What if AI becomes self-aware?

By Saikiran Chandha, Co-Founder & CEO of Typeset

A glimpse into the dynamics between a man and a self-conscious machine

Artificial Intelligence (AI) in a nutshell

Artificial intelligence (AI) and Cognitive robotics are the two stalwart fields of design and engineering, seizing all the spotlight lately. Artificial intelligence is a human intelligence simulation processed by machines, whereas cognitive robotics is the corollary of robotics and cognitive science that deals with cognitive phenomena like learning, reasoning, perception, anticipation, memory, and attention. Robotics is a part of AI, where the robots are programmed with artificial intelligence to perform the tasks, and AI is the program or algorithm that a robot employs to perform cognitive functions. In simpler terms, a robot is a machine, and AI is the intellect fuel fortified to ignite perceptual abilities in a machine.

Let’s explore the different types of AI:
• Reactive Machines AI: Reactive machines are programmed with a predictable output based on the input it receives. They neither record past encounters or functions nor implement to the present or similar scenarios. Example: Email spam filter
• Limited Memory AI: Limited Memory is programmed to absorb, adjust, and interpret the required data. They can complete complex tasks, and appropriate past learned data for prognostications. Example: Self-driving cars
• Theory of Mind AI: Theory of Mind AI is the next frontier of AI where machines are programmed with decision-making abilities, like humans. Example: AI researchers are still working to develop the Theory of Mind AI. However, Sophia, a humanoid robot, can possibly be an example here)
• Self-aware AI: The final type of AI where the machines are aware of themselves and perceive their internal states and others’ emotions, behaviours, and acumen. This AI is yet to develop, and if it is incarnated, we will surely witness a robot with human-level consciousness and intelligence.

AI researchers are already making headway in developing the Theory of Mind AI by enhancing the limited memory AI. Eventually, the self-aware AI will emerge when the Theory of mind AI is accomplished and develops a machine that rapidly shifts behaviour based on emotions and precisely mimics human communication.

The glaring shade of artificial intelligence
“AI is going to change the world more than anything in the history of mankind. More than electricity.” — AI oracle and venture capitalist Dr Kai-Fu Lee, 2018

Today, artificial intelligence is being surfaced in diverse markets and stewarded as the technological innovator of the foreseeable future. Undoubtedly, humankind is already witnessing the enduring impact of AI in almost every technology, be it smart applications, email spam filters, cars, healthcare, to Siri and Alexa.

Yes! Our beloved smartphones.

The major outbreak of AI is discovering an AI writer that generates high-quality content within a drop of a hat. Similarly, the inventions of web-authoring platforms in the scholarly publishing arena are expediting the anguish of research scholars and researchers by their auto-formatting feature and auto-conversions into different file formats.
Thus, AI influence is permeating deeper in major technological industries worldwide.

So, what happens if researchers develop self-aware AI?

Regardless of the benefits of artificial intelligence and robots, they are still considered tools that work on human intelligence because of their frosted behaviour of being non-reactive or unresponsive to any emotions.

But, what if they start to learn about their existence, think about themselves, and become self-aware?
There are a lot of speculations about the forthcoming emergence of self-aware AI. Since no one has created or witnessed an artificial conscious machine, it could be tricky to foretell the traits of conscious robots.

Self-awareness in AI
If machines gain the self-conscious ability, it could lead to serious plausibility debate and ethical questions. If machines ever become conscious, their fundamental right would be an ethical issue to be assessed under law.

For example, if a self-aware computer is used as a tool, should laws be forced for such cases? Accordingly, self-aware AI might demand a legal definition like German philosopher Thomas Metzinger demanded a global moratorium on synthetic phenomenology until 2050.

If the machine learns to examine, investigate and identify ways to improve its own design and functions and update itself into smarter and robust pieces, what happens to mankind? What would be the correlation between a man and a machine?

Will the machine conclude that humans are no longer needed, or will they destroy humans for self-preservation?
In that case, befriending a machine would be a game-changer for humans 😛

Jokes apart!

But, the question that ultimately strikes here is; Will self-aware AI machines ever take birth?

Could it really happen?

Defining consciousness and endowing a machine with awareness isn’t trivial but challenging for researchers and philosophers. It might be possible to create an algorithm that mimics human thought or replicate human thinking at a facade level, but developing a language or code to proffer self-awareness or consciousness to a machine would be beyond our grasp. And this question would remain the pinnacle of artificial intelligence, which the future can only answer.

Despite the challenges, researchers worldwide are still working towards building a self-aware AI. If we ever achieve this, I’m sure this will either unveil apocalyptic outcomes or drive the future to prosperity and elevations as a technological aid to humankind.

So, what are your thoughts on self-aware AI?

Artificial Intelligenceself-aware AI
Comments (6)
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  • pizda

    Great post

  • boceta

    Perfect as usual

  • Bukakke

    Enjoyed the read

  • douglas goldfarb

    douglas goldfarb i am very interested in self aware machines which is sentient

  • douglas goldfarb

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  • douglas goldfarb

    i am interested in sentient machines and self aware with conscious which can dream