Artificial intelligence: applications and implications
What do computers, cells, and brains have in common? Computers are electronic devices designed by humans; cells are biological entities crafted by evolution; brains are the containers and creators of our minds. But all are, in one way or another, information-processing devices, equivalent to each other, in accordance with the Church-Turing thesis. Recent advances in science and technology, particularly in the fields of artificial intelligence, machine learning and neurosciences, could enable us to create truly intelligent systems sometime in the near future. We can call such systems digital minds, and they would reproduce in a computer the intelligent behavior of the human brain, either by direct emulation or by some other, synthetic, approach. If digital minds come into existence, what will be the social, legal, and ethical implications? Will digital minds be our partners, or our rivals?