By: Wiktoria Kępczyńska

Some scientists warn against letting the genie of destruction out of the bottle. They are being joined by futurologists concerned about the emergence of artificial intelligence, possibly more powerful than human intelligence and potentially hostile to us.

Have the curiosity and predictions of scientists in this field already penetrated the collective consciousness of humanity? Probably not yet, since the world we know from literature and science fiction films still seems to be only the world of tomorrow. However, this ‘tomorrow’ may be closer than we think, as it is moving forward at a pace unrecognisable to humans.

It is hard to believe that there are machines in the modern world that can pretend to be humans so perfectly that people who talk to them are unable to believe that they are actually intelligent machines. Serious scientific bodies discuss and exchange views about encountering an alien, unearthly civilisation, and some questions remain unanswered. But since we consider ourselves to be intelligent creatures who use their brains to solve all kinds of tasks, we believe that we can solve this problem as well. But human mind has a problem with identifying intelligent entities, and this is because we do not yet know what this so-called intelligence actually is or what exactly its nature is. The thinking process is also difficult to define. Nowadays, we are living in an era in which an as-yet not completely defined entity has appeared, but which has already been labelled artificial intelligence. The question of whether this entity is humanity’s dedicated friend or mortal enemy is legitimate, insofar as we may not be keeping up with its development. And if this is indeed the case, will we be able to establish a meaningful dialogue with artificial intelligence? That is the question! After all, when it comes to the game of chess, machines have already been able to outplay the best humans in this intellectual discipline for years.

Is the intelligence of these thinking machines the same as ours? If we do not quickly decide to thoroughly understand this entity, we will undoubtedly lose the game against it. The functioning of human intelligence is determined by biology, chemistry, brain structure and the history of the human species. But isn’t machine intelligence, which seems to have already been born, different from human intelligence to such an extent that we surmise its existence thanks to symptoms, such as inexplicable anomalies in functioning of computers with gigantic computing power? These anomalies do not, admittedly, prejudge the existence of this already independent entity, but to ignore such a probability would be a confirmation of human imperfection resulting from anthropocentric view of the world in which we live.

The appearance on Earth of advanced machine intelligence, the existence of which we presume, should probably be a sufficient reason to intensify scientific research on the human mind; perhaps the 10% of nerve cells out of the approximately 3 billion that we possess are not enough to stand up to the entity that, after escaping from Pandora’s box, stimulates our curiosity, but also causes justified anxiety about the development of Polish science, which the state is spending more and more money on. The main sectors providing funds for scientific research and development work are the business sector and the government sector. Beneficial changes in this regard can also be seen in the steadily improving data on the number of entities and personnel involved in R&D activities.