Genesis, creation, the very beginning; from his inception, man has endeavored to control, to name, to create ultimately in his own image as he was created from God. Man forges his own destiny from the coals of his imagination and the raw iron of his will to create. His tools have changed as time has passed, but his desire, his fire to create; to change his world has not.
Time and technology can temper mans creativity, but the desire burns as strong today as ever. Art, literature, and technology; be it paint, paper or steel mans creativity is manifest in everything we do.
The crowning jewel for man will be to pass on that spark with which he has been entrusted, robotics, genetic engineering, and their ilk have been trying to create new life from the raw tools with which man is so proficient. It can be said that as Prometheus took fire from the heavens to give to man, so shall man give fire of another kind, and be it biological or made from the cold steel and silicon gateways through which we now travel man will at last, have his legacy. There is a caveat however, with knowledge comes change, with creation comes difference, and with difference comes fear, hatred and discrimination. People have forever shunned that which they do not understand, that which is different from the face they see in the mirror in the morning.
Since initial forays into the AI field in 1950 there have been philosophical as well as technical concerns.
As technology advanced and the concept of a machine that thinks became more and more plausible the philosophy became more apparent.
The basic problem we are confronted with is: Can machines think?
In his book entitled Philosophical perspectives in artificial intelligence, Martin Ringle calls for a logical and semantic analysis of the concepts of thought, intelligence, consciousness, and machine, rather than an empirical assessment of computer behaviour (hjhjh,999,2000). Thusly from its birthing AI has been regarded as an unknown, a concept that by its very name challenges nearly every norm and convention we have as individuals and as a society.
Thusly because of its inherent alien nature artificial life will be subject to the same prejudices as race, gender and religion, once it is integrated into society and assumes roles associated with humans. As we venture deeper into the realms of artificial life we must uncover not only its potential but also its implications.
Artificial Intelligence can be traced back to ancient Egypt, the idea that an inanimate object can be infused with a human soul is not new; but in the murky annals of time much of the facts have been lost. Yet the concept of creating thought from material that is by definition lacking all cognizance or consciousness is admittedly not a new idea.
The advent of the electronic computer in the early and mid 1940s gave science its first good glimpse at the future of intelligent machines. The likes of Jules Verne and H.G. Wells had dreamt them up, now the torch had been passed to make them reality.
Although the computer provided the technology necessary for AI, it was not until the early 1950’s that the link between human intelligence and machines was really forged. Norbert Weiner was one of the first Americans to make observations on the principle of feedback theory.
The most familiar example of feedback theory is the thermostat: It controls the temperature of an environment by gathering the actual temperature of the house, comparing it to the desired temperature, and responding by turning the heat up or down. What was so important about his research into feedback loops was that Wiener theorized that all intelligent behaviors were the result of feedback mechanisms. Mechanisms that could possibly be simulated by machines, this discovery influenced much of early development of AI.
When the collective light bulb turned on for the scientific community, it changed things overnight. That an automated or autonomous system could be developed that would respond to stimuli with programmed responses, and perhaps even learn new ones, was astounding. Robots based on insects utilize a collective intelligence, by working in groups toward a cooperative .