This morning, I was enjoying a wonderful morning with my wife at Mälaren. Sitting there I read the Summer issue of “de nieuwe Koers” a Christian magazine from Holland that is released eight times a year. The article that caught my attention was: Will in the year 2043, the first robot come to faith?” An interesting thought.
Later today I found an article in “The Telegraph” with a video link showing us what actually happened when two robots start a conversation and actually quickly descend into an argument about God. “Two graduate PhD students at Cornell University gave voices and 2D avatars to a pair of online “chatbots”, which they named Alan and Sruthi. A chatbot is a computer program designed to hold a spoken or written conversation with a human. The students Jason Yosinski and Igor Labutov said that they wanted to see what happened when two chatbots talked to each other. So they created Alan, a British man, and Sruthi, a south Asian woman”.
The robots in this experiment that took place in 2011 were not really intelligent but had their memories fed through categorizing and evaluating chats with thousands of people, using this information in their “real-life” filmed conversation. Interesting fact when one views the conversation is the lack of patience they seem to have with each other and each other’s answers. (Very human look-alike!) – Soon the discussion moved to belief in God.
Futurologists talk about the potential of intelligent robots and their ability to move into the realm of belief systems; Buddhist, Muslim, agnostic and Christian robots will, in the future confess their beliefs or so they say.
The whole development of robots is based upon Moore’s law, which is the observation that, over the history of computing hardware, the number of transistors on integrated circuits doubles approximately every two years. This has been true until recently and the semiconductor industry used it in their long-term planning… However, recently this process has slowed down… after having been accurate for half a century as Moore wrote about this observation in 1965!
Much time is given to estimate, predict and philosophy about future robots and their ability to surpass human beings in their abilities… for example within the next ten years computers will be as clever as human beings according to scientists.
Who knows what the future will bring… The fact is that all technical inventions reach after a rapid start and development a maximum… the process of development is slowed down. This might be the case of robots and computers as well. There are actually (God-given) limits to what is possible within the human and natural realm: you can’t build something smaller than an atom, you can’t transport faster than light… or?
Brian Christian in his book: The Most Human Human: What Talking with Computers Teaches Us About What It Means to Be Alive, writes that the absolute uniqueness of human beings cannot be copied… parts can, but the unique combination cannot be recreated. “To be human is to be ‘a’ human, a specific person with a life history and idiosyncrasy and point of view; artificial intelligence suggest that the line between intelligent machines and people blurs most when a puree is made of that identity.”
Maybe that loving and believing at the core of human beings are so closely interwoven with each other that it cannot be imitated… Therefore, I believe, we won’t encounter any robots with the ability to explain nor renounce the mysteries of God through Christ Jesus!
That’s the Way I see it! Remember I am just a layman not a scientist
John van Dinther