Elon Musk, founder and a co-founder of companies such as SpaceX, Tesla Motors and SolarCity, and Stephen Hawking, scientific icon, recently drew attention of the public to the Artificial Intelligence (AI), warning us that its development is going too fast for our current overall development and systems of control, having a potential to destroy our civilization or change the nature of human existence completely.
Few people believed this matter to have such urgency for us to react in a panic-driven way they did. But, you might be wrong. We cannot doubt these people know what they are saying.
The newest proof for their theory comes from the OpenWorm project, a joint effort of researchers from the US and UK, who, according to Daily Mail, inserted the artificial brain of the worm into a Lego Mindstorms EV3 robot. The robot is now able to mimic the actions of this simple organism.
Well, it’s not that they made artificial human, D-oh! It’s just a worm. Yes, a worm it is, the creature that goes by the name Caenorhabditis elegans, has only about 1, 000 cells, and 300 neurons, unlike humans who have 37 trillion cells and 100 billion neurons. But, remember that your smartphone has a potency of the best desktop computer from just a couple of years ago.
With the development of biocomputers, devices which, instead of electrons and processors, use impulses that pass through neural networks (systems functioning on the same principle as the human brain and nervous system), more elaborate machines could be built in a not so distant future, the ones that will mimic more complex forms of life. After all, this small creature (the worm) shares 80 percent of genes with humans. Researchers were able to map the physiology of the worm’s organism and then recreate it entirely in digital form, along with neurons responsible for C. eleganse’s decision making processes. EV3 can imitate the worm’s behavior in real life in terms of movement and avoiding obstacles, thanks to its 302 artificial neurons and 959 cells. The next step for researchers will be the creation of a more complex artificial life-form with more sophisticated intelligence. Once the code is broken, many doors will be much easier to open. Stephen Larson, leader of the research team behind the OpenWorm project, hopes this project will lead to more complex forms of artificial intelligence, eventually giving us some clues to efficiently treat brain diseases like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s.
So, do we have to be afraid of artificial intelligence, or should we back it up? Shakespearean dilemma!