16 Questions About Artificial Intelligence Answered

December 2. 2016. 5 mins read

Artificial intelligence (AI) shows a lot of promise yet some of the most recent news seems a bit alarming. Two AI agents were programed to communicate privately and they created their own cryptography. AI is now improving its capabilities by dreaming. And AI predicted correctly that Trump would win the presidency. Naturally, these events are causing people to ask a lot of questions about AI. Where do we go when we have questions to ask? We turn to Google to ask these questions and as it turns out, Google uses AI to give us the responses. Ironic isn’t it?

16 Questions About Artificial Intelligence Answered

In terms of technological sophistication, we’re not all AI researchers and we’re not all tribesman from Papua New Guinea. We all fall somewhere along the spectrum of how informed we are about AI when we turn to ask AI about itself. We had some of our on-staff PHDs perform some extensive analysis and what we came up with were 16 things people are interested in learning about AI.

AI google search

Can artificial intelligence take over the world?

There are over 1,500 AI startups working on applying AI to everything you can think of. While there are some AI applications that may not make not sense, it’s widely believed that soon AI will be as pervasive as electricity. In that respect, AI will take over the world. Will it “take over the world” like the story plot in Terminator 2? No, it won’t.

Can artificial intelligence be ethical?

AI will be as ethical as those who create it are.

Can artificial intelligence become self aware?

This one is tricky because the traditional test for self awareness is “mirror self recognition”. You could train a robot to recognize itself in the same way that you train an AI program to recognize cats so this isn’t going to work. We would argue that you can only ever be certain of one person being self aware and that is yourself.

Can artificial intelligence be hacked?

Recently 2 AI agents created their own cryptography which they used to communicate. This sounds a bit scary but the truth is that with enough computing power any cryptography method can be hacked. This is why we’re in such a rush to nail quantum cryptography.

Can artificial intelligence think?

In respect to neural networks and how they are trained, it is not so dissimilar to the manner in which you might train a child to learn. When you see an AI agent playing Super Mario Brothers, you might be tempted to believe that it is thinking but in fact it is simply accomplishing things using rewards-based optimizations. This goes back to the “self aware” question that was posed earlier.

Can artificial intelligence learn?

Yes. We use big data to train AI to do things. For more on this, read our article titled “Deep Learning and Machine Learing Simply Explained“.

Can artificial intelligence feel emotions?

Animals can feel emotions but they don’t have the same self awareness that makes us human. An AI program will mimic emotions, but not feel them. If an AI program could mimic a human perfectly, there would be no way that you could tell whether it was “feeling” emotions or not.

Can artificial intelligence be creative?

It sure can. Have you seen the movie trailer that AI created? It also created a short movie which was just not that decipherable. You can expect to see a lot of interesting things coming out of this space in the future. Check out our article on “Content Creation by AI Powered Robot Writers” which digs into this topic a little deeper.

Can artificial intelligence exist?

This is probably being asked in an existential context but we’re not going to get into that because it goes back to the “self aware” question and we know that can’t be answered.

Can artificial intelligence create the next wonder material?

Absolutely. We’re currently using AI to create biological nanobots so material optimization is a likely application.

AI google search

Can AI think?

Duplicate question. See earlier answer.

Can AI be human?

Do you mean can AI be so dumb that it spends all it’s time fighting wars and destroying the only known habitable planet in the universe instead of devoting all of its resources to using technology to solve our biggest problems? No, there is no way you could ever make AI that dumb.

Can AI write code?

What’s really being asked here is will AI make programming jobs obsolete? If AI is capable of creating its own cryptography then it’s probably able to sling some code as well.

Can AI open psd?

This is an imposter question which refers to Adobe Illustrator, not Artificial Intelligence.

Can AI replace humans?

Yes it can and this is what everyone is so worried about. The way you need to look at it that it’s not stealing your job (threat), but rather freeing you up to do bigger and better things (opportunity). These aren’t the droids you are looking for. Move along.

Can AI be creative?

Duplicate question. See earlier answer.

Can AI have consciousness?

There is actually a philosophical difference between being “self aware” and being “conscious” but we’re going to argue that in either case, we will never be able to tell if AI is either. Think about it. If AI can mimic a human perfectly, if there is no perceptible difference at all in behavior, it would pass every self awareness test we could throw at it and we would assume that it is self aware when in fact it is not.

Can AI replace doctors?

When you go to the doctor, part of the healing process is the psychological effect of having a doctor touch you. When the doctor listens to you breathe or feels for a pulse, it’s the human contact that assures you everything will be fine. AI will never be able to replace that human contact, but it will however supplement it to significantly improve treatment methods. One good example of this can be found in our article titled “Enlitic: Deep Learning Algorithms for Medical Imaging

Can AI files be opened in photoshop?

This is another imposter question which refers to Adobe Illustrator, not Artificial Intelligence. This isn’t the first time Adobe has done this:

AI google search

Can AI?

Yes, it can.

So out of the 20 most common questions asked about AI, two were duplicates, and two were imposters leaving us with a total of 16 questions. Of those 16 remaining questions, 9 probed the human nature of AI and 5 expressed concerns about AI harming us in some way. Just one of these questions (the wonder material question) actually hinted at some sort of optimism regarding what AI might be able to help us accomplish. Maybe it’s not a question of whether or not humans would be better off without AI but whether AI would be better off without humans.


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  1. If and when AI will be self-aware, how do we recognise this ?
    If and when AI will be self-aware, what rights will it have ?