Will Artificial Intelligence Ever Be Possible?

By Marcy Kennedy (@MarcyKennedy)

From Data in Star Trek, to David in A.I.: Artificial Intelligence, to the cylons in Battlestar Galactica, we seem to be fascinated by the idea of robots who can think for themselves. (And the implications of that for our survival as a species.)

Scientists have made great advances in creating more adaptive code for their robots, in making them look more lifelike, and even in giving them the ability to mimic human facial expressions. Check out this video from the 2009 TED Talks.

But this is still a long way from robots being sentient. No matter how complex their programming, they still abide by it. No robot has been created who, like Data, can exceed the sum of his programming or who, like the cylons, can redesign their own programming and independently build more of their “species.”

So here’s my question for you. Do you think we’ll ever develop true artificial intelligence (in other words, sentient robots), or is this a concept that will forever remain a part of science fiction? More importantly, do you think true artificial intelligence would be beneficial or dangerous?

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