, Some Definitions:
 
Artificial:  Something not naturally occurring in nature that is made or produced by humans; fake
Artificial Intelligence: The theory and development of computer systems able to perform tasks that normally require human intelligence, such as visual perception, speech recognition, decision-making and translation between languages
 
Human Knowledge: Memories and skills acquired by humans through their real-life experiences
Human Intelligence: The ability to acquire and apply knowledge and skills to physically and socially survive
Human Wisdom: Understanding of what is true, right and lasting and having the good sense to employ it
 
Bottom Line for A.I.  vs. H.I.
 
The fact is that A.I. is true to its name—artificial.  A.I. is the brainchild, a tool of H.I. and can not exist without H.I.  It can though replace many aspects of H.I., but only with H.I.’s help.  There are four aspects of A.I. that should concern you: 1) as an asset in wartime; 2) as a liability in wartime; 3) as a liability in peacetime; and most importantly, 4) as an asset in peacetime.
 
1) Wartime asset of AI is to have it take the place of human soldiers. 
 
2) The wartime liability of AI is to have drones, mortars, etc., decide whether to blow up an innocent village or start World War III by mistake.  AI needs HI to create, build, maintain, arm/fuel the drones/etc., and aim them at the enemy.  It is impossible for AI to do all of this—HI must create/improve and decide how to use them.  If course, the liability comes when AI is allowed to possibly decide for itself, which is probably not possible (see below).
 
3) Peacetime liability of AI is not as terrifying as wartime liability, but it can mess up the world’s societies with fraudulent media and propaganda from “enemies both foreign and domestic”. 
 
4) The peacetime asset of AI can and will be what we want it to be, helping humanity to overcome and meet the challenges of the present and of the future.

 

A.I. is the inventions of clever, well-meaning creators who truly deserved recognition and compensation for their accomplishments.  Unfortunately, their A.I. creations can be corrupted by less well-meaning individuals.  A.I. is not new; it’s has existed for decades in robotics and in computers controlling mechanical devices (i.e., cars, tools, appliances, robots, media devices, etc.), which of course were created, directed and controlled by H.I.  A.I. cannot exist without H.I. since H.I. must provide the raw materials to build the machines for A.I. to exist—H.I. must seek, mine, process and fabricate the metals, plastics, etc., required to manufacture the machines, computers and yes explosives (in war drones, etc.).
  
A better understanding of the essence of A.I. might help to reduce the fear of it.  For example, some (older) people think that A.I. might create machines that would take over the world and replace humans (as in “The Terminator” series).  Some “white collar” workers fear that A.I. will change/eliminate their profession, livelihood or desired way of life, which it will do to some degree, just like automation did to “blue collar” workers in the past.  But it will also create new “white collar” jobs since A.I. needs many humans (much H.I.) to make it work.  Also, A.I. will not affect jobs that require human hands on physical and social interaction with other humans.  Presently, H.I. emotions, intonation and caring cannot be programmed into A.I. to replace thoughtful caring humans—although minds that are reprogrammed by cell phone media apps might find that lack of humanity acceptable.  Humans also emit positive and negative emotional energy (the basis of our “gut reactions”), something that a machine could never do.
 
Bottom line: A.I. cannot replace H.I. without both ending up on the “endangered species list”.
 
With this in mind, lets contrast the evolutions of A.I. and H.I.and since robotics (automation) was the birth of A.I. it’s a good place to start.  There are endless examples of how A.I. will affect our lives as noted in the many recently published books about A.I.  We will just use a few of the many pertinent examples that many of us are presently concerned about.  You might though, apply the essence of A.I. (that H.I. allows A.I. to exist) to your own fears of A.I. to reduce those fears and cope with the fact that A.I. will be a with us from now on.
 
H.I. vs. A.I. vis-à-vis Robotics
 
Definitions of a "robot": 1) A mechanical device that sometimes resembles a human being and is capable of performing a variety of often complex human tasks on command or by being programmed in advance.  2) A machine or device that operates automatically or by remote control.
 
H.I. created robots to liberate humans from doing monotonous physical tasks and to be more productive—it all started with the industrial revolution.  H.I. has also created robotic human body parts (legs, arms, hands, etc.) to replace damaged human body parts and will probably replacement body organs (hearts, liver, etc.) in the future.  This brings up the fear that robots might act, look like and replace humans.  But this will never happen because mimicking the preciseness of human body motion is impossible.  The interaction of the hundreds of bones, ligaments, tendons, muscles and the nervous system is very complicated, if not impossible to reproduce robotically.  Our muscle memory alone allows us to walk, eat, etc., smoothly and effortlessly without using our brains.  So, forget about robots exactly duplicating a human, that’s science fiction—although, future robots will probably function more like humans.
 
A.I. robotics is evolving into more sophisticated robots doing more types of tasks, but only because H.I. is building and programming them.  In the future, A.I. robots might even be involved in helping to make artificial body parts and other sophisticated things, but only if H.I. can improve their lack of “small motor skills”.  In the near/far future, robots will become as sophisticated (human-like) as H.I. wants them to be—but not without H.I. creation and supervision.
 
Bottom Line on Robotics: A.I. cannot do very much without humans creating and directing it and it can never replace real humans as a species because A.I. is artificial and thus cannot exist without HI.  That being said, let’s move on to exploring the evolutions of H.I. and A.I. with regard to our human senses, starting with speech production since this is what humans do much of the time.
 
H.I. vs. A.I. vis-à-vis the Recognition of Spoken and Written Speech
 
H.I. has perfected spoken speech production (talking) and recognition (listening) satisfactorily for millennia, in order to socially survive.  It has also perfected written speech as evidenced by the millions of books it produced.

A.I. written word recognition has been around for decades with computers reading highlighted written words out loud.  A.I. has also achieved speech recognition with cell phones and other internet-based machines.  This higher degree of recognition has allowed A.I. to translate your spoken words into writing or into “mechanical speech or actions” that need to be taken—unfortunately A.I. misinterprets a lot of what it “hears”.
 
Bottom Line on A.I.’S recognition of spoken and written speech:  A.I. has achieved significant results in speech and writing recognition and will be even more accurate in the future—possibly by identifying more accurately the average phoneme spectrum of at least the 1,000 most used words, which I used to create my 1968 talking machine.
 
H.I. vs. A.I. vis-à-vis the Production of Spoken and Written Speech
 
H.I., in order to socially survive, has nourished the advancement of spoken and written speech over the millennia—unfortunately “texting” is offering little sustenance.
 
A.I. “canned” speech production has become commonplace in phones, etc.—but mimicking the speech of a specific human has been a major problem for A.I.  That contrived A.I. speech is typically unrecognizable unless we are told whom A.I. is trying to mimic.  Once they tell us who it’s suppose to be our brains fill in the errors making us think that it actually sounds like that individual.  The reason why we don’t recognize the fake A.I. recording is because speech is much more complicated than A.I. has been able to deal with—here’s why:
 
From 1968 to 1970 my PhD thesis was to create the first real time talking machine (with electro-optical-mechanical memory), which translated a “Teletype” machine’s paper tape input into spoken speech.  The only other speech producing machine back then was a “main-frame” computer that took 60 minutes to produce 60 seconds of speech—my machine produced 60 seconds of speech in 60 seconds.  What I learned was that human speech is very complicated, composed of many factors.  It has sentences that are composed of words, which are composed of phonemes (the approximately 38 perceptually distinct sounds a letter of an alphabet can have).  These phonemes have specific “formants” (the louder frequencies in the phoneme’s limited frequency spectrum), all driven by air passing through a glottis (voice box) at a specific fundamental frequency (females have a higher frequency than males), which is modified by that person’s intonation and regional dialect.  The fact is, A.I. doesn’t actually produce human speech it just copies/pastes it.  For example, when mimicking a celebrity’s voice A.I. takes many recordings of that person’s voice saying many words and then copies and patches those words together into sentences; badly.  A few milliseconds are required to blend one phoneme to the next.  Within the copied word the phonemes are blended together, but the ending phoneme of a word modifies the beginning phoneme of the next word in a sentence.  This is why A.I.’s abrupt phonemes don’t flow smoothly and sounds “chopped up”, which it literally is.
 
Bottom Line in spoken speech production: To make A.I.’s copy/paste speech sound more realistic it should make the “flow” of the last phoneme of a pasted word blend smoothly into the first phoneme of the next word—it’s not that difficult, I figured it out over a half-century ago.
Now lets explore HI’s and A.I.’s evolutionary advances with regard to the recognition of speech/writing.
 
H.I. vs. A.I. vis-à-vis Visual Recognition
 
H.I. has perceived whatever, forever, but it has its limitation when it comes to scanning and interpreting many visions over many minutes due to visual and mental fatigue—this is evident with security scanning at airports, shipping ports, postage scanning sites, etc.
 
A.I. is used and can be used even more for scanning the millions of packages the USPS and millions of airport bags processed every day by analyzing the scanned package/bag for hazardous content.  But unlike humans the scanning does not have to deal with eye or mind fatigue, just learning capacity.  The A.I. part of the scanning involves humans programming A.I. to recognize specific hazardous items.  In the future, A.I. might be programmed to scan for “odd things” that it has not been programmed by humans to recognize.  A.I. can also do quick facial recognition comparisons, but only because H.I. has mapped out the human face and stored pictures of possible individuals.  In the future A.I. may be able to detect the false faces created by fraudulent individuals abusing A.I.
 
H.I. vs. A.I. vis-à-vis Visual Production
 
H.I. has been creating sophisticated live and animated videos since the 1920’s, although some creators are better than others.  The main difference between H.I. and A.I. is that H.I. is real and A.I. is fake. 
 
A.I.’s manipulation of pixels to create videos is more advanced than A.I.’s ability to mimic someone’s speech.  The main problem with A.I.’s visual production is that it might not look as natural as a video filmed with a camera—yet.  The programmers of A.I. will most likely clean this up so that people can use it to produce their fraudulent and nefarious videos for self-serving purposes. 
 
H.I. vs. A.I. vis-à-vis Mental Health
 
H.I. can only do what it can to provide health services, given the number of professionals involved, the time they have available and the number of patients needing help.  This is especially true when it comes to mental health.  The destructive aspects of social media has caused a mental health crisis in the US, especially among the young who are obsessed with their cell phone apps instead of being face-to-face with live people—and the isolation of the Covid-19 pandemic made it worse.  The US can’t presently deal with this mental health crisis since it lacks enough mental health professionals—and it may take generations to graduate them.  The good news is that the numbers of PA’s (physicians assistants) and NP’s (Nurse Practitioners) graduated is outpacing the number of physicians graduated and they are providing much of today’s patient’s health needs.  But this is still insufficient to meet the present and future mental health needs of the population.
 
A.I. can help with this crisis by providing inexpensive interactive mental health advice to the young and older.  But if A.I. uses an “Internet Based” A.I. system to do it, it could cause more problems than it solves considering all of the fraudulent information on and the misuse of the Internet.  Thus, a “Rules Based” A.I. solution that uses its own password protected uncorrupted data base is the best way to provide this helpful mental health services.  A Rules-Based A.I. system called “Woebot” is being developed that asks depressed individuals specific questions to reflect on and answer, to hopefully resolve their issues or be flagged and referred to a professional when the questions/answers don’t help.  It will probably take a year or so to develop Woebot to ask the most appropriate questions and to more accurately analyze the patient’s answers, thus requiring fewer referrals to a professional.  A.I. like this will also be helpful in other health care professions, since the supply of all types of health care professionals is not keeping up with the demand for them. 
 
Now that some pertinent examples of A.I. vs. H.I. have been considered, lets move on to H.I. vs. A.I. with regard to thinking, creating and decision-making.
 
H.I. Thinking vs. A.I. Conjecture
 
Thinking:  To use memories to, ponder, reason about, reflect upon or formulate new memories. 
Conjecture:  A judgment based on inconclusive or incomplete evidence—guesswork.
 
H.I. knowledge is based on real life experiences that are triggered by sensory data, human emotions and/or thoughtful reflection on our memories.  That knowledge increases as we mature and it becomes the basis for our facts/opinions and skills.  We turn that knowledge into intelligence when we use it to better survive.  Knowledge and intelligence can eventually lead to wisdom if one is open-minded enough to test it with the opposite/different opinions of others, while using good judgment instead of self-serving rationalization.  H.I. has four types of thinking: right-brain interactive director (task) thinking, right-brain interactive socializer (people) thinking, left-brain detail analyzer (task) thinking, and left-brain detail relator (people) thinking. 
 
The right brain’s frontal lobe is comprised of sparse neural clusters with many axons interconnecting the director memories or interconnecting the socializer memories.  This vast interconnection is interactive thinking: for example, the color red connects to all memories associated with red—red cars, apples, tomatoes, etc.  This interactive thinking plus a “need/goal” makes H.I. creativity possible. 
 
The left brain’s frontal lobe is comprised of dense neural clusters (detailed analyzer and relator memories) with relatively fewer axons to other dense neural clusters.  These dense neural clusters contain all of the information you have about a concept and is detailed thinking.  For example, all of the details required to create a recipe are contained in those detailed memories and one would follow that recipe while using the left brain.  These left brain detail memories allow H.I. thinking to be more accurate, allowing for greater wisdom, something that A.I. conjecture will unfortunately never attain.
 
A.I.’s knowledge base is the Internet’s documentation of human experiences/opinions—without accessible H.I. documentation, A.I. cannot exist.  Without human programming, A.I. thinking cannot exist now, but might to some degree in the future.  A.I.’s conjecture is similar to H.I. right brain interactive thinking that allows it to jump to surmised conclusions without all of the left brain details.  Similarly, A.I. would have difficulty mimicking left brain detail thinking if those details were not readily available.  Without these types of thinking, A.I. has a limited probability of ever being truly creative.
 
H.I. Creativity vs. A.I. Plagiarism
 
Creativity: The use of the human imagination or original ideas to produce something that never existed before.
Plagiarism: To use and pass off the ideas or writings of another as one's own creation.
 
H.I.’s greatest creations in human development came from the thoughts and effort of just one human (Einstein, Tesla, Edison, etc.) and not from a team of humans with or without the use of computers.  That creative person’s increasing insight took years of original thinking, trial and error to produce—for example Albert Einstein’s “Special Theory of Relativity”, Dr. Dean Bellavia’s “Genetic Human Personality Tool”, etc.  There is no way A.I. can do this unless continuously prompted by a clever human inventor/programmer with an original idea.
 
A.I. can do things in seconds that take humans hours or days to do, but it cannot create what doesn’t already exist—it can just manipulate what does exist (whether a fact or a fantasy) and guess.  And just because A.I. can be directed to write something, given directions from a human and using human documentation, it doesn’t mean that A.I. is creative; it means that A.I. is plagiaristic.  Programs like ChatGPT are not magical or even that new.  It is essentially a Google-Search engine program combined with a Spell-Checker and Grammar-Checker, combined with coding that ties it all together.  But don’t fool yourself, ChatGPT is useless unless a human tells it what to search for and combine; the rest is as automatic as Googling.
 
H.I. Decision-Making vs. A.I. Uncertainty
 
Decision-making:  The act of reaching a conclusion or making up one's mind
Uncertainty:  Not known or established; questionable
 
H.I. makes decisions by using the multi-layered prefrontal cortex (PFC) and related emotional, rational and sensory memories that were created by positive and negative real life experiences.  Most of those decisions are dictated by a momentary need for physical and social survival or by creative reflection on “what might be”.
 
A.I. cannot make decisions since it has no needs, direction, wants or desires to motivate it to do so.  It needs a human to program what is needed (goal, desire, etc.) before it can manipulate all of the information on the Internet (too much of which is false) to make some decision.  Also, you can’t just open an A.I. program, stare at the screen and hope that it will create something of value on its own—it will never happen.  It’s like that old saying (paraphrased): “It would take an infinite number of computers an infinite number of years for A.I. to create something new and monumental if no humans were involved—because it can’t decide.  Yes, it can be programmed (by humans) to make decisions, given the pros and cons, but it cannot make “new” (unpublished) decisions without human direction.
 
Bottom Line for the Essence of A.I.  
 
Again, except maybe in wartime, A.I. itself is not an “existential threat”—it is the individuals who abuse A.I. that are the existential threat.  Unfortunately, the potential for this threat is encouraged by the greedy, fear-mongering social platforms (Facebook, etc.) who pray on the sick and weak—it is probably a good idea to avoid these “services”.  We should also avoid watching A.I. abused TV messages and ads if we can discern them and turn them off—then again, it is probably best to just avoid watching them altogether.
 
We all applaud A.I.’s inventors and eagerly look forward to the future benefits of A.I.—but not to its abuse.  Other than the inevitable damage that evil lowlifes will do to get wealth and power or to create chaos just for the fun of it.  A.I. is a blessing to mankind; just like the invention of automation, computers and everything else H.I. has created.  But H.I. has to realize that it must set boundaries for A.I.’s abuse, both domestically and internationally—and if abused internationally, our H.I. must create new A.I. to counteract that A.I.
 
Well, I guess that mostly covers the essence of A.I., which I hope helps to put your mind more at ease.  Again, the most distressing part of A.I. is the level of integrity (or not) and humanity (or not) of the humans who are creating, improving and using it.  The public must demand legislation to control self-serving lowlifes from abusing it—which may be a long time coming since the US congress is essentially useless—so it’s up to us to demand control.  In the meantime, try to look at the positive aspects of A.I. (health, manufacturing, agriculture, security, etc.), instead of its paranoiac aspects that we can do little about—or can we?

 

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