There is no royal road to science and only those who do not dread of its fatiguing climb have a chance of gaining its luminuos summits.
-Karl Marx

Mar 19, 2013

Artificial Intelligence: Artificial and Antihuman Hypothesis!

In 1997, Garry Kasparov a Russian grand chess master and world chess champion was defeated by IBM's super computer named "deep blue" however Garry also defeated the chess machine in a few games. This defeat was projected as if a consciousness superior to man's consciousness has been developed. for this game deep blue used to find and analyse 200 million moves per second,despite this Garry was able to beat the computer in a few games. what are the implications of Kasparov losing to a computer? Are computers going to replace humans? The Newsweek magazine's cover story hailed this match as "the brain's last stand". Thus  Artificial intelligence was said to have ushered as a science that would change the face of the world as we know it. Artificial intelligence is one of the most well researched areas in science and technology in almost every university in the world. But the way this subject is taught is incorrect. Artificial intelligence and artificial consciousness is deemed to be capable of performing every human activity and replacing humans from every sphere of work. Nobel laureate Herbert A. Simon, who got the Nobel in Economics in 1978 said that artificial intelligence will replace humans from every field. Peter Norvig, the director of research at Google Inc. calls  human consciousness incapacious and to rectify its handicaps he suggests developing  better thinking machines that will be superior to human consciousness. But scientists have quashed these claims as mere speculation. All these hypothesis are anti-human and outcomes of the current system. They are an incongruous amalgam of idealism and empiricism. It is clear beyond any doubt that no rational  sensible scientist or intellectual in their right minds will pay the least heed to these hokum hypotheses.
Such hollow speculations are not only limited to the field of cognitive science rather these are prevalent in every field of knowledge. This is a widespread phenomena. In every domain of life the victory of machines over mankind, and the triumph of artificial consciousness over man is being fancied. Why? Nature is annotated in science. Only a modest part of the the reality is reflected in the images of stars or the earth that we perceive through our eyes. The Space and Earth have been continually observed and interpreted over the past 4000 years by millions of humans. From Plato to Kepler in the ancient times to Stephen hawking and other contemporary scientists of today, all have endeavored to provide a better picture of the earth, stars and the universe at large. Human knowledge grows from the perceptional level to  conceptual knowledge, a requisite amount of cognition and perception essentially lead to a conceptual accumulation of knowledge. During this process of development of knowledge a lot of human perceptions turn out to be in-accurate and it is through this process of trial and error the human mind learns the intricacies of various subjects and enriches art, literature,natural science etc. The entire human history is the history of mans collective behaviour and toil. The history of natural science is connected to both  the human productive forces and production relations. This has also been perpetually developing, however there are times when for a long period science remains comparatively stagnant in its growth. The economy of a society lays down the basis for the existence of all forms of ideologies. The scientists too cannot remain immune of these ideologies which influence how they analyze knowledge. "Before man could function as a physicist he had to live as a man ,ans not as an abstract man ,but as a real man in a certain society. If we take modern physics,beginning with Galileo and Bacon, then the physicist was a man who had to live as a member of bourgeois society before he could function as a physicist"(Christopher Caudwell). Due to wrong or biased judgment facts are not analyzed in the right scientific manner for a long time. After a prolonged  fierce struggle of rebuttals and ambushes does the Natural science take the direction of right approach. This direction is that of Dialectics. Nowadays bourgeois science instead of having a dialectical approach takes the recourse of accidental flukes, and this is the reason of its sluggish and tardy growth. This decadence is a characteristic of the bourgeois society. This ephemeralness is associated with every field just a like a spider's web.
There is a crisis in every field of knowledge and science .In reality the entire tenet of artificial intelligence is one of the outcomes of  the crookedness of the bourgeois society and its economic basis. the present write up is a critique of this hypothesis and its main arguments. first and foremost we will impinge on its political prejudices and conclusions. Its dissection from there on will become rather effortless. The perplexed nature of today's experiments and bourgeois scientists will also shed light on the retrogressive bourgeois society. Many physicists and philosophers like Roger Penrose, Naom Chomsky, Hurbert Dreyfus have also castigated artificial intelligence but most of them either analyze the technical aspects of artificial intelligence (mainly on the basis of Godel's incompleteness theorems which state that knowledge is relative) or they proceed with a pure idealist perspective. Without the compass of Marxist methodology these scientific speculations and the experiments being done to quantify them are wandering in the haze of uncertainty and chance.

The Politics surrounding artificial intelligence
The rise of capitalism took place in an era when for the first time heavy machinery was being employed for the large scale production of goods. Steam engine,printing,computer,aeroplanes  are the inventions of this era and this was also the era when the forces of labour and Capital kept colliding with one another. On one hand mechanization enhanced the level of productivity of labour and on the other it sent a large population out of work ,unemployed who were forcibly displaced from their homes and land. By the use of machines the capitalist is able to improve and enhance the productivity of labour and procure more produce in a shorter period of time than without the machines. The capitalist is then able to extract surplus value out of the labour .Through mechanization the capitalists continually try to decrease the cost of production and augment their profits. Due to competition in the market this tendency of exploiting the labour transforms into a mindless lust because only those capitalists can survive in the market who out smart and out run others in the battle of prices,i.e. who are able to curtail the prices. And only those capitalists can keep the prices low who keep their cost of production to a minimum which is possible by the use of machines and automation to enhance the productivity of  labour eventually laying off the laborers that is reducing man power and increasing machine power. This greed transforms into insanity, and gives birth to many hypotheses in the bourgeois world. it reaches to a fantasy where robots replace the laborers in a factory. This argument is what it is, a mere fantasy and the subsequent part of the article will demolish it into bits but for the moment we shall proceed with it. The artist, politician,economist, or scientist in a Bourgeois society imagines a machinery that will consistently increase the profits and will relieve the humans of the mental and corporal work involved in production. This hypothesis is called "Technological unemployment" in economics, about which different economists have a different view. Going by this argument what will happen is that instead of humans ,robots will work in factories. A large proportion of the population will be thrown out of work and a handful of capitalists will exploit Earth's wealth. or else after some time better machines will replace the capitalists and dominate the world. What an absurd Thought! But its just an imagination. First of all its a fantasy, a rather ridiculous one though and even if this fantasy is believed to be true than the unemployed masses will rebel against this system. This fantasy presents machines in form of an unbeatable force which the humans cant fight against. But it always overlooks the fact that David defeated Goliath with a staff and sling. One can get a clear glimpse of the germs of this hypothesis in  novels,poems,films,songs and other forms of superstructures that the bourgeois society advocate. Novels like Issac Asimov's Robot Series and films like I- Robot ,Matrix, A.I. etc are concrete manifestations of the economic thirst that fuels this fantasy. The economic basis of every system builds favorable superstructure compatible with it, that prove to be useful in its growth and progress. Since ancient time magic and witchcraft served the purpose of keeping the man's consciousness glued to the economic base. The very purpose of Artificial intelligence is also the same. This scientific hypothesis supports the economic base of the capitalist society and raises a doubting eye on labour ,negates the peoples opposition and vulgarizes its invincible glory. Capitalism pitches humans against their own creation,this fantasy pitches humans against machines and makes the creation look unconquerable. Its an irony that on one hand this system keeps millions of people unemployed,hungry, and renders their able bodies and minds inactive and on the other hand invests money in a technology that will build "conscious possessing robots" that can substitute humans. What does common sense say?what does a sane argument say? Is is not a simple but disturbing logic that 5.8 million tonnes of grain rots and turns foul in warehouses in a country where every day 9,000 children die due to malnutrition and hunger. Is it not idiocy?? A super computer is not required to solve this question that is capable of thinking of 2000 moves per second. Since the second world war this has been present just as a hypothesis. Now we shall proceed and analyze the argument that causes the generalization of this human creation to a degree that this abstract creation comes to life.

The Philosophy of artificial intelligence

The concept of artificial intelligence came into being after the Second world war. Governments of many Capitalist nations invested money in this field. The main basis of artificial intelligence is Turing Computational Principle .The human nervous system has been endeavored to be studied with a very inferior system. In 1950 Turing in his paper named "Computing Machinery and intelligence" laid the basis of artificial intelligence. The famous Turing test, the test of a machines intelligence was presented in this paper. During the 1950's scientists like John Mc-Carthy, Marvin Minsky, Neville, Simon etc. did extensive work in this field. This was the same period during which a search for a machine that could translate Russian articles was on in America  so that it can access all possible  information about Sputnik. But the search collapsed soon. Artificial intelligence did not meet the expectations and in 1973 on the recommendation of Lighthill report the research on artificial intelligence was banned everywhere in England except for three universities(university of Edinburgh, Sussex and Essex). Latter in 1982 a lot of investment was done into the research on artificial intelligence that again dissolved in 1988. But in the following years the investment again started to be pumped into the research in this field which lead to the invention of many computers that were successful in performing the tasks assigned by humans. The concept of artificial intelligence was extensively exploited in research estimation, surgical operations,logistics,computer games,play station,data mining,space ships, weaponry, Google search engine and other search engines. But inspite a research of  70 years the hypothesis of a conscious machine has not yet come to life and neither it ever will, no matter how much hue and cry Peter Norvig creates about it. This is not baseless statement. The reasons backing this view against a conscious machine are present on scientific and philosophical level. Philosophical view is a generalization of the scientific view. After all what is artificial intelligence? Its just a computer program in reality. A computer program on the basis of its conditional operators can generate a somewhat fair prognosis about the various possible events. Even the most advanced computers can only forecast a handful of results about the possible circumstances through its mathematical operators. These programs can only work on the basis of the given data, facts and calculations and perform new calculations only on the basis of the provided information. Humans have a power that no computer program can have, that is the power of imagination and emotions. Imagination,emotion,rational logic and  facts all these together form the basis of a majority of decisions. Therefore no advanced program of artificial intelligence can analyze all the possible circumstances holistically. In this way any unimagined, uncalculated but possibly definite situation can cause the computer program to be in a dysfunctional state or in computer terminology it can cause a 'system error'. Will these computers, the software that run them and their algorithms ever be able to think like a human brain? These computers just organize data based on mathematical parameters set by humans in chips made up of silicon and germanium, and extract calculations from them; in the words of Christopher Caudwell "a machine is filled with the label of operatability" i.e. its just a mere reflection of the human methodology of collection of data and its examination. Inspite of increasing the number of silicon and germanium chips in it a computer is capable of doing just this. It cannot think in a dialectical manner like humans. Be it the Deep blue that defeated Kasparov or Norvig's Google search engine!  If the number of squares is increased on the chessboard or the movement of the knight is altered then the computer will loose. In an other board game called "Go" even beginners beat the artificial intelligence. Our Universe is not bound by the laws of these games, matter is perpetually evolving and at every level matter obeys different laws. The only thing that even the most modern and highly advanced computer can perform is to execute the task assigned by humans with maximum accuracy and precision. It is indeed only a reflection of human conscious. Man and the machine cannot be viewed in isolation from one another, machines are a part of mans inorganic world. Computer is a tool of performing mental labour,just like a hammer is a tool for making the physical toil easy. But many scientists profess that they are creating a new consciousness in the form of artificial intelligence and at every step they compare these machines with either animals or humans. Peter Norvig says in his book “Artificial Intelligence: A Modern Approach” that when flight of bird can be simulated by aeroplanes than why not conciousness of human brain? This is idealism. You cannot do whatever you wish. Going by this token one would say lets create a new Earth, why not create a new universe! Anyways lets venture out of fairyland. Citing Hobbes Norvig puts forth the argument that the human brain is just like a calculator in which consciousness enters through mathematical formulas. What is consciousness then? What is color, fragrance, solid, wet, screech etc. Are these mathematical formulas that can be programmed in computer? Human consciousness has been evolving since the last 4000 years, the history of its evolution is history of humanity. It is history of man's subjective and objective world. In reality man can not be isolated into subjective and objective. As Feurbach had said that human is both subject-object. Man's spiritual and material world are unified. It is the dividing line that separates dialectical materialist from a mechanical materialist. Neither machine can understand dialectics nor the mechanical materialist. And this is the very reason why the hypothesis of artificial intelligence is anti-human. It vulgarizes the human essence. It talks about recreating the human essence through a machine. But as Marx said- “The human essence is no abstraction inherent in each single individual. In its reality it is the ensemble of social relations.” This vulgar concept goes against Marxist epistemology. It is not a very difficult task to understand that knowledge is a scientific object that a machine can not comprehend. It can simply imitate. A critical attitude and a dialectical approach is a prerequisite for understanding knowledge. But according the hypothesis of artificial intelligence these machines will not only be better abled to comprehend knowledge but also move a step ahead. It is all gibberish. This hypothesis searches for knowledge in the likes of Plato, Aristotle, Socrates, Hegel, Michelangelo, Einstein and not in collective social experience. It covers the history of human struggle, the process of generation of knowledge through experience and development with a veil of condescension. This idea advocates that elite intellectuals are required to lead the laborious masses and now the artificial intelligence will do this job of leading them. The idea of artificial intelligence is willing to serve the bourgeois state and in reality the softwares developed through artificial intelligence are being employed in surveillance. The hypothesis such as Artificial intelligence reveal the limitations of bourgeois science and its hollowness. What are the computers that developed from the experiments of artificial intelligence in reality? And how will they come handy and into use? Without any doubt ,these computers will increase human productivity, and will lead to the formation of better machines but the detail that needs to be paid attention to,is that in capitalism science is the slave of capital and it will be a servant to the process of making profits. A disgusting example of this idea is a robot based on the concept of artificial intelligence called 'Roxy' whose purpose of being invented is to quench mans sexual thirst. The crisis of capitalism is present on the level of science as well, inspite of this science and technology have been progressing even if at a slow pace. In this scenario science is used in a retarded and deformed way. Science is then used to build warfare weaponry, robots like Roxy, and anti aging medicines. The word artificial intelligence is a misnomer and it doesn't reflects the basic technique accurately. In reality artificial intelligence is nothing but an extension of human consciousness. It is a new stage of automation. Machines can be built in which prognosis of outcomes of a few human tasks can be fed as data ,which can then perform the task of arriving at a result and are indeed being made. But the hypothesis that artificial intelligence laden robots can one day replace humans is a ridiculously foolish dream. Those who do not understand the true nature and character of human consciousness can only believe and pay heed to such ludicrous notions.