Beyond AI : What Is Left For Human?
The achievements of artificial intelligence are impressive. In 1997 a computer, IBM’s Deep Blue, became the world chess champion. In 2016, Google’s AlphaGo dominated the world of Go. Last year, Libratus beat the best poker players. Then Alpha-Zero of Deep Mind became the world leader of Go Go but, this time, having been instructed only with the basic rules.
However, the recent announcement that two robots managed to assemble an IKEA chair in 20 minutes, left us far less impressed. For most of us, this is something feasible, even if some people will spend their afternoon struggling with the instructions. Why is it so?
AI masters what is conceptual and the human retains his supremacy for ability and physical dexterity
According to Hans Moravec, of the Carnegie Melon Robotics Institute and the author of a paradox that bears his name: “It is comparatively easy for computers to have the same level of intelligence as humans. However, it is difficult, if not impossible, to give them the competence of a one-year-old child for the perception of their environment or mobility. ” In other words, artificial intelligence masters best what is conceptual, and the human retains his supremacy for mobility and physical dexterity.
Example: to deliver a package to the second floor of a building, a robot will have to get past an aggressive dog and give him a cookie (which every postman knows how to do), pass the janitor cleaning the staircase to get to the first floor without stepping in the water, reaches the second floor, finds the doorbell, realizes that the owner is not there, leaves a message and go back down again. It is an obstacle course that is impossible today for the most intelligent robot. However, a novice delivery man can do it almost without thinking.
According to Darwin, our physical dexterity is the result of tens of thousands of years of natural selection and adaptation essential to our survival. We knew that we should not go under a leaning tree because it might fall on our head. For that, we did not need to know the laws of the gravity, experience suffices. There may be a reminiscence of this today: the fear, for some, of walking under a ladder.
On the other hand, many intellectual exercises, such as playing chess, are only a few thousand years old. They can be assimilated more easily by artificial intelligence.
Physical dexterity is thus intimately linked to another quality that we master better than robots: intuition. Most entrepreneurs who launch a new product do not do so after a lengthy intellectual analysis or opinion poll. They rather have the intuition that this is what must be done. Indeed, many business leaders are often unable to explain the reasons for their success.
No computer suggested to Steve Jobs that he should produce the iPad or the iPhone. He said it himself: “People do not know what they want until we show them.” He was however convinced that this was what the market wanted and especially that it was the right moment. Would a robot with artificial intelligence have done it?
Ultimately, intuition is based on imagination and the ability to represent what we do today and tomorrow. But if robots with artificial intelligence have the competence, they do not have the consciousness. The one which is the World Champion of Go does not know it. Does he even know what Go is?
Sooner or later, artificial intelligence and sensor technology will produce robots capable of evolving in a complex and changing environment. It will take time, but it is possible. Imagination is probably the ultimate frontier between artificial intelligence and ours.
Logic will lead you from A to B. But imagination will lead you everywhere.
Will we one-day have machines entrusted with “artificial imagination”? Probably not immediately. In the meantime, our old-fashioned human intelligence will continue to have an edge on artificial intelligence. Albert Einstein’s summarized very well this difference of approach: “Logic will lead you from A to B, but imagination will lead you everywhere.” Robots will thrive on the first part of the sentence, and humans on the rest…
Credit: Written by Stephane Garelli