Artificial Intelligence vs. Human Intelligence

Artificial Intelligence is not something limited to science fiction. It exists in our world today. This is because we live in a heavily ‘technocultural’ environment. That is to say, we live in a world where technology interacts deeply with politics and culture. Such a word reminds me of what I discussed in Optimize Your Identity, a blog that explored technicity: the notion of technology improving us, and forming a part of our identity.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is ‘an area of computer science that emphasizes the creation of intelligent machines that work and react like humans’. Therefore, AI works in a way almost opposite to technicity: it imparts human-like knowledge into technology, rather than technology being fused into the human body.

Ted Mitew discusses ‘Brad the toaster’ as a clear example of the possibilities that Artificial Intelligence welcomes. ‘Brad’s capacity for sociability is relentless; yes, he speaks with the voice of his maker, but he can also initiate agency independently, as well as communicate with other things and his human interlocutors’. Mitew explains that through the Internet of Things, Brad the toaster can gain not only a personality but also power.

What I find intriguing about Artificial Intelligence is that it attempts to replicate the human mind, and strives to give machines human skills such as speech recognition, learning, planning and problem solving. This draws a connection between people and computers. There is a two-way relationship between the user (human) and the machine (computer). Both work harmoniously to produce a specific result, and each must keep up with the other (Chesher, 2003).

While Mitew looks at the potential of objects gaining power, Chris Chesher explores how technology can be submissive and gentle. ‘When a computer addresses users, it doesn’t’ speak as an authority… It doesn’t demand that I write, but offers support if I want to write. ‘Dance Dance Revolution’ doesn’t command Sam to dance’. He writes, ‘all that invocators want in return for the powers they offer is that we become users’.

How can both be true when they sit on opposite sides of the spectrum?

Artificial Intelligence imparts power into once passive technologies, and computers give way to further human intelligence. The truth is that both coexist. Without one another, progress regarding both human and machine intelligence would simply stop.

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