The concept of artificial intelligence is an intriguing idea for people who like to dream about the future. Books and movies have captured the possibilities of artificial intelligence for many years, and people have imagined a world where people and machines interact. Of course, some stories suggest that if artificial intelligence were to occur, there is always the possibility that war would break out between mankind and the machines. Granted, all of this is simply an academic or philosophical argument until there is some sort of breakthrough that makes artificial intelligence a reality. With that in mind, here are a few thoughts on artificial intelligence and it's future.
What it will take to make it real
Artificial intelligence is not necessarily on the immediate horizon, even if people wish it were so. There are certainly advanced computers in the world that can do an amazing number of functions in a very short period of time. In addition, faster computers are being built every day. However, there is still a large gap between computing power and what science fiction writers refer to as "self-awareness." Can this be developed by humankind? People can certainly make faster computers but there may be something else that is required in order to bridge the gap between circuits and thinking.
A theological issue?
In some ways, the concept of artificial intelligence is almost a spiritual or religious issue. While science may believe that "anything" is possible, there is always the possibility that humans are not "meant" to create life. Not all people believe in a higher power, but if a deity does exist, there exists the possibility that creating life is the sole domain of that deity. The same ceiling may exist when dealing with genetic research and engineering new life forms.
People can dream, and individuals can certainly experiment. For now, artificial intelligence is an interesting idea and it makes for a great movie plot or book concept. There may come a point where humans come up with a way to engineer a "thinking" computer, but that day may not come anytime soon. Will computers rule the world someday? Only time will tell if someday humankind will be joined by some sort of artificial intelligence that is able to make rational decisions and determine their own destiny. For now, humans remain the only "thinking" beings on Earth and computers are still theirs to command.