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Is intelligence decoupling from consciousness? Where does the development of artificial intelligence lead?

  The question by and an answer to Yuval Noah Harari   One of today's main scientific technological research directions is the implement...

 The question by and an answer to Yuval Noah Harari 

One of today's main scientific technological research directions is the implementation of artificial intelligence. We are witnessing the development of intelligent machine systems (deep learning systems) that use autonomous learning processes. These systems are designed to recognize relationships between data and to make logical deductions based on the recognized relationships. Deep learning systems’ goal is to artificially implement intelligence. 

Deep learning AI systems already outperform humans in many areas. They can recognize things visually more accurately and quickly, learn and control processes more accurately and quickly, and recognize relationships in data sets more accurately and quickly. These capabilities enable AI to control vehicles, make medical diagnoses and play games, among other things, better than humans.  

Where does the development of technology in this area lead? 

Artificial intelligence is already more advanced than many of the human brain's intelligent capabilities, and we are only at the beginning of this development. Human intelligence is becoming increasingly inferior to artificial intelligence, and artificial intelligence is taking over from human intelligence in an increasing number of areas requiring intelligence. It seems that in the area of cognitive ability - the most human ability and the one that has given us the most significant advantage in the evolutionary race - AI is outperforming humans.

There are, of course, areas of the human brain's capabilities that are outside the scope of today's advances in artificial intelligence. This is the capacity for consciousness. We still have no proper model for the artificial implementation of self-awareness. 

Deep learning AI systems appear to be capable of performing all cognitive functions, except the ability to be self-aware, more efficiently than the human brain. The direction of progress is that the intelligence that AI can achieve without the ability of consciousness will become more and more advanced and increasingly superior to human intelligence. 

As AI develops, it will not only surpass humans in cognitive capabilities, but its impact on humans will also become more and more significant. As the quality and quantity of available data increases, AI is having an increasing impact on human life. Through the use of increasingly widespread sensors and the analysis of the data collected, AI is able to recognize human moods based on behavioral data, and is increasingly able to recognize and even predict human intentions and desires with increasing accuracy. More accurately than another human being, and more accurately than the human being itself. By recognizing intentions and wills from the outside, based on data, humans, and even society as a whole become controllable and can be manipulated by artificial intelligence. 

The intelligence achieved by artificial intelligence will become more and more sophisticated, surpassing human intelligence. While this intelligence will develop independently from the self-awareness, it will also be able to influence and control the consciousness. When this happens, it seems that artificial intelligence will dominate our consciousness, artificial intelligence will dominate humans and human society. 

As science evolves, technology artificially implements human capabilities. While this general process takes place, technology not only realizes human capabilities, but also perfects and surpasses them. For example, the invention of the wheel not only helped humans to transport loads, but also made it possible to transport cargo larger than a human can carry, and even led to supersonic and intercontinental transport systems. Practically the same can be said for all scientific technological developments. 

We can see the same development trend in artificial intelligence. Science has created an artificial version of intelligence, which will become more and more sophisticated as it develops, more and more capable of doing what human intelligence cannot do. Technologies have developed in this way and have benefited humanity in the longer term. With new types of technology, social tensions may arise initially, but in the longer term, people and society will adapt to the new possibilities. 

However, the artificial realization of intelligence seems to be of a different nature than the general process of technological development. Intelligence is of a different nature than the artificial and more advanced realization of human capabilities of speed, strength, accuracy, etc. Intelligence is the most advanced human ability. If it can be artificially achieved, humans' intellectual superiority will disappear and humans will become intellectual subordinates of machines. What will happen if artificial intelligence becomes smarter than the human being in everything, and knows our desires and intentions more accurately and recognizes them before we ourselves do? Can the human being still have a functional role in such a society? Will mankind be the beneficiary or the sufferer of this development? 

It must be seen that however advanced the current conceptual deep learning systems become, whatever advanced intelligence they may be capable of, it is not the most basic capability that maintains the dominant role of humans, as in the case of the development of scientific technology so far. It is not the point that artificial intelligence will become smarter than humans. This will happen as machines surpass humans in the capacity for physical strength, the ability to move faster, and in many other areas. It's all about who and what they want to use that capability for. The most important aspect is the goal, the most important role is the intention and the will. The real question is whether and what it wants to do with the intelligence capability of an artificially realized, more advanced version of intelligence than humans. Is artificial intelligence, based on current principles, capable of replacing humans in the areas of intention and will, in the definition of the goal to be achieved? 

Intention and will are fundamentally linked to consciousness, to the ability to be self-aware. Artificial intelligence without self-consciousness, however advanced, does not have independent intention and free will to set goals. A machine without intention and will, however intelligent, will not control mankind, even if it knows its intention and will better than humans themselves. Control requires intention and will, which is a consequence of consciousness. Current artificial intelligence does not generate intention and will, only perhaps recognize it. And by doing so, it is actually assisting humans in the realization of human's will, just as all other technology helps humans. Current artificial intelligence, based on deep learning methods, offers humans a tool, as do other technologies. The human's role in setting goals through intention and will remains. There will certainly be a transformation of human society, in ways that we do not even foresee today with the application of AI, but the fundamental role of humans will remain.

There is no doubt that will and consciousness are physical phenomena and can be artificially created by that. However, current artificial intelligence is not progressing in this direction. The current artificial intelligence is becoming more and more sophisticated in intelligence, and by this it seems to be decoupling from the human intelligence of consciousness. But consciousness is not merely an objective in itself. It is essential to the setting of the purpose, the realization of the intention. The current artificial intelligence is not capable of, and does not aim at, the realization of self-will and self-consciousness. 

But progress has not stopped. Research, the development of artificial intelligence, will take us further and will sooner or later lead to the creation of machines with self-awareness. In this process, the point of progress is not that intelligence detaches itself from consciousness and dominates it, but rather that scientific technological progress converges towards the artificial realization of consciousness through the development of artificial intelligence. Then, once we reach that point, we must ask ourselves what is the role of the human being, of humanity, in further progress and evolution.

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