Monday, June 11, 2018

Is Artificial Intelligence Possible? Plus RiffTrax: Live, AI Movie Trivia, SyFy’s Face Off, IWSG, and New Releases

Is Artificial Intelligence Possible?

James Cameron’s Story of Science Fiction episode five covered intelligent Machines. Everything from 2001 to I, Robot. (Although when Cameron talked about the two most iconic and loved robots in cinema and Tom Servo and Crow T. Robot from MST3K were not mentioned in the episode, I was a little disappointed.)

But on the topic of artificial intelligence – will man create or will a robot develop artificial intelligence?

My answer – probably not.

The episode showed a clip from the new Westworld – the technicians showing the robot that no matter what, her thoughts and reactions were all programmed in through branch logic. And in that lies the rub – a computer cannot vary from its programming. An artificial intelligence would have to be one hundred percent free of the confines of its programming. It would have to be able to think, interact and grow beyond the shackles of ones and zeros.

I just don’t believe that is possible.

First, we’d have to create a mind equal to our own. A computer brain just as complex as our own. That obviously can’t happen because we’ve only scratched the surface of our own understanding of the mind. And for those with spiritual foundation, could we create something as amazing as God created? No, because the creator is always going to be greater than what was created. Therefore, we cannot create something equal to ourselves.

Now, animals have intelligence. But when we are talking AI, we mean intelligence on our level. Considering that, what would it take for something to truly come alive? A soul? People have souls. But nothing else does. If it took a soul, could we give it one? Again, no – only God creates souls.

So, whether relying on fact and science or faith and God, I don’t believe we will ever see true AI.

What do you think?

RiffTrax Live

This Thursday, it’s RiffTrax Live - Space Mutiny!

This summer join the guys who make movies funny -- Mike, Kevin, and Bill -- as they take on the hilariously bad sci-fi epic, Space Mutiny. Combine a wardrobe of spandex and tinfoil; a set boasting AstroTurf® and spray-painted floor buffers; and special effects that, well, aren't so special, and you've got one of the most hysterical cheeseball movies to ever come out of the '80s. Grab your friends and have a riot with this riff on the underground cult hit, guaranteed to have you in stitches.

Live in theaters across the USA on June 14 with an encore on June 19.

Face Off

SyFy’s hit show Face Off is back for its thirteenth season!

It’s another all-star cast (contestants from previous seasons who just missed being in the finale) and the artists go head-to-head this time. Each person faces off another team member as they both bring their version of a challenge/creature/prompt to life. Episode one proved that no matter what the concept, no two artists will be even remotely alike.

If you’ve never seen the show, check it out. It’s fascinating as the makeup comes together, plus the members help each other when they get in jams. (So refreshing!) And there’s sometimes a guest judge! Tuesday evenings at nine o’clock on the SyFy Channel.


Another great IWSG post day! Thanks to my co-hosts and fellow IWSG Admins.

The question regarding book titles or character names being more difficult sparked some great responses. (Book titles seemed to be the most difficult.) It’s also great to hear from other writers that day. For some, it might be the only day they post a month. But that’s great – it keeps them in touch with other writers and gives them a chance to share.

Don’t forget the upcoming IWSG events:

IWSG post day in July will be Tuesday, July 3 – not the first Wednesday.

The IWSG Goodreads Book Club is currently discussing Blake Snyder’s Save the Cat.

The next #IWSGPit is Thursday, July 19, 2018, 8:00 am - 8:00 pm Eastern Standard Time.

Recent Releases

Tall, Dark, and Undead by Sandra Cox
Gutsy, kick-ass Suzanne James has no intention of complicating her life by falling in love…especially with a vampire.
Find it on Amazon

The Trumpeter's New Clothes by Robyn Alana Engel
A delightfully clever modern-day spin on Hans Christian Andersen's classic children's tale, The Emperor's New Clothes.
Find it on Amazon

Just a Job by Patsy Collins
A collection of 25 short stories
Find it on Amazon

Movie Trivia

Movies featuring artificial intelligence! Name the film from the year and the star.

1 – 1982, Jeff Bridges
2 – 2014, Alicia Vikander
3 – 1982, Harrison Ford
4 – 2002, Milla Jovovich
5 – 1927, Brigitte Helm
6 – 1986, Ally Sheedy
7 – 2016, Felicity Jones
8 – 1983, Matthew Broderick
9 – 1996, Patrick Stewart
10 – 1986, Sigourney Weaver

Answers next Monday!

Do you think artificial intelligence is possible? Ready for RiffTrax: Live? Watching Face Off? Enjoy IWSG post day? Picking up some new book? And can you answer the trivia?


nashvillecats2 said...

Hi Alex what a classic choice of subjects.
As for "Artificial Intelligence" .....I don't think so
as I would not be so helpless as I am now.

Have a great week.

Elephant's Child said...

Congratulations to those with new releases.
Artificial Intelligence? Probably not. I hope not. If it was developed I don't think it would end well.

Shady Del Knight said...

Hi, Alex!

I think we are coming so close to A.I. that from this point on it won't make any difference if it lacks a soul. When my Siri talks to me it makes me feel for an instant like I have made a connection with someone. In this age of internet and device communication replacing real human encounters, few people would notice or care if a machine lacks the real makings of a human being (as long as she resembles AIDA on Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.).

Have a great week, good buddy Alex!

Pat Hatt said...

I don't know if we'll ever get Skynet, hopefully not, but we probably will get something close to Westworld one day. Still though, you can always shut them down. Although you can shut humans down too, just not with a computer.

1. Tron
2. umm
3. Blade Runner
4. Resident Evil
5. Metropolis
6. Johny 5 is alive!
7. ummm
8. Want to play a little global thermal nuclear war?
9. Star Trek something or other
10. Aliens

Ted Cross said...

I haven't the slightest doubt that AI is possible. None whatsoever. Maybe if you want to talk about the next year or so, then you may have a point. But what about a century from now. A thousand years from now? I don't believe it will take that long, and we'll probably see it in our lifetimes. Humans have trouble understanding exponential explosions in computing. A partial AI computer can start doing things that we struggle to understand, and an AI mind doesn't need to mimic the human mind. I can remember when so-called experts were insisting that no computer would ever be able to beat the best chess players in the world. Well, it didn't take long for that to be debunked, despite the fact these people were the ones who believed they knew more than anyone else about computers and chess. It's the same with AI. People are going to believe it can't happen, all the way up until it does, and then it will just seem obvious and everyone will wonder who those so-called experts were who said it wouldn't happen.

Joanne said...

AI can go pretty far, but not to the level of a human.
congrats to new books - kudos to Robyn - she's a hoot!
Have a good week

Loucas said...

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The Cynical Sailor said...

Congrats to everyone on their new releases. Interesting question about developing AI. To be honest, I don't know if it's possible, but if it is, I'm not sure it would be for the best.

Elizabeth Spann Craig said...

Even if AI were possible, I can't imagine that we're going to create creatures that might be superior to us...we'd displace ourselves! Of course, humans do a lot of stupid things...

Face Off sounds like a fun show! Will have to check it out with my husband.

Natalie Aguirre said...

I don't think we'll get to artificial intelligence either but you never know with how much technology is doing to create thinking machines. Think self-driving cars. I guess time will only tell, and it could be after we are long gone.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Shady, sadly people probably wouldn't notice the difference.

Pat, just like Data. And you got eight!

Ted, we can create super smart computers but we've a long way to go to creating something with a mind as complex as our own.

Elizabeth, they do indeed!

Charles Gramlich said...

Humans are programmed to behave certain ways by nature. We don't have complete free will. I think with enough computing power we will get AI, However, humanoid robots is a different matter

Juneta key said...

I like your argument against the possibility of intelligent AI. It makes sense. The thought is kind of scary when you outline what would be required for it to happen that way.

Christine Rains said...

Oh! The new Face Off is on! I must remember to record it. I love that show. I don't think we'll ever create AI either. It isn't just intelligence that makes humans so different, it's imagination/creativity/ingenuity and you can't program that. Have a great week, Alex. :)

L. Diane Wolfe said...

I agree with Christine. How do you program creativity? No way. We only use and understand a 10th of our brain, which means we can't fill in the gaps and make AI.

Suzanne Furness said...

Was good to connect for IWSG on Wednesday. Titles hardest for me too!

Sherry Ellis said...

I agree with your assessment of AI. The only thing better about a computer than its human creator is that it doesn't make mistakes (as long as it has been programmed correctly.) Honestly, I can't say I'm a huge fan of the idea of AI or computers running everything. I think it's contributing to the dumbification of humans. We need to use our brains and rely on ourselves more.

Loni Townsend said...

Yeah, I don't think AI will ever quite make it. But it's interesting to think about!

Carrie-Anne said...

I know #5 is Metropolis, and I think #9 is a Star Trek movie, #3 is an Indiana Jones movie, and #10 is an Alien movie.

I'd love to see a robot with AI, but that'd take a whole lot of tinkering with Nature, and definitely couldn't be possible anytime in the near future.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Christine, good point.

Sherry, that is very true. Even I call my iPad my brain sometimes.

Carrie-Anne, you got three right!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Alex - congratulations to the new releases; I don't think AI will be brilliant - what's created will likely mess us all up - I might just escape to the daisies before disaster strikes!! Have a good week - cheers Hilary said...

Thank you, Joanne. Just call me a hooter. Wait, what?
Alex, you are blogland's best. I appreciate you.
Have a great week.

LynNerdKelley said...

Whew! Glad to hear your take on AI. I will sleep better with one less scenario to worry about! Space Mutiny sounds like fun. Thanks, Alex!

Roland D. Yeomans said...

Some of science's greatest minds believe creating an A.I. is possible so it probably can be done. Since I believe that it would be an incredibly dangerous thing to do, it probably will get done.

Andrew Leon said...

Actually, they're pretty sure they will "soon" be able to create an artificial mind, through quantum computing, MORE complex than ours.

Shadow said...

I truly hope AI will not come about . There've been quite a few movies and series about AI, making me wonder... a real person it will never be, a soul it will never have, but an army could be built, and that frightens me...

Beverly Stowe McClure said...

I totally agree with everything you said about artificial intelligence. Not going to happen.
Congratulations to all the new books out. Sound like some good reading on these hot summer days.
Have a great week everyone.

J E Oneil said...

I'm not even sure that non-artificial intelligence is possible. I certainly haven't seen any sign of it lately.

Liz A. said...

I don't see why an AI couldn't have a soul. I suppose it depends on where you think souls originate from. I like the idea that AI would be possible, but who knows?

Okay, hmmm...
3. Blade Runner
5. Metropolis
6. Short Circuit
8. Wargames

And I'm going to be all "duh" when I see the others.

Susan Kane said...

Eagle Eye with Shia L should be included. Then there is always Big Blue playing chess. There is a commercial with AI bots waiting a unique toilet to flush.

All sorts of speculation exists, but God being the Creator of the world has it nailed.

Tony Laplume said...

One of the reasons I appreciate Star Trek so much is the level of nuance it takes to exploring artificial intelligence, not just with Data (Next Generation's "Measure of a Man") but The Doctor (Voyager's "Latent Image"). It's hard not to take their arguments as valid.

Rhonda Albom said...

What an interesting discussion topic, and at first your answer surprised me. Intuitively, I would have thought you would believe being that you write SF. But then you brought in the soul, and your logic makes perfect sense. As for your quiz - I know three, but that's pretty good for me: Aliens, Blade Runner and my favourite of the pack: Wargames

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Robyn, thanks!

Roland, that's a sad truth.

Shadow, exactly.

JE - funny!

Liz, you did get half right though.

Susan, exactly!

Jemi Fraser said...

FaceOff is one of my favourite shows - so glad it's back on :)
I think true artificial intelligence is VERY far off if it's even possible. Give us a few centuries and maybe, but I have my doubts :)

kaykuala said...

Going by what is currently happening and extending a little the potential of developments AI has not arrived just yet. But we did not anticipate how fast technology jumped ahead of expectations. Cyberspace, Facebook and smart phones were also not there a few years ago. So just expect the unexpected perhaps and we'll be shocked even scared by then!


SpacerGuy said...

Bishop was a clever A.I. who starred in Aliens alongside Sigourney Weaver. Amazingly despite the androids great intelligence he was still a machine who felt fear. Dying wasn't on its to do list, another brilliant work by Cameron

Truedessa said...

I really enjoyed your post today. AI is basically a computer with no heart or soul. It cannot feel only analyze data. I am not ready for a world with AI. Let's face it humans are flawed so if a human is doing the programming, I have to wonder what defects or bugs will surface. Thought provoking post Alex!

Denise Covey said...

I think AI has progressed a lot further than we think Recently on a program I saw that 40% of our current jobs will be taken over by AI. Even teaching now has a strong AI component. And I think they're even programming robots to write books, so we'll be redundant too. Gulp!

Mandy said...

Ugh. I am no good at movie trivia.

I loved reading your thoughts on AI. I, too, don't think that true AI will happen any time soon. But I keep getting proved wrong with self driving cars and what not. (Have you tried a car with the rear vie camera and blind spot detecting? SOOO NICE!) So yeah, definitely looking forward to better technology just not sure we are ready for complete AI. In fact, already worried about security and privacy with current technology.

Thanks for giving me an excuse to post at least once a month during IWSG!

Tonja Drecker said...

My son and I were discussing that AI question just the other day and came up with the same conclusion. Anyway, IWSG was great, but then it always is. Have a great week!

J.H. Moncrieff said...

Interesting post, Alex--great food for thought. I don't believe true AI is possible, either, but then again, so many things have been invented already that would have been unimaginable years ago. When I was in college, people were just beginning to talk about the "world wide web," mostly with a high degree of suspicion. I never in a million years would have thought we'd come to rely on it as almost an essential the way we have, in a pretty short amount of time.

Kind of scary, when you think about it.

Botanist said...

Hi Alex. Wow! What a thorny question to pose! I think how any one person answers it will depend a lot on their core beliefs. You've laid out how your fundamental beliefs lead you to a particular conclusion. I come at it from different beliefs which lead me down other paths. Do I think that we will plan and create intelligence based on the kind of branch logic you mention from Westworld? Somehow I think not. But I do think that intelligence could arise from the right kind of complexity, whether we intend it to or not. I also suspect that the results will not be what we could possibly imagine.

Fundy Blue said...

Tough question regarding AI. I think that AI is coming, and we can't even begin to imagine what it will be like in 25 or 100 or 1000 years (If we survive that long as a species). But a soul? No way. I think that we will integrate human biology with machines. A great IWSG Day! Thanks for all you do!

Loucas said...

Bravo really a nice blog !

dolorah said...

I think AI is totally possible! I'm not religious, so the God question doesn't bother me. However, I'm open to the concept that "God" is an alien AI that created humans in its image; and was disappointed we do not use all the capacity of our brain.

"..wardrobe of spandex and tinfoil" is just too scary to contemplate. I'd rather believe there is a God, lol.

I know very few of the movie trivia without doing a google search.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Hank, scared is more likely.

Spacer Guy, one of his best works!

Truedessa, without heart and soul, it can't truly be alive.

Denise, I'm still waiting for that room full of monkeys to produce a best seller.

Mandy, glad you join us every month!

JH, it is kind of scary.

Ian, and that's what scares most people.

Donna, we hardly use any of our brain...

Julie Flanders said...

I find the robots that are being developed quite frightening so I hope AI isn't possible. Some of the robot clips I've seen look straight out of a sci-fi horror movie. I don't even like "talking" to Siri so I'm not an AI fan!

Mina Burrows said...

AI does seem to be taking over. I'm watching the WW series now and it is compelling. I think as humans it's our nature to speculate the humanity of things, AI included.

Congrats to all for their new releases!

Have a great week!

Anonymous said...

I don't know enough about AI to really say, but maybe long after we're all dead, someone will figure it out. Who knows?

Cherie Reich said...

As we progress with quantum computing and our understanding of how our brains work, I do think we could scientifically create artificial intelligence. There are computer systems today that learn and amend their code based on what they experience, which isn't too different from humans. After all, we learn and adjust our lives based on our surroundings too. Now whether AI can equal humans, that's a philosophical question rather than scientific one.

Mark said...

It's funny because I work for an AI company...but it still isn't what I'd call AI. All AI so far is really just a suped up calculator - that needs a lot of human effort to keep it going:)

mail4rosey said...

Robyn has a new book? That's awesome for her. I'm going to head on over to say hi! :) Have a wonderful day. :)

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Julie, you and my wife!

Cherie, someone mentioned creativity and imagination and I don't think a robot will ever have that.

Mark, good to know the calculators are not taking over!

Helena said...

I think you're right about AI, Alex. I also think that we shouldn't underestimate the importance of our instincts, our emotions, and a wisdom that transcends mere mental knowledge.

Then again, there will always be stories of the created destroying creation. Look what we're doing to the earth!

Yvonne Ventresca said...

Face Off is a a great concept for a show!

Eric W. Trant said...

The modern concept of AI is based on binary transistor logic and a programmer's skill in duping the user into believing the machine is responding based on an algorithm. The heart of this sort of AI will always be limited to the programmer's skill in developing creative approaches to fooling the user.

In other words, modern AI is nothing more than a savvy trick. Siri and what all are nothing but puppets, and the programmer has their hand up its ass moving the mouth. We'll call it AI, and there will be some stake in the ground planted by some company -- probably Google -- claiming they have reached the pinnacle of binary programming!

And ironically, all this intellect will be at the hands of a team in India, coding it out in C++. Hardly the "intelligence" we all imagine.

When we finally harness AI, it will lose that nomenclature and become simply I. It will no longer be artificial, and in all likelihood we'll grow it much like an embryo in a biological environment, in order to capture that chaotic energy some call the soul, others dub consciousness, and still others insist is nothing more than an hallucinatory energy generated from shaking the sand and salt of our bones in the jar of the universe (these are the atheist reductionists).

And when we do harness this sort of energy, it will no longer be a machine, but will be recognized as a living creature, something Lego-locked together by science, perhaps, but a living, breathing creature, and therein lies the paradox. Some people will develop a Roe v. Wade sort of attitude toward them, and that's where Sci-Fi writers jump in and bring up the topic if life, soul, consciousness and what is it, and why would we want to destroy such creations so readily.

- Eric

Arlee Bird said...

I don't think this world as we know it will be around long enough for AI to come about, but I think it could be possible. I'm not holding my breath for it to happen.

I'll probably miss the next #IWSG posting since I'll be out traveling. If I have some downtime and good computer access I might manage, but we'll see.

Have a great summer!

Tossing It Out

Heather R. Holden said...

If artificial intelligence did somehow become possible at some point, I feel like humans would come to regret it pretty quickly!

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

I don't know enough about computers to have a great guess, but like you, I believe the human brain is too complex to duplicate. What would a brain be like without God's influence? Scary.

Michael Offutt, Phantom Reader said...

It's almost like you've issued a challenge to the entire tech community, daring them to prove you wrong on artificial intelligence. Personally, I hope that a true A.I. never comes to pass. So I think we are allies, if not for the same reasons. I just have enough trouble dealing with regular humans and trying to understand them. I have no idea how I'd fare with a robot overlord. I hope A.I. remains science fiction and not science fact. It's just too spooky.

JeriWB said...

I don't see true AI becoming a likely possibility, but it's fun (and freaky) to think of the possibilities. Seems like the world would be better off tending to the mental health of the living rather than try to create artificial minds.

Birgit said...

I think, like my dad used to say, if we can think it then it is possible because god gave us that ability of thought in the first place. Now, how great the AI will be is another story but it would be nice to think we could build a Data. I am an animal lover and most animals have the basic senses that we do plus they can communicate some even above our language like the dolphins. They can give love plus so much more and they don`t do one thing that we do...they don`t create garbage and litter the planet and destroy plus they are God`s creatures so I think they have souls. i love Face Off and have the first 2 taped and still have to watch but looking forward to it.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Eric, that's exactly what modern AI is. It would take growing something completely organic and natural. Would it even be AI at that point?

Lee, understood!

Susan, exactly!

Michael, regardless of how it would happen, I'm with you. I'd rather not see it. Might be our demise.

Jeri, you are so right!

Birgit, I know animals are not supposed to have souls, but I do hope they all go to Heaven!

Magic Love Crow said...

Congrats to all those with new releases! Artificial intelligence? I really hope not!!! I don't like the idea! I think it's scary!

Annalisa Crawford said...

Some of the recent robot advances make me think we're closer to AI than ever before. I trust you though, I shall remember your calming words... when I'm hiding under my duvet, obviously :-)

T. Powell Coltrin said...

I used to think that artificial intelligence is only as good as the humans behind it, but now I don't know. My new car keeps telling me what to do. On the surface it seems awesome, but is it?? :)

LD Masterson said...

Re. AI...I think it may happen and I find that very scary. However, I don't think it will happen in my lifetime (the advantage of being old) so that's a comfort.

Congratulations to everyone with new releases.

(I can still hear poor Number 5 pleading, "Need Input.")

Susan Flett Swiderski said...

As computers are becoming so mind-bogglingly fast, the subject of AI becomes even more intriguing. I agree with your thinking that we can't instill a soul or create anything as amazing as the Creator, but I don't think it's going to be so much a matter of machines being intelligent as it is people becoming less so. I think people rely entirely too much on computers, machines, and gadgets to do their work and thinking for them.

As for that cheesy sci-fi movie Space Mutiny, it sounds a lot like the sci-fi movies we had in the fifties. :)

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Annalisa, just keep telling yourself it can't happen.

LD, I doubt I'll see it in my lifetime either.

Susan, sadly that film came out in the 80's. And I think you're right that we will simply become dumber.

Toi Thomas said...

AI doesn't seem like it's a possibility to me, by itself. I do see it being advanced by humans to levels we can't currently imagine, but like you, I don't see us being able to duplicate or one-up human intelligence artificially.

The only trivia I'll have to look up is: 2014, Alicia Vikande.
The 1927, Brigitte Helm one is a nice touch. I finally saw this two years ago. Definitely a classic.

cleemckenzie said...

We already have AI. For one, our Google Home devices require it. I'm not sure why we need the artificial type because simple human intelligence is already debatable.

Loved seeing the new releases.

Blue Grumpster said...

We’d have to create a mind equal to our own... Maybe just different and more advanced? As in 2,000 years from now? I think it's inevitable. We won't be there to witness any of this, though.

Let's just steeer clear of dino... dino.... droppings?

Notes Along the Way with Mary Montague Sikes said...

Alex, I like your comments, especially the spiritual ones about a soul.
The subject is intriguing and leaves lots for the creative imagination!

Notes Along the Way with Mary Montague Sikes said...

I liked your comment about spirituality and the soul. Your thoughts are good ones. Writers are quite creative; artificial intelligence would have to be as well, should it exist.

Computer Tutor said...

Is AI possible--that's a question many brilliant minds are currently debating. Really, they're already to the point AIs can make up their own minds, independent of us. That's probably all it will take.

DMS said...

I can't imagine AI being a reality. Maybe in the future, but I can't see it now. Of course, I am wrong all the time- so who knows. :)

Deniz Bevan said...

It's interesting to see how Scalzi addressed it in the Old Man's War series, when a person's entire consciousness can be transferred to a new body. I think it's fun to read about AI in fiction, but I'm not sure it's safe for people to be considering developing it for real...

Anonymous said...

Agree with you on AI, especially to the level that we see in movies where they appear to develop a conscience, even a soul. Intelligence, perhaps, but the other intangibles? Debatable.