Fear of Artificial Intelligence

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In both the novel and “Building the Star Trek Computer”, we can observe the common theme of humanity fearing the capabilities of artificial intelligence. We don’t seem to want the technology to reach its full potential; we want the technology to serve as assistants to humans rather than independently functioning organisms. In Finn’s article, it was mentioned on several occasions how the goal of smart computers are to be “intelligent assistants”. Scientists wanted programs like Siri to merely respond to human queries and not initiate any activity. In fact Apple didn’t present Siri to the public with all of the technology’s capabilities.

This can be similarly seen throughout Neuromancer. In fact there is an entire division of law enforcement devoted to shutting down artificial intelligence that become too intelligent; once the AI starts to act on its on free will the Turring Police come to erase it.

Based on the ideals discussed in Neuromancer and the article, technology should be a mere extension of human capability and needs. Technology is to be secondary to human and never more than that. In fact, one of the main anxieties the novel focuses on is the fear of artificial intelligence becoming to powerful. We have this understanding that technology cannot precede the abilities of the person who programmed it, but we would we do when that day does come? Is the Neuromancer story an accurate prediction to how society will react to artificial intelligence with its own free will?


Posted from Course Blogs by Shayla B.