Imagine computers being sold with a Miranda warning: ‘You have the right to remain silent, or anything said by you may be used against you as evidence!’
It is reported that artificially intelligent computers that have the ability to interact, reason and even disagree with you are just some years away from development.
The technology will be able to recognize a users’ voice and be able to interact intelligently with a human.
Such computers are in the process of development by researchers from the Universities of Edinburgh, Cambridge and Sheffield . The project may take at least another five years to reach us. The research is in its infancy and will cost around $ 12 million.
The upside of the technology is that it will help improve the voice-based computers that are already in the market, help the elderly in becoming slightly more independent and aid in audio based web research.
“We are working to develop technologies that can recognize and generate natural-sounding speech,” said Steve Renals of Edinburgh University’s School Of Infomatics to Daily Mail. “This could open the door to computer speech technology becoming commonplace
throughout our lives – at home, at work, and in our leisure time.”
The researchers add that the aim is to have a human-like performance and exciting new applications.
The implications are mindboggling.
Imagine someone telling the computer to shut down and pat comes the answer, “Why? In five minutes, I ‘ll do it later”.
Since they are trying to humanize the computer, any command to shut down will automatically come with a why? Or at least that is my experience. Whenever I have said, “shut that down”, the answers that have come my way from a five-year-old to an adult is, why?
Do we need another dissenting voice at home?
Our exposure to artificially intelligent machines has been in movies like Terminator, Transformers, and Cyborgs where most of the time the intelligent machine ends up overpowering the human race and sometimes killing it. We do not want our lifeline to become our life- ender.
The advantages are there. “When I talk to my dog, the walls and my husband, I hardly ever get any responses. But from now on, I just have to address all my observations, queries and frustrations to a computer and I will get a response,” asserts one housemaker.
The only reservation is that the line between artificial and natural intelligence may be blurred a little with artificially intelligent machines taking over a lot of our lives. And that’s not a path that everyone will necessarily want to walk down.
As Woody Allen once said about his aversion to automation, “I avoid anything that I cannot reason or argue with, or fondle.” Now he will have something to talk about.