"Machines will never be as smart as us." is something you will hear people mutter when the topic of Artificial Intelligence is brought up. AI was first formally studied in a conference at Dartmouth College in 1956. The scientists were creating intelligent machines, as John McCarthy said (who first coined the term A.I.), that could solve mathematical problems, speak, and prove logical theorems. By the 1960s, the field was growing to be even more vast, with mechanical intelligence being heavily subsidized by the government. Eventually, however, during the 1970's, governments cut off research funds as a tax-efficient measure. Thus, the first "AI Winter" was born. In these periods, people's interest and accomplishments in the field of AI would bottom out.
The main opposition toward Artificial Intelligence is the morality of creating machines with human-like intelligence. However, the argument centered around that thought process is largely religious based. When you take religion out of the picture, there is no human divinity relating to our unique intelligence. Sure, humans are quite smart. In fact, we are arguably the most intelligent of all animals. However, to say that humans do not need machines that could aid us in intelligent tasks is quite arrogant and incorrect. War could replace soldiers with machines who could do battle for us while still under human direction. Paranoia toward liberal thinking regarding AI's future is centered around religion and fear, when it comes down to it. The machines will still be under our control and there is no evidence to support a "massive machine uprising" as many gullible people have been tricked into thinking via movies and popular culture.
So, the proper way to go about Artificial Intelligence is to gradually introduce it into human society. Our lives would be much more prosperous, and to assume machines will do anything but what we have set for them to do is paranoia. Obviously, having machines that can have a personal identity with the world would be drastic and dangerous, but implementing machines as intelligent servants who could solve complicated problems for their masters (us) would be extremely beneficial. Thus, we are simply creating smart computers who have no process of self-identification.
As time goes on, more demands will be placed on the AI Industry to mass produce intelligent-capable machines that will take the place of humans in dangerous or time-consuming jobs. It is not the replacement of human beings, but the removal of humans from dull, time-consuming, and repetitive tasks and into jobs that we enjoy spending our well-earned time doing.
- ThinkQuest, History of AI