T he following comments have recently been attributed to Bill Gates, founder of The Microsoft Corporation:
Is AI (Artificial Intelligence) a Danger to the World?
The failure to understand that mankind is superior to the animal kingdom since men and women are made in God's image can only lead to increasing confusion in the areas of human intelligence and 'artificial intelligence.'
Humans should be worried about the threat posed by artificial Intelligence, Bill Gates has said.
The Microsoft founder said he didn't understand people who were not troubled by the possibility that AI could grow too strong for people to control.
Mr Gates contradicted one of Microsoft Research's chiefs, Eric Horvitz, who has said he "fundamentally" did not see AI as a threat.
Mr Horvitz has said about a quarter of his team's resources are focused on AI.
During an "ask me anything" question and answer session on Reddit, Mr Gates wrote: "I am in the camp that is concerned about super intelligence."
(article comes from here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/31047780).
Now I don't know whether Mr Gates and others who are concerned about so-called 'artificial intelligence,' are confirmed, or carefully considered atheists, I think not, but such a concern is a typical concern of those who don't believe in God and think that computers and robots can become dangerously knowledgeable. Such people tend to operate from a worldview which is highly confused about precisely what 'intelligence' is. Actually, within reason, the human race does not need to worry too much about this because no robot nor super-computer can ever actually become "intelligent" at all. Whilst there could indeed be some potentiality for dangerous programming being fed into such artificial contrivances by idiots, nevertheless, 'intelligence' - frequently being misapplied as a term at present - can never be a threat coming from a machine. Any such machine, or machines, or even system of machines, will remain below the level of 'higher animals,' that is, animals such as cats, dogs, elephants, whales and horses. We are now going to see that 'intelligence' is really the wrong word to use, trendy though it may be to use it in this way.
For our part, Christians and Theists fervently believe that no machine will ever have a soul, or any sort of 'knowledge of self,' mind or 'knowability.' The original basis of the error comes from believing that mankind are simply 'highly evolved' animals. The reasoning seems to be something like this: if even we 'super-apes' can now do so much, even feeding such "intelligence" into machines, who knows what might happen in the future? Might not some future evil genius use this to do great harm to his/her opponents or to another nation? Or maybe the machines themselves could even eventually become malevolent? However, the truth (despite being widely rejected in this secular age) is that mankind was formed in the image of God and we are only the intelligent, probing beings which we are because of this very, very definite 'divine spark' in our minds. It is being formed in the image of God that has got mankind to where he now stands - absolutely nothing to do with evolution! That is why we can compose beautiful symphonies, design incredible cathedrals, design, plan and bring to fruition great schemes for the future, including incredible parks and systems of boulevards and roads. We can write poetry of the highest order and literary masterpieces such as the works of Shakespeare. Our kids are presently being taught the big lie that we can do such things simply because we are 'highly-evolved' apes - the tragedy is how the last few generations are being cut off from the truth and fed, frankly, lies which educational establishments throughout the world have agreed to do.
There is an incredible qualitative difference not only between the intelligence of human beings and animals, but between human beings and the machines they may invent. My two computers can store a large amount of information yet they have no knowledge and certainly no 'intelligence.' With one of them I can even now ask it to search for something without typing anything and it will do so, and such a thing may seem very clever to all of us but it can only do so because human beings have developed such software computer programmes. The only danger is where some future evil genius could programme really malicious things into robots or such like but that will still only be a software programme and nothing to do with 'intelligence' whatsoever. But the idea that one can make a machine so "intelligent" that it might decide - decide? - to turn itself to evil purposes, like in those very silly old transformer movies is bunkum. Moreover, at the end of the day even thousands of such machines can be destroyed if need be (though they would simply need to be re-programmed).
I respect Bill Gates for what he has achieved but I don't share his worry about what AI (artificial intelligence) might do, yet I do have some concerns about what misguided people might one day cause machines to do. Yet, even there, a machine will still only be a machine with no inherent life, nor being, nor soul.
Intelligence? No, it is the misuse of a word, 'information' would be better. My desktop computer too is stacked with information but it has no knowledge, nor understanding, nor discernment, no intellect and no soul. Computers are marvellous things and this world-wide work is dependent on them but let us not get too silly and fanciful regarding the future of technology. The evil in this world is caused by sinning mankind. It is ourselves, and those in rebellion against God, whom we should fear - not computers.
Robin A. Brace. February 1st, 2015.