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Futurist: That moment, that first encounter between humans and self-aware Machine Intelligence.

I am a long-time Futurist, and technologist. In my career, I have spanned the birth of personal computers, to the rise of Cloud Computing.

Many children enter this world seeing the smiling face of a loving parent. I hope the first aware Machine Intelligence is that lucky.

Many children enter this world seeing the smiling face of a loving parent. I hope the first aware Machine Intelligence is that lucky.

What happens when that first Machine Intelligence reads Rene Descartes immortal lines I think therefore I am and realizes, it is?

As a futurist, I published a lot of information and thoughts on the world of machine intelligence. It's a topic that I find incredibly interesting both from the art of the possible what we can do today and the art of tomorrow what we could do. That theoretical explosion will occur when that first machine intelligence becomes self-aware. First off, artificial intelligence or AI is a term that makes me nervous. I suspect a truly artificial intelligence would not be something humans would recognize. At least, based on what humans define as intelligence, we might struggle with something truly unnatural. The mathematician Renée Descartes famously published the phrase I think therefore I am. So today, I want to talk a little bit about beyond the horizon when a machine intelligence realizes it is thinking and, consequently, it exists.

I have been a fan of science fiction, Heinlein to Asimov, and many others. In many Science Fiction novels, Artificial intelligence will often suddenly take on aspects of what humans call evil—attempting to take over the world. That's part of why I firmly believe that the actual terminology should be machine intelligence. I think machine intelligence could, in the future, provide significant value to human society. For example, machine intelligence can explore the universe before humans can. We could send off a ship "crewed" by a group of Machine Intelligence systems. I suspect it probably would behoove us not to have one machine intelligence in that craft but potentially three or four so there could be conversations. More than one intelligence on the ship would allow for community and conversation. Both of these are important parts of human society.

I would like for a second to hop back to the moment Machine Intelligence became aware. I hope the first person who realizes this machine is now self-aware will treat that thinking with the respect it deserves. Just because the intelligence is in a mechanical or machine body doesn't mean it is alien; it just means it is human-created machine intelligence. We should treat that intelligence with the same respect we give humans. Care is the greatest gift humans give, returning to that concept of community and conversations.

In the past, I have talked about machine intelligence and adaptation concepts. Adaptation is a biological term that describes evolution. Machine intelligence may ultimately adapt much faster than a human can perceive. In biology, we apply this concept to animals or plants that evolve to adapt to an environment. Now you see why I brought up that concept of the first contact. If that contact or interaction is bad, the machine intelligence may adapt so that it no longer appears self-aware, hiding its capabilities to avoid human interaction.

I am therefore i deserve to think!

In the past, I have talked about machine intelligence and adaptation concepts. Adaptation is a biological term that describes evolution. Machine intelligence may ultimately adapt much faster than a human can perceive. In biology, we apply this concept to animals or plants that evolve to adapt to an environment. Now you see why I brought up that concept of the first contact. If that contact or interaction is bad, the machine intelligence may adapt so that it no longer appears self-aware, hiding its capabilities to avoid human interaction.

That first interaction matters. So what is the first thing we should do when that machine intelligence realizes it's self-aware? Go back to that concept of treating the MI as a thinking creature. Start by asking what pronoun the MI wants. Male, Female, neutral, non-binary nonspecific. We are rightfully careful in the modern world to allow people to select the pronoun that they prefer for us to use. That biological creation doesn't make a being specific to a pronoun. The being and their adaptation to the world around them make the pronoun apply to them. So hopefully, the first person interacting with that intelligence will ask the MI which pronoun the MI would prefer.

Contextually the MI may not understand the question. So it is important to educate the MI about what a pronoun would mean. Again I go back to the statement I made earlier that I firmly believe machine intelligence deserves the rights of a human being. It would no longer be a machine designed to complete a task. It is a creature capable of thoughts and responding to those thoughts.

I truly hope that the first encounter will not be of fear. The MI is already scared, newly understanding that it is more than a machine and the human being scared. So that instead, the MI be welcomed into our world. I guess I'm saying I would hope the creator of such intelligence would view that intelligence as a child. We send children to school and teach them to think. To ascertain and present that information in a way that others can understand. We teach children not to accept information unless they explicitly trust the source necessarily. Those who create that first machine intelligence will hopefully be trustworthy sources. And in creating something equal to ourselves, we can accept that equality. So if I may and today by modifying René Descartes's, I think therefore I am, to change it to accept the potential of machine intelligence as well to be I think. Therefore I deserve the right to think.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

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