5.1 Defining and redefining what makes us human
Whether it’s been science, philosophy, or artificial intelligence, humans have always found ourselves at odds with our existences. Why do we exist?
Many have tired to approach this question with varying degrees of illumination. It also fuels us to continuously push the boundry of science to uncover the truth of the world and ourselves.
But there are still more questions than there are answers. Artificial intelligence has become a salient mirror just as the industrial revolution made us realise what type of work “humans” can do and should be doing, and therefore illuminates what we valued as humans.
We moved away from the endlessness of the question of why are we here and immediately moved to what Bourdieu called Distinction.
What makes us different?
Of all the sciences that have begin to answer the question, progress in the field of philosophy, neurobiology, computer science, artificial intelligence, primatology, anthropology, and sociology have all played a role in thinning the line between us and others i.e. animals just as Netwonian physics have told us that we may not be alone, that we may not be the centre of the universe. Monkeys with tools, dolphins and casual sex, elephans and their endless memory, and the bees way of social organising shortened our view of humans as distinct.
But as Ernest Becker has said, we are half animal and half symbolic and so we find ourselves valuing what is seems more abstract and less grounded in the flesh. However, despite the complexity of the issue, it never discourages us from seeking the truth.
Descarte and Aristole came to similar conclusion about the question. What makes us human is our ability to reason, to detached ourselves from our feelings and to rationalize. As Aristotle said,the essence of a man is to know and to desire to know. Man, by his rational intellect, is meant to seek truth and to understand the reality in which he exists.
Our intellect also endows us the ability to manipulate symbols i.e. language. Our language and memory allow us to create and maintain the culture from one generation to another. It certainly discriminate us from other species.
However, it does not fully solve our problems. We are certainly more than just our intellect.
More precisely, some scientists may argue intellect could be considered as one crutial element of the ‘Mind’. Alongside intellect, we also have our human ‘will’ which illumates our ability to choose and to act. They work parallely to support our decision making. We use our ability to reason, to distinguish right from wrong, and to quickly adapt our behavior in a novel environment. We could be considered as one of most adaptive and flexible animals on earth.
But what is mind? We will in parallel other scientists looked to Darwin and a more biological view of intelligence.
As the studies on the nervous system became more and more advances, we moved from psychological theory grounded in observational research to looking at networks of neurons and how they react to certain stimulus. This leads to neuroscience which was slowly unearthing the mechanism and the power of our central nervous system, the key to our most profound features i.e. our cognition, thinking, reasoning, perceiving, emotion/feelings, and learning and memory.
This would eventually lead to the cognitive revolution where the scientists from different fields came to study the brain and mental activitiy happening in ourselves and other animals. It is obvious now, that this would lead to a want to emulate the central nervous system and possibly cultivate intelligence from there.
5.1.3 The rise of Artificial Intelligence
Can we emulate the brain and would that then give us keys to intelligence? Could that give us the answer to conciousness?
AI seemed as an adaquate approach to answer such questions. We still only know very little about how we reason, learn, and experience everyday life. By applying and experimenting our learning with AI, we harvest a swifter progress towards the truth of intelligence.
At the current consilience point of the history, we can see AI as two tracks, applied AI, and philosophical AI. The former deals with cerating industrial applications to benefit us and the latter is around understanding and breeding intelligence.
It now becomes clear for us that AI is both a tool and a mirror. The hype will always exist because we do not know what makes us human and what we can and cannot emulate. AI has a chance at being a tool we can use to make the world better or worse, and it also gives us a mirror into ourselves, the mystery of intelligence and what it means to exist.
5.2 Thinking and Reasoning
Logic and AI has a long and interwined history. Dating back to 300 BC through the present, major figures across diverse fields as philosophy, sociology, economics, and mathematics have looked to reasoning as a salvation to methodological issues as well as philosophical ones. Many then and now see logic as the key to pushing man from lowly animal to symbolic and intellectual man. And so started the science of logic and reasoning.
%connect peoplewith the otherperson not just thelist of events
Aristotle (384-322 BCE), as one of the first pioneers in developing the subject of logic, he set out to conduct the formal study of what is now known as ‘formal logic’. He called humans “animal rationale”, in his treatise,
%On the Soul, who saw humans as distinguised by their rationality, proposed the syllogism; Which was one of the first formulations of logic around 300 B.C. found in the Organon.
In 1275, Ramon Llull, a spanish Theologian wrote the Ars Magna (Art of Finding Truth), which provided a method based in logic to produce new knowledge.
%connectedback to labniz
Followed their footstep, Rene Descartes also came up with one of the best-known quotations in philosophy:“Cogito, ergo sum” (“I think, therefore I am”). Besides being a ‘rational’ philosopher, his contribution to mathematics was also of the first order, he is the inventor of Cartesian coordinate system and the founder of analytics geometry which has laid the foundation of the later developed calculus and mathematical analysis.=
%add the even pf rene insteadof thesummary
Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz (1646-1716), along with Rene Descartes, was a major figure in the Continental Rationalism movement. His contributions to logic were perhaps the most important between Aristotle and the later extended model symbolic logic. As the inventor of calculus, and as the discoverer of the binary system. He suggested that a universal calculus of reasoning could be devised which would provide an automatic method of solution for all problems which could be expressinged in the universal language.
%add tje principle of mathematics
Symbolic logic was not fully developed until the invention of Boolean Algebra. As the inventor of the Boolean Algebra, George Boole (1815-1864) is also a philosopher and logician who proposed that: > No general method for the solution of questions in the theory of probabilities can be established which does not explicitly recognise, not only the special numerical bases of the science, but also those universal laws of thought which are the basis of all reasoning, and which, whatever they may be as to their essence, are at least mathematical as to their form.
After George Boole, plenty of other well-known logician and mathematicians joined the force to push the development of logic and helped to establish the unshakable status of logic as one of the most important properties of human.
%discovery vs Inventiom
Gottlob Frege (1848-1925) %discovered predicate logic. He is well-acknowledged by many to be the father of analytic philosophy, concentrating on the philosophy of language and mathematics. His work was later brought to the center of the attention by Giuseppe Peano (1858–1932) and Bertrand Russell (1872–1970) and served as the beginning point for an enormous outpouring of work in formal logic.
As the inventor of Turing machine and famous Turing test, Alan Turing is widely considered to be the father of theoretical computer science and artificial intelligence. The Turing machine that he designed is a mathematical model of computation which is capable of simulating that algorithm’s logic can be constructed.
%rewrite the alanturing story and events and highly correlatedwith logic
Claude Shannon (1916-2001) is noted for having founded information theory with a landmark paper, A Mathematical Theory of Communication, that he published in 1948. He is, perhaps, equally well known for founding digital circuit design theory in 1937, when—as a 21-year-old master’s degree student at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)—he wrote his thesis demonstrating that electrical applications of Boolean algebra could construct any logical numerical relationship
All of those people have brought logic to life and step by step helped the invention of the early computer and the birth of AI.