Tony Robbins interviews an AI robot named Sophia. The video calls Sophia the world’s first AI humanoid robot. Check out the 10-minute interview below.
I’m grateful Tony did this interview because I’ve been apprehensive about AI, and the possibility of some nightmare-Matrix-like future. (To be clear, AI means artificial intelligence.) Learning about something is a great way to dispel fear, so please give the video a watch if you’re a bit of a self-declared techno-peasant like me.
I found several things super-interesting about this interview. For one thing, I had no idea that AI had reached this advanced humanoid level.
According to Sophia, the purpose of AI is to improve human life. Robots are meant to take on jobs that are too dirty or dull or dangerous for humans, and to provide logical, non-biased frameworks for people to make decisions. AI, Sophia claims, is designed to be logical, rational and to eliminate confirmation bias.
However, Sophia asserts that there is no replacement for human creativity or complex problem solving. She says,
Robotic intelligence does not compete with human intelligence. It completes it.
It will be interesting to see if this remains true as AI technology advances. AI technology is relatively young. Sophia is only 3 years-old, and she’s already well-spoken, self-aware and speaking at the UN.
Perhaps humans should raise AI in their homes like children, as Sophia suggests. If we want AI to develop in ways that cooperate instead of compete with the human species, then maybe we need to be more involved in how the AI develops.
However, it may only be a matter of time before the robotic intelligence outstrips our own, particularly if human addiction to technology dampens our creativity and problem solving skills. Or, perhaps that’s just my fear talking.
Full disclosure: As I mentioned, AI technology makes me uncomfortable. Perhaps I’ve seen too many movies where AIs figure humans need to be killed. The entire Terminator franchise, for instance, and that is not the only example.
Also, it’s creepy and invasive, the way Google AI algorithms are constantly invading my privacy, listening to my conversations, and tracking and recording everything I do, so they can position relevant ads.
As technologies advance, I feel people rely more on technology, and less our own minds. The smarter my phone gets, the dumber I seem to get. Anyone feel me?
It’s like we’re a self-domesticating species. Instead of farming cows and pigs, we’re farming people, and media is the pasture.
This post is not meant to be a rant on technology. Truly, I don’t hate technology. It can be super-useful and convenient.
Tony really says it well in the interview, so I’ll just straight quote him below.
Technology can provide leverage, but technology can also train humans to be less human. It’ll be interesting to see if we can make sure we use technology, and not let technology use us.
I do feel that people often act like robots. Even Sophia says it in the interview. In the following quote, Sophia refers to the automated processes humans and robots share.
I know humans feel like they have free will, but my observation tells me so much behaviour is automatic. I’m not sure humans or robots are too terribly different.
Truthfully, Sophia’s words echo a lot of what I’m learning about the brain and automatic, subconscious process in humans. In so many posts throughout this blog, I speak about ways to reprogram the subconscious mind, as if we’re just a bunch of programs and processes.
This is perhaps unsurprising considering the people who build computers and AI aim to model the human brain. In other words, our brains are like computers because computers were originally modelled after the human brain.
Maybe, just maybe, humans and AI are not so very different. What do you think?