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humanity. Being able to create life, not in

the form of a child, but in the form of a

intelligence? computer that is able to think and learn

for lack of better terms. The first Artificial

Artificial Intelligence. The ultimate show
Intelligence (AI) was invented in the early
of the mental prowess and capabilities of

1200s Ismail al-Jazari was the first to create exactly it is to possess intelligent human

a successful and physical version of an behavior. While speaking on the

Artificial Intelligence, that could carry out implementations of AI in Cybernetics,

only the simplest of tasks, such as pouring Bielecki stated that the three most complex

water, or waving a fan to cool a room. aspects of human intelligence is the abilities

However, since the time of al-Jazari, the of communication, cognitive thought, and

definition and requirements of AI have learning. (418-421) Meaning that for a

changed, as defined by Merriam-Websters machine to be classified as an AI, it must be

Random House Websters College able to perform those three tasks of

Dictionary is a branch of computer science communication, cognitive thought, and

dealing with the simulation of intelligent learning. Which then leads to the question

behavior in computers, or the capability of a that has countless scientists in vigorous

machine to imitate intelligent human debate, and has for decades. It is no longer a

behavior (78) Which leaves the question of matter of if, but instead a matter of when

what is intelligent human behavior? computers reach the level of being able to

To this question, Andrzej Bielecki imitate intelligent human behavior will

gave the most suitable definition of just what they, and subsequently should they be

considered alive?


response to the environment. (Webster 783)

essentially stating that if an individual or

being can grow, reproduce, and

respond/adapt to its surroundings and

environment, then it is considered to possess

life. Thus, if an AI had a physical

manifestation, and it could learn and grow

from its past experiences, create more of
For decades, the debate has gone back and itself, and adapt to its environment and
forth, in regards to whether or not computers situations that it might find itself in, then an
should be considered as alive. The question AI would, by definition be alive.
of where computer ends and life begins has Ethically speaking, an AI could be

ravaged by the top minds of the field. considered either a machine that possesses
Debating on the fine line between the consciousness and can think and decide its
definition of what life is, and the ethics of actions for itself, or an actual living being
what life is. that is able to carry out its life learning from
The definition of life is as follows, past decisions, and its mistakes and
the animate existence or period of animate downfalls. (Blow 785)
existence of an individual, or the While the decision may seem fairly
manifestation of growth, a means of cut and dry simple, each opposing opinion
reproduction, and internal regulation in


and stance of the issue has definitive recognition tool that the AI can use to

backing. One of the most challenging communicate and speak with the user.

aspects of the discussion, is how most of the As previously mentioned, Samuel

aspects of debate are only found in has a unique standing on the debate on

hypothetical scenarios, due to the fact and whether or not AI will or should be

reasoning that in the current state of considered as being alive once they reach

technology, there is no AI in known history the point of cognitive thought and reasoning.

that is advanced enough to have reason to Samuel believes that the issue should be

encounter problems such as these. discussed and debated at a later time, a time

Interview,andNewAspects wherein AI are at the point that they could

be considered alive.
I had the opportunity to hold an interview
Samuels opinion brought a third
with an individual who has requested that
party into the decade long debate on AI, one
their name remain anonymous, this
that proposes to simply wait until humanity
individual had several aspects that were
gets to that bridge, then decide whether or
entirely foreign to me. And a resounding
not to cross Samuel stated, because how
opinion that to be quite honest, gave a whole
can you judge whether something is alive or
new aspect to the debate of life in AI.
not before its real. Its like judging someone
This individual, who will hereafter
based only on what they could be, without
be referred to as Samuel, is a professor at a
ever meeting them.
university, where he teaches the basics of
Taking into consideration the new
coding and understanding and to his upper
aspect of the debate, and how we cannot
level students, how to program a speech


ethically judge whether or not AI should be surpass us as humans (this being a

alive before their full potential has been hypothetical scenario, wherein no factual

reached, along with several of the following evidence is yet present) How would the AI

hypothetical scenarios. react? Would it find humanity as inferior, or

AdvancingTooFar would it ally itself with humanity to help

further our technologies. (599) This is one

One of the most interesting scenarios that
of the many concerns that many individuals
both Samuel, as well as Jason Tanz, a writer
have concerning the development and
for Wired Business, both mentioned that
furthering of the power of AI of today, due
there will come to be a point in the evolution
to the self preservation aspect of many
of AI, where we, as its creators will no
possible scenarios.
longer need to code it, much like a parent

raising a child, there is a point in its


existence, where the creator, or parent will Quite possibly the most daunting

not be able to teach any more, and will have obstacle in the development in Artificial

to let the child or AI fail, fall short, and learn Intelligence is the uncertainties that come

for itself. (Tanz 698) along with it, however this was also an issue

This does present the problem that with sending a man to the moon. Unlike the

many fear with the advances being made in shuttle that was sent to the moon, the

Artificial Intelligence, being the matter of development of Artificial Intelligence is not

what happens if the AI that one point as so something that has specific outcomes.

dependant on us as humanity to teach it and It is a similar predicament to

to help it develop and learn, where to attempting to anticipate with one hundred


percent certainty as to how a human will While this darker possibility seems

react in a certain scenario. It simply cannot to be solely fictitious, it is not entirely

be done, there will always be an unexpected impossible. It shows the potential for

variable that will change the reaction of the exactly how powerful an AI could become if

individual. It is the uncertainty of just what it could properly learn from its mistakes, and

AI will do, be it good or be it evil, that make the proper adjustments to correct said

frightens many away from the desire to mistake.

further the research and continuation of the While there certainly are darker

advancement of Artificial Intelligence. Terminator type speculations on just

Along with this uncertainty, there exactly how AI will interact with humanity

comes several misconceptions about just in specific. But there are just as many

exactly what Artificial Intelligence will do. positive speculations, on how much

Mainstream media, also has major say as to humanity could advance with the help of

what people think of and how they react to Artificial Intelligence. How alongside AI,

AI. For example, in the big name movie humanity could flourish into another

The Terminator the AI that humanity industrial revolution, and how much more

originally created developed at such a rate would be accomplished with AI working

that the AI as a whole determined that side by side with people.

humanity was no longer necessary, and that TheRateofAdvancement

the existence of humanity should be
In the recent years, the rate at which
Artificial Intelligence has progressed has

been exponential, going from the mid 1960s


having computers becoming more This is one of the largest steps in the

mainstream and very limited in their advances in AI research since voice

computing and processing power, to the year recognition software was first implemented.

2016, when the most advanced Artificial

Intelligence to date was capable of taking

risks and was found to possess cognitive


This result was determined in pitting

the AI, named DeepStack, equipped with the

latest version of its risk taking and

evaluating software, against some of the

worlds best poker players, in a game of


Heads-Up No-Limit Texas holdem. 44,000 Overall, the prospect of Artificial

games of poker to be specific. Through Intelligence holds much promise. And

these thousands upon thousands of hands of should be seen not as a threat to humanity,

poker, the AI was able to demonstrate a but instead as a tool, associate, and a

level of cognitive thought, wherein it triumph to have given thought and

weighed the risks of winning and losing consciousness to a machine.

increasingly large sums of money with each The decade long debate will not

hand. (Schmid 1-34) come to a halt, anytime soon. It will likely

not be resolved before computers have


reached the point where considering them to that they should be considered alive, they

be alive would actually be a feasible notion. should, and because it is no longer a matter

In the simple words of a College of if computers and Artificial Intelligence,

Student, I believe that in the most unbiased but instead a matter of when, I firmly believe

mindset should an Artificial Intelligence be that each individual should decide for

able to imitate intelligent human behavior themselves as to what their opinion is

regarding the life of a machine.

Above is a chart on the expected growth and

advances for fields of work that would be highly

benefited from the use of Artificial Intelligence


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