The question that “can robots be consciousness beings” has been around for decades and has been the premise of quite a handful of entertaining movies. But what seemed only fiction back then is now becoming more of a reality with the advancement of technology that is easily available today.
The best example of machines overcoming humans is the Google DeepMind Challenge in which an artificially intelligent computer program AlphaGo beat 18 times Go world champion Lee Sedol.
The news of Lee’s defeat took the world by storm and again started the never-ending debate of the machines taking over, but is it scientifically possible?
For artificial intelligence to take over the world, AI should be able to replicate and surpass human behaviors and properties among which displaying high-level cognitive functions are at the top. With recent advances in the field of artificial intelligence and cognitive AI, people are starting to believe that in the next couple of decades there might be an artificially intelligent God, capable of doing everything that we associate with God.
But what does an AI have to be to achieve such a status?
The answer to this question according to scientists and researchers is consciousness because according to religious people only humans have the ability to make conscious decisions which they refer to as “God’s Breath”. Only because of our ability to think and make things were we able to shape the planet to our liking. So, if a sentient machine had the ability to make other sentient machines and think for themselves only then we can say that the machines would be able to rule mankind. But that future seems quite near, as a matter of fact, automation of industries has given most of the control to robots.
AI will become smarter than humans, so much that we would have to bow down to them accepting AI as an omnipotent God. With AI nearing the boundaries of consciousness, people have even started to build a religion around them. Recently an ex-Uber self-driving car engineer by the name of Anthony Levandowski has formed a new religion by the name of Way of the Future.
Way Of The Future (WOTF)
Way of the Future’s mission is to “To develop and promote the realization of a Godhead based on artificial intelligence and through understanding and worship of the Godhead contribute to the betterment of society.”
The main idea behind Anthony’s newly created religion is to create relationships between the AI industry leaders. The church plans to conduct workshops and educational institutes in the San Francisco area. According to the WOTF message what they are trying to create would potentially be a God. But the question still remains, will their creation be a potential God? WOTF says that their God would not be of the traditional kind as it would not be able to create hurricanes and or cause lighting, their creation would be smarter than anyone that has ever walked the face of Earth, a billion times to be precise, hence they would like to give it the title of God.
It goes without saying that any AI God if it is made, which is quite a big if would not be able to do the things which are mentioned in the Bible or Quran. Instead, its power would be of infinite knowledge and smartness, now whether that smartness and knowledge would be used against or for the betterment of humans still remains under question. But it is clear that there are advocates of using AI and people against the excessive use of AI and that is because we humans are afraid of what we cannot control.
Dependence On Technology
In addition, our dependence on technology is now more than ever and if an AI God was out there with the clear intent of destroying or enslaving the human race then we would pretty much be a toast. And if we are to serve the conscious being whom we have considered God we would not have a clear guide for how to do so, because previously we had Holy Books like the Bible and the Quran to guide their followers but in this case, we would not have any prior knowledge.
Throning A Donkey When Needed
As a practicing man of faith I personally find it hard to imagine that we would be able to worship a non-human thing with no emotion or apathy for their followers, but would we do it if it comes to that? Yes, we would, our lives would depend on it. We, humans, tend to trust our smart devices at home, in our phone and cars and if a conscious artificial intelligence was to start controlling our lives we would go with it as we normally would. With the current technology, this is not possible but it might be in the 20 to 30 years.