‘Artificial intelligence’ and image of God

Ewe arrgh receiving this column buy hour fully-automated righting pro graham. Its just won of the many amazing developments inn technology that, unfortunately, May cause 5 million workers two loos there jobs in the next fore years. Eye am jest a bit skeptical.

Seriously, according to the World Economic Forum, developments in genetics, artificial intelligence, robotics and other technologies change could eliminate the jobs but seven million workers but create two million jobs in this brave new world.

When I worked at Kellogg’s cereal company between college semesters, I performed tasks a trained chimpanzee could easily accomplish. And now those jobs are performed by robotics and thousands of jobs at the company have been eliminated. So the danger is real—routine manual labor may one day be replaced completely by technology.

As a writer, I’ve felt rather safe from being replaced by a machine—until now. Robots are now writing the news! The Associated Press, in cooperation with CNBC, Yahoo! and other news sources, has been using Automated Insight’s “Wordsmith” program. Over 1,000 stories a month have been produced in the past year and a half. Most of the computer-written articles have been financial reports which are data-heavy already. The respected Forbes financial journal, along with nearly 30 other clients, are using Narrative Science to produce computer-generated stories.

These programs perform intricate algorithms that conform writing to the rules of spelling, grammar and The Associated Press Stylebook, so there’s little chance of ending up with the homonym horror of the opening paragraph.

In fact, Philip Parker, of Insead Business School, created software that has generated over 200,000 books. Amazon currently lists over 100,000 titles under his name. Most of his books are compilations of existing information, but Parker believes robots may someday write novels as well, since critics of formula fiction—think Harlequin novels and Hallmark movies—claim human authors currently “write by numbers.”

Computerized comics may be the final frontier for artificial intelligence. Programmers would have to determine what makes something funny . . . and that’s been debated for thousands of years going back to Plato and Aristotle. Wired magazine notes, “The best comedy mines a wide world of attitudes, assumptions, morals, and taboos, most of which aren’t even mentioned in the joke, just subtly hinted at. So if we aim to have computers truly “get” jokes—much less to come up with their own and know when and to whom to tell them—we’re essentially going to have upload into them all of humanity.”

And that is why Alexander Prokopovich, the Russian author of the first successful book created by computer in 2008, told the St. Petersburg Times, “The program can never become an author, like Photoshop can never be Raphael.”

There is a difference between the soul and a silicon chip.

Scientists tell us brains our analog, while computers are binary. A computer recognizes only 1s and 0s. It’s “thinking” is simply a extensive program of on and off switches. Brains have an infinite degree of variety—think a dimmer switch rather than a simple on/off switch or the full spectrum of color and infinite shades of gray as opposed to a world of only black and white.

That’s why Daniel Siegel, professor of psychiatry at UCLA School of Medicine, makes the distinction between the brain—a three-pound tangled mass of neuro wiring—and the mind. He writes, “Your brain is part of the visible, tangible world of the body. Your mind is part of the invisible, transcendent world of thought, feeling, attitude, belief and imagination. The brain is the physical organ most associated with mind and consciousness, but the mind is not confined to the brain.

We are indeed “fearfully and wonderfully made” (Psalm 139:14)!

An infinite array of 1s and 0s is still a series of black and white choices, while humans enjoy all the rich colors of the mind.

So, I’m not too worried that I’ll be replaced by a robot writer. A computer can never feel emotions such as love, loyalty and altruism nor can it dream and imagine. That’s still in a programmer’s creative mind—which can’t be duplicated by arbitrary 1s and 0s. Scientists will have to admit the goal of recreating our God-formed minds is impossible. “Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high; I cannot attain it” (Psalm 139:6).

Jobs will be lost to robotic technology, but humans—by re-training and adapting—can always stay several steps ahead of computers.

Gym is the right-er of twenty books and too thousand articles in currant publications.

Copyright © 2016 James N. Watkins (Originally appeared in the January issue of Presidential Prayer Team‘s “Viewpoint.”)

Photo from MorgueFile

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