– SIRI, are you Weak or Strong AI?
“I will even outperform humans in some tasks, like selecting the best Mexican restaurant in town; but I’m Weak AI, because even if I’m able to carry out many different tasks, it will always be within a particular context.”
– But, does that mean that you’re smarter than the humans you outperform?
“Definitely not, outside my defined areas of application I will not understand certain ideas that humans grasp without effort.”
We can agree that all AI developed today is Weak, just because their applications are very specific, that is, they’re able to make decisions and solve problems in a very precise and limited area.
On the other hand, if we fully develop the Strong AI concept, we would arrive to Artificial SuperIntelligence (ASI) at some point, for the simple reason that a system that doesn’t have the physical limitations that humans do (carbon-based life, our skull limits our brain’s size…) it will be able to learn more and, at some point, acquire consciousness and overcome human thinking capacities.
This is a highly controversial idea that engendered ethical and philosophical debates, since it’s very complex to understand and explain what consciousness is. Another delicate angle is protecting humans: what if these machines learn to control us in the same way that we do with animals? Scary, right? If they are more capable than us, what jobs will we carry out? It would be nice to have unlimited vacations but, what will happen to the global economy?
Let’s not freak out just yet. We still don’t live in Chappie or I Robot (two sci-fi, AI-related movies that we highly recommend you to watch!) Thankfully the use of AI so far has helped us improve our life standards. We should, nonetheless, open a profound debate around AI, where we want to direct it and how far to go down that road… some are predicting ASI to be around in just 60 years as Weak AI is today…