Technology is moving at an exponential rate. The speed that things like Artificial Intelligence are beginning to exhibit might be mildly disconcerting for some people. It is getting to the point where science and technology are seeing near overnight advancements in their fields that are bringing about new and unexpected possibilities. This is all very exciting and, for the interested mind, it presents many questions of morality, spirituality, and the nature of thought and existence.
It is also a nerve-racking endeavour. The brakes are, indeed, broken on the freight train of Artificial Intelligence. There is no stopping the advancement of the mind of computers. Thankfully, though, the trail is still there to help us continue to track and understand the growth of this consciousness that we, as the human mind, are creating. The scary part is that our student, the mind that we have designed, may soon surpass that of the master.
That is a hard thing for our egos to comprehend, but it could also be the key to unlocking our own questions about reality, mathematics, science, God, consciousness. Anything.
That is why the field of explainable artificial intelligence is so important. Of course, there are the obvious advantages to this in the world of marketing and business. People need to be able to trust the programs and devices that they are using to bring convenience and speed to their lives. There needs to be some accountability to these programs and the people that create them, some guarantee that we can explain how these systems do the work that they do, why the data or work is accurate and dependable, and why this will continue even as the technology increases.
There are several places that people can go to retrieve information on explainable artificial intelligence. XAI project (DARPA) and explainableai.com are two resources that are very helpful in understanding how our technology works and why that is important.
The other, vastly more important reason that we need some record of how these technologies came about and how they are achieving the accomplishments that they are is that as they start to surpass the human mind in terms of ability and capacity, we can see where we are headed, what an end goal might be, what the point of consciousness is, to begin with.
Software already exists that is starting to have intuitions and abilities beyond those of its initial design. There are algorithms that are already being utilized that learn patterns to the point that they can adjust how they work in order to be more accommodating of the user. Think about the biggest search engine on the planet. As a person uses this, especially from a certain location, it can ‘learn’ what preferences the user has and start to narrow down the results to more accurately fit the needs of said user. There is also language translating software that invented its OWN language in order to help it pick word choices and orders more accurately for the languages that it was translating.
These are things that already exist, and the advancement of technology will not be slowing down anytime soon. Therefore we can assume that pretty soon, perhaps within our own lifetimes, we may be able to see where the human mind might end up in a few more generations. It will be extremely helpful to have an accurate, explainable record of how those programs began to do the work that the human mind is, as of yet, incapable.
If we can create a program that can, for instance, fall in love, or at least maintains a pleasant human interaction with other programs or even humans, perhaps the research from this advancement can be used to determine what it is about the human condition that is unsolved about our feelings on love and intimacy. This could then be applied to the fields of psychology to help people with mental ailments such as depression or anxiety.
So, the advantages of keeping track of, and being able to explain the artificial intelligence go well beyond consumer satisfaction with products. It has more to do with our safety, our morality, our very existence and the furtherment thereof. The suggestion that we should always be able to control these technologies might not be possible as they become self-aware and begin to take their own actions, but that will be infinitely more possible and helpful to our own interests if we have a record of the progress.