Edited By Hülya Yaldir and Güncel Önkal
What is our responsibility as scholars in the Humanities and Social Sciences in the face of global issues threatening humanity today? This book provides a platform for an interdisciplinary, cross-cultural dialogue among philosophers and sociologists on the most pressing global issues facing humanity today. Combining the critical thinking of philosophy with sociological methods and researches, this volume offers fresh and stimulating perspectives with regard to various issues including environmental degradation, democracy, gender and economic inequalities, religion, war and peace.
Wisdom and Artificial Intelligence
We are living in an era of Scientific Enlightenment in which an incredible technological development is changing everything in our lives. At this point, past decades of scientific and IT developments have produced great comforts of life and easy access to knowledge. Today, there is an alarming call, “The Robots are coming! Artificial Intelligence is coming!”. No doubt, science produces greater knowledge, enhances our understanding of the world and the universe, but the important point is, does it help enhance our wisdom? We know it is with wisdom that human beings understand how to ethically use the scientifically developed instruments for the benefit of mankind. Scientists working on artificial intelligence are discovering ways to equip the digital computers with a brain performing as the human brain. It seems possible that scientists might discover a way or a process of uploading all that exists in an individual’s brain such as memory, perception, emotion, experience, consciousness, and maybe wisdom also as an artificial neural network or mind-transferring from a biological brain to a computational device. Some scientists believe that theoretically it would be possible that a person’s brain can be scanned, mapped, and its activities transferred to a computer hard drive. If this process becomes practicable, computers would be able to respond in the same way as the biologically evolved human brain. Since human brain is not a digital computer but a highly sophisticated neural network, a technological prospect of wisdom is still utopian. Its neural networks are collections of hundred billions of neurons that constantly rewire and reinforce themselves after accomplishing a new task. The biological brain’s neural network requires no programming which performs with a hundred billion neurons firing instantly to accomplish a single task to learn and create something new. A digital computer has a fixed architecture having a devised operating system. Therefore, the crucial questions before us are: Can artificial intelligence create or help us receive or discover wisdom? Can future super-computer be equipped with a wisdom chip to propound spontaneously and wisely as an incomputable and unpredictable situation demands?←189 | 190→
2 Social cognition and scientific rationalism
Throughout the history of mankind there are two phenomena that have shaped human life and have virtually changed the whole mankind. One is human wisdom which proliferated philosophy—a composite of two Greek words, philos (love) and sophia (wisdom), meaning love of wisdom—and the other is the development of natural sciences. Both the social idealism of moral and ethical cognition, and the scientific rationalism are the perceptions of human intellectualism. Man’s evolution and his search, starting from his need to live a comfortable and well protected life to his exploration of the universe, has been the subject of science. But the belief about how life should be lived, what men and women should be, and how to treat one another, emerge from moral enquiry and human wisdom. Though the great achievement of man is the development of science and technology, it is the ideological conceptions that have altered the way of life. Without science, humans would have been living in natural habitat, a life like all other animals. But without wisdom they would have been uncivilized barbarians, not curious about where they came from, how they came to be where they are, and where they seem to be going. The wisdom that philosophy teaches relates to what it might mean to lead a life. In pursuit of the ideal life, human wisdom displays ethics and morality, setting out a systematic examination of the relations of human beings to each other, about how life should be lived, when and how ethics and morality are applied to the society. One of the instincts leading humans to philosophy is evident in their quest to know more and more about life and the universe. Its subject became investigation of fundamental principles that can be used to understand mankind and its responsibilities in this life through rational and scientific inquiries. Up till the end of twentieth century, philosophy led mankind to the pursuit of science which was understood through philosophical cognition. With the advent of twenty-first century, as humans have taken a big leap in the development of science and technology, philosophy is being understood through science. In the present era of our history the grand role of philosophy as the supreme form of intellectual life, the queen of sciences, the chronicler of time and eternity, the guide of religious or worldly life, seems to have been overtaken by science.
Stephen Hawking, the author of A Brief History of Time argued that fundamental questions about the nature of the universe today could not be resolved without hard data such as that currently being derived from the “Large Hadrons Collider” and space research. While speaking at Google’s Zeitgeist Conference in Hertfordshire, he said, “Most of us don’t worry about these questions most of the time, but almost all of us must sometimes wonder: Why are we here? Where ←190 | 191→do we come from? Traditionally, these are questions for philosophy, but philosophy is dead.” He further said, “Philosophers have not kept up with modern developments in science, particularly physics. Scientists have become the bearers of the torch of discovery in our quest for knowledge, and new theories lead us to a new and very different picture of the universe and our place in it.” But “philosophy is dead” is perhaps, a bold statement by the great scientist, which is rather in itself a testimony of wisdom and philosophical judgment. When we use science we use reason, when we use reason we use philosophy. Therefore, philosophy is not dead. Without philosophy Stephen Hawking could not have become a man of wisdom and a famous scientist as he is today. He might be reminding us of Aristotle’s saying, “Wisdom must be intuitive reasoning combined with scientific knowledge.” However, to adapt a quotation by Emmanuel Kant in a related context is a befitting answer: “Philosophy without scientific input is empty, while science without philosophical guidance is blind.” Today philosophers argue that development of artificial intelligence (AI) should not be seen as a change in philosophy’s cognitive role of a subject of human brain’s intellectual approach, nor it is to be understood as a gradual alienation from man’s life in favour of science. But we need to know: is it an act of progressive transformation of philosophy actualized by the immense scientific revolution in the world? Or, is it going to be the greatest crisis of human history when artificial intelligence—a development of the computer system capable to perform tasks that normally require human intelligence—surpasses human intelligence that we will have science without wisdom?
3 What is wisdom?
Before we deal with the subject of artificial intelligence, it is important to know what wisdom is and what its relation with science is. Wisdom, incited by human insight, is a golden-ticket tour of the human mind in all its dimensions. Knowing oneself is the beginning of all wisdom. It makes us know not to take second step before realizing at our first step that there are things we cannot and should not do, even if we have full knowledge of everything. Wisdom is higher than all knowledge, is ineffable to illustration, unintelligible to an intellect, unutterable in any word, unlimited by any limit, and un-affirmable by any affirmation. It can neither be judged by any judge nor can be computed by any computer. Wisdom helps us make a life. Science helps us make our living. We must not mistake science or knowledge for wisdom. Science as a knowledge produces greater knowledge, facilitates the development of technology, and increases our power. Wisdom guides us how to act, apply, and make the best use of ←191 | 192→scientific knowledge and its achievements. Stephen Hall, in his book Wisdom from Philosophy to Neuroscience, presents a definition of wisdom:
Many definitions of wisdom converge on recurrent and common elements: humility, patience, and a clear-eyed, dispassionate view of human nature and the human predicament, as well as emotional resilience, an ability to cope with adversity, and an almost philosophical acknowledgment of ambiguity and the limitations of knowledge. Like many big ideas, it’s also nettled with contradictions. Wisdom is based upon knowledge, but part of the physics of wisdom is shaped by uncertainty. Action is important, but so is judicious inaction. Emotion is central to wisdom, yet emotional detachment is indispensable. A wise act in one context may be sheer folly in another (2011: 11).
Recent developments have sought to put the study of wisdom universally on scientific basis; first the social sciences and now the natural sciences. It is a big challenge for the neuroscientists to scientifically develop wisdom through a process of artificial intelligence’s self-knowledge, particularly when its identity is personal exposition of an individual’s integration of his own self’s microcosmic consciousness with the macrocosmic consciousness of the universe. Wisdom is multidimensional human practice that instigates through self-knowledge, self-transcendence, self-integration, nonattachment, compassion, and a deeper understanding of life, with diverse meanings from person to person. Just as human consciousness, wisdom has also become a subject of study and research for neurobiologists. Trevor Curnow, a Professor of Philosophy at the University of Cambria and an internationally recognized authority on wisdom, argues on pages 196 and 203 of his book Wisdom: A History:
Is wisdom a kind of knowledge? Or is it a kind of skill? Or is it a kind of perception? Or is it a kind of personality trait? Or is it a combination of some or all these things? … If it becomes analysable in terms of certain mental capacities, whether cognitive, reflective, affective or whatever, then it might be possible to identify neurobiological infrastructure associated with it. … But wisdom is something esoteric that often passes from one wise person to another. It is universal. [its three forms are] First, wisdom is regarded as essentially divine. Second, humanity may receive it by revelation [or intuition] and preserve it by direct transmission from one person to another. Thirdly, the age of revelation is over, so wisdom is only accessible through tradition. … Yet the association of divination with wisdom seems to me to be too well established and too strong simply to ignore. But if divination is a part of wisdom, and a definition of wisdom can find no room for divination, then definition cannot be adequate (2015: 196, 203).
Wisdom gives rise to compassion, and compassion gives rise to wisdom; truly, we can’t have one without the other. For philosophy, wisdom and compassion ←192 | 193→are like two wings that work together to enable flying, or two eyes that work together to see deeply. But whatever we are learning and teaching in our schools is not wisdom; we are learning and teaching sciences and technologies; we are giving and getting information. Wisdom is the ability to think and act by understanding and using scientific and general knowledge with experience, common sense, and above all personal insight. Wisdom is a capability or disposition to perform the action with the highest degree of adequacy under any given circumstance. It involves a deep understanding of people, objects, events, situations, and willingness and ability to apply perception, judgment, and action. It is a disposition to find the truth coupled with optimum judgment as to what actions should be taken at an appropriate time regarding certain situation.
4 What is science?
The word science comes from the Latin word scientia, meaning “knowledge, a knowing, an expertness.” Science is knowledge based on a procedure of assessing theories impartially in the light of evidence. No thesis about the world is accepted permanently by science independently of a solid and confirmable evidence. Scientific approach assumes that the universe has a kind of unified structure, which means it is pragmatically comprehensible. But a glance at the history of physics reveals that the comprehensible thesis of the universe keeps on changing. In the seventeenth century, physics revealed that the universe consists of minute billiard like balls of corpuscles, which was later on superseded by the discovery that the universe consists of point-particles surrounded by the symmetrical fields of force. This gave way to an advanced finding of a self-interacting field varying smoothly throughout space and time. Today, we are informed that everything is made up of quantum strings, embedded in ten or eleven dimensions of space-time. Tomorrow, physics can provide new assertions or proofs of the comprehension of our universe. The metaphysical assumption of the comprehension of universe, though remains same, but is problematic, because it is untestable. However, based on human wisdom and knowledge, a common hierarchy of assumption regarding comprehensibility of universe between physics and metaphysics is that there is something—a cosmic purpose, a cosmic program, a physical entity, a final source of creation or a God—present at all times in all phenomena.
We are living in an era of scientific enlightenment in which an incredibly instantaneous technological development is changing everything in our life. ←193 | 194→At this point, past decades of scientific and digital era have produced great comforts of life and easy access to knowledge. Today, there is an alarming call, ‘The Robots are coming! Artificial Intelligence is coming!’ At the same time the ethicists are predicting, humans are just a few years away from a major catastrophe being caused by an autonomous computer system making a decision for them. Of course, today’s science is on the road to produce AI similar or maybe superior to human intelligence. It is also feared that the researchers might instead create something alien, complex, and ungovernable. No doubt, science produces greater knowledge, enhances our understanding of the natural world and the universe, but the important point is, does it help create wisdom which is more important than knowledge? We know that without wisdom human beings do not know how to use ethically, scientific developed instruments for the benefit of mankind. Today, as we have stepped into an era of scientific enlightenment, we need this to help us achieve social progress to develop an ‘Enlightened Humanity.’ It is important to identify the progress-achieving methods of science and apply them wisely, by correctly generalizing them rather than applying them to only acquire and impart knowledge. Thus, in our quest for making social progress towards a wisely enlightened world, scientific knowledge must be combined with the insight of wisdom.
According to science, human intelligence is a mechanistic process that happens in the brain. For science, there is no reason to assume that human intelligence is the only possible form of intelligence. Though the scientists know brain is complex, it is an artefact of the blind progress of natural selection which means it is developed. Such assumption leads the scientists towards the possibility of developing ‘machine intelligence’ or what is best known as ‘artificial intelligence.’ But there is a risk pointed out by Mathew Graves, in his article Why We should be Concerned about Artificial Super-intelligence:
The fact that artificial intelligence [ai] may be very different from human intelligence also suggests that we should be very careful about anthropomorphizing ai. Depending on the design choices ai scientists make, future ai systems may not share our goals or motivations; they may have different concepts and intuitions; or terms like “goal” and “intuition” may not even be particularly applicable to the way ai systems think and act. Ai systems may also have blind spots regarding questions that strike us as obvious. Ai systems might also end up far more intelligent than any human. (Skeptic magazine, 2017)
Today we are already encountering computer systems that act as they are conscious. But we still think they really are tools of integrated information and are just machines. We are not prepared for a machine that can be more intelligent than us.←194 | 195→
5 Can science teach wisdom?
For the past millenniums, we have known that it is the job of a philosopher to establish a society by wisely implementing ideas of philosophical cognition and new scientific achievements, combined to be understood as ‘scientific enlightenment’. To achieve social progress, scientific enlightenment involves social methodology as a primary inquiry. In other words, social inquiry is more fundamental than science. This would involve biologically evolved human intellectualism than an artificial intelligence. Stephen Hall in Wisdom from Philosophy to Neuroscience argues:
Could there be a “science” of wisdom? And if there is, can it provide us anything more at this point than a fuzzy geography of neural activity superimposed upon a vague definition of a human virtue? Can it shed light on the process by which each of us deals with the decisions and dilemmas of our own private 9/11s? Can it guide us to make the best decisions possible for our loved ones and ourselves, and help us find the right path when those interests collide? Might it even hint at ways we could train our hearts and minds to give us a better shot at achieving that lofty goal? (2011: 18).
Though before the appearance of modern scientific enlightenment our emphasis to wisdom did not matter, because we were not overloaded with modern scientific means to create many problems for ourselves and greater damage to our planet. But today, we possess unprecedented powers bestowed to us by science, which can create a new crisis of our time if we have science without wisdom. Our social progress depends upon our cognitive power and our moral life on our wisdom. The irony is that our wisdom is being prevailed upon by artificial intelligence (AI), or artificial-general-intelligence (AGI), and soon to be followed by the artificial-super-intelligence (ASI), which is posing a threat to our existence as humans. Thus, the crucial questions before us are: Can AI create wisdom? Can super-computer be equipped with a wisdom chip to act spontaneously and wisely as an incomputable and unpredictable situation demands?
Human knowledge and wisdom are two different capabilities of the brain. Wisdom is human judgment for action in a known or unknown situation. It is a big challenge for the computer scientists to reproduce this in the form of ‘artificial wisdom.’ Wisdom is not a computed feature of the brain. It is spontaneously revealed by the imagination from knowledge, experience, awareness, emotions, rationality, consciousness—a holistic sum of conscious, unconscious, and memory—and from many undefined channels. Scientists working on AI may possibly discover a way or a process of uploading human mind with all that exists in an individual’s brain, such as, memory, perception, ←195 | 196→emotion, experience, wisdom and consciousness, as an artificial neural network or mind-transfer from a physical brain to a computational device. Some scientists believe that theoretically it would be possible that a person’s brain can be scanned, mapped, and its activities transferred to a computer hard drive. This means that mind uploading program would make human mind a figment of computer’s imagination. Uploading a human brain also means scanning all of brain’s salient details and then re-instantiating those details into a powerful computational substrate. But science is organized knowledge, while wisdom emerges instinctively and instantly from self-knowledge and self-transcendence.
Human brain’s neural networks are collections of hundred billion of neurons that constantly reproduce, rewire, and reinforce themselves in accomplishing a project. The biologically evolved brain’s neural network requires no programming which is parallel with a hundred billion neurons firing instantly to accomplish a single task to learn and create something new. A digital gadget has a fixed architecture, having a devised operating system based on input, output, and processor. If ever we are able to capture a person’s mental processes, then the reinstated mind will need a biological human body, because human thinking is directed toward physical needs and desires. Above all, according to James Barrat’s views in his work Our Final Invention, “Throughout, it won’t have feelings. It won’t have our mammalian origins, our long brain building childhood, or our instinctive nurturing, even if it is raised as simulacrum of a human from infancy to adulthood. It probably won’t care about you any more than your toaster does” (2013: 266).
6 Science, wisdom, and consciousness
There are some big questions before the philosophers and neuroscientists such as: how can we scientifically define or philosophically recognize wisdom and consciousness? For science the most uphill task is how to measure or compute wisdom and consciousness? An important question is, can a computer, equipped with a nonbiological intelligence, be ever able to match biologically evolved human wisdom and consciousness? We know that human brain projects wisdom and causes consciousness by a series of specific neurobiological processes in the brain, which is regarded as a crucial attribute of human being. It is an ineffable patchwork of different abilities developed by the human brain over millions of years of man’s evolution. Neuroscientists, neurobiologists, and psychologists, are still working to explore how the brain creates consciousness; its process of uploading into AI chip is a big challenge. Michio Kaku, on page 220 of his book The Future of Mind, propounds:←196 | 197→
The brain is not a digital computer at all, but highly sophisticated neural network of some sort. Unlike a digital computer, which has a fixed architecture (input, output, and processor), neural networks are collections of neurons that constantly rewire and reinforce themselves after learning a new task. The brain has no programming, no operating system, no Windows, no central processor. Instead, its neural networks are massively parallel, with one hundred billion neurons firing at the same time in order to accomplish a single goal: to learn (2014: 220).
The scientists considering human brain as a kind of biological machine are trying to figure out how it works and causes consciousness with its biological mechanism. They are trying to build an artificial brain that has a similar and an equal mechanism to biological human brain causing consciousness. But silicon-consciousness might need human emotions, their diversity of choice, their aim, and goal to achieve success according to one’s own wish.
Human beings’ many virtues like, free will, aestheticism, creativity, and various natural as well as nurtured qualities are not same in every one of them. Intelligence, consciousness, and wisdom are multifaceted and their nature cannot be defined or computed as one standardized life form. We cannot distil down few and final words, the distinction of great masterpieces of art by De Vinci, Picasso, and the work of music maestro Mozart, to be digitally computable so that when uploaded in a computer other people will agree with it to be the one and only definite description. What about the thoughtful teachings of great sages of past and present, for example: “It is the part of a wise man to arrest the impulse of kindly feeling, as we check a carriage in its course”—Cicero, 44 BC. Shakespeare, (1596) in his play The Merchant of Venice opines:
John Milton, (1667) in Paradise Lost propounds:
The novelist John Cheever remarks, “We do not receive wisdom. We must discover it ourselves after experiences which no one else can have for us and from which no one else can spare us.”
However, that will not stop scientists from continuing to do their homework to gain further insights on the nature and properties of wisdom, consciousness, and intelligence. If scientists are able to invent silicon-consciousness, that would mean that consciousness can exist by itself free from the constraints of the physical body. It can be a great lead to those theologians and philosophers who assume consciousness is human soul, to prove that after death the soul can exist for ever.
7 Moral reasoning and artificial intelligence?
Before there was neuroscience, moral philosophies and theological invocations, the importance of moral sense of goodness—doing right instead of wrong—had naturally assumed central importance in the human societies. Morality, is the effort to conduct all judgments by good reason. At the very least, morality is the effort to guide one’s conduct by reason—that is, to do what is the best reason for doing—while giving equal weight to the interests of others. But according to Stephen Hall, “Neuroscientists have recently tunnelled underneath all the lofty rhetoric by philosophers and theologians, and they have begun to discover that judging right and wrong, and making decisions that wisely discern between the two, can also be glimpsed in the activity of the brain.” Hall, arguing morality in his recent book Moral Minds, quotes the argument of Marc Hauser, a biologist at Harvard University, that “moral judgments are mediated by an unconscious process, a hidden moral grammar that evaluates the causes and consequences of our own and others’ actions” (2011, 100).
Moral reasoning depends upon how human brain processes a moral dilemma and tells us what we should do. We know that moral reasoning, rationality, empiricism, and empathy are abstract virtues, not scientific distinctions. Wisdom tells moral reasoning, what one “should” do and what not to do. Not surprisingly, the “should” or “ought” of moral behaviour has been a subject of philosophic cognition over the past centuries. Morality has to do with how one acts toward others, advising to keep someone else’s moral good in mind, and refrain from acting in a way that leads to someone else’s moral loss. Moral reasoning involves thoughts and actions that effect the instinct. Instinctive acts are spontaneous which for a digitized silicone-brain is a big challenge for the scientists. Moral reasoning is an evolutionary development of our behaviour and characteristics, from the time ←198 | 199→man first descended from the nests and started walking with others in groups. Human brain developed, as man started walking upright, with hands free along with his own fellow beings. Cognitive power evolved, as he perceived mysteries of nature, realized the need of social life, which could not flourish without moral reasoning. Human brain is a “social brain” which produces moral reasoning—products of biological evolution and natural selection—enjoins us to care for each other as the situation requires. A silicone-brain producing AI is not same as human mind which depends on many factors: one’s consciousness, intelligence, memory, goal, needs, plans, perceptions, preferences, feelings and psychological, and social capabilities.
8 End of the human era
We are today, on the road to a scientific civilization, believing in scientific knowledge as our destiny. Stephen Hawking, the physicist remarks: “In contrast with our intellect, computers double their performance every eighteen months. So, the danger is real that they could develop intelligence and take over the world.” Professor Vernor Vinge, a computer scientist believes: “Within thirty years, we will have the technological means to create superhuman intelligence. Shortly after, the human era will be ended. Is such progress avoidable? If not to be avoided, can events be guided so that we may survive?” James Barrat mentions, “Ray Kurzweil defines Singularity as a ‘singular’ period in time (beginning around the year 2045), after which the pace of technological change will irreversibly transform human life. Most intelligence will be computer based, and trillions of times more powerful than today” (2013, 28). Predicting the future of AI and speculating on the age of spiritual machines when computers exceed human intelligence, Ray Kurzweil on page 145 of his intriguing book, The Singularity is Near, imagines the unimaginable by making a compelling case that a human civilization with superhuman capabilities is closer at hand than most of us realize:
A principal assumption underlying the expectation of the Singularity is that nonbiological mediums will be able to emulate the richness, subtlety, and depth of human thinking. But achieving the hardware computational capacity of a single human brain—or even of the collective intelligence of villages and nations—will not automatically produce human levels of capability. (By human levels I include all the diverse and subtle ways humans are intelligent, including musical and artistic aptitude, creativity, physical motion through the world, and understanding and responding appropriately to emotions) … Once a computer achieves a human level of intelligence, it will necessarily soar past it. A key advantage of nonbiological intelligence is that machines can easily share their knowledge (2005: 145).←199 | 200→
Given the incredible power of new technologies, and amazing development of AI to super intelligence, we should be asking ourselves, how would we be able to best coexist with the machines? Ray Kurzweil answers, “Machines will follow a path that mirrors the evolution of humans. Ultimately, however, self-aware, self-improving machines will evolve beyond humans’ ability to control or even understand them.” But Ray does not reflect upon the fate of wisdom, whether these machines will be as wise as a human being. While AI is of human level or even above in its data of knowledge and information, it is only a wise thinker who can imagine to make wise decisions for the best of human beings. Would it be wise, as James Barrat remarks, “Authorizing a machine [with artificial intelligence] to make lethal combat decisions is contingent upon political and military leaders resolving legal and ethical questions” (2013: 135).
Creativity is the most important theme of wisdom. It is thinking imaginatively and then coming up to the solution of a problem that is far from being obvious. In other words, it is creative wisdom that helps inventors to perform miraculous feats and provide solutions. Just as creativity is an individual’s capability, in the same way appearance of wisdom also depends upon a person’s own intellectualism. If the scientists continue developing AI without wisdom or prudence, the machines as human beings’ servants may prove to be their executioner. In a provocative article, The Future Does Not Need Us, Bill Joy argues, “Our most powerful 21st century technologies—robotics, genetic engineering, and nanotech—are threatening to make humans an endangered species. … This techno-utopia is all about I don’t get diseases; I don’t die; I get to have better eyesight and be smarter and all this. If you described this to Socrates [who said to know thyself is the beginning of wisdom] or Plato, they would laugh at you” (2004: 67) For the scientists, it is possible to place chips in the robots to shut them off if they become dangerous, or by creating fail-safe devices to immobilize them in an emergency. This means controlling the robot’s AI will still depend upon human wisdom. However, if the robots are designed to possess same consciousness and wisdom as we human beings have, it will be the end of human era.
Man’s evolution and his search, starting from his needs to live a comfortable and well protected life to his exploration of the universe, has been the subject of science. But the belief about how life should be lived, what men and women should be, and how to treat one another, emerge from moral enquiry and human ←200 | 201→wisdom. Wisdom, incited by human insight, is a golden-ticket tour of the human mind in all its dimensions. Knowing oneself is the beginning of all wisdom. It makes us know not to take second step before realizing at our first step that there are things we cannot and should not do, even if we have full knowledge of everything. Science is knowledge based on a procedure of assessing theories impartially in the light of evidence. No thesis about the world is accepted permanently by science independently of a solid and confirmable evidence. According to science, human intelligence is a mechanistic process that happens in the brain. There are some big questions before the philosophers and neuroscientists such as: how can we scientifically define or philosophically recognize wisdom and consciousness? For science the most uphill task is how to measure or compute wisdom and consciousness? And an important question is, can a computer, equipped with a nonbiological intelligence, be ever able to match biologically evolved human wisdom and consciousness? Before there was neuroscience, moral philosophies and theological invocations, the importance of moral sense of goodness—doing right instead of wrong—had naturally assumed central importance in the human societies. Moral reasoning involves, thoughts and actions that effect the instinct to live and flourishing of sentient beings or conscious, emotive, perceptive, sensitive, responsive, and able to feel and suffer. Instinctive acts are spontaneous which for a digitized silicone-brain is a big challenge for the scientists.
Today, science is busy in developing AI more like human intelligence. In February 2011, history was made when an IBM computer called ‘Watson’ did what many thinkers thought was impossible: it beat two contestants on a TV game show called Jeopardy! But the critics of AI are of the view that it was all a display of computational firepower. Science has, throughout history, broken new grounds by following some speculative lines of thought that involves a readiness, to make do without the props and securities of ‘good’ scientific method. It is true, science has achieved some of its most notable advances precisely by venturing beyond the furthest limits of evidential proof, but we cannot overrule the fact that science needs philosophy. Within thirty years, we will have the technological means to create superhuman intelligence. Shortly after, the human era will be ended. Is such progress avoidable? If not to be avoided, can events be guided so that we may survive? Authorizing a machine [with artificial intelligence] to make lethal combat decisions is contingent upon political and military leaders resolving legal and ethical questions. If scientists are able to invent silicon-consciousness, that would mean that consciousness can exist by itself free from the constraints of the physical body. It can be a great lead to those theologians and philosophers who assume consciousness is human soul, to prove that after death the soul can exist for ever.←201 | 202→
Barrat, James. (2013). Our Final Invention. New York: Thomas Dunne Books.
Curnow, Trevor. (2015). Wisdom: A History. London: Reaktion Books Ltd.
Hall, Stephen S. (2011). Wisdom: From Philosophy to Neuroscience. New York: Vintage Books.
Joy, Bill. (2004). The Future Does Not Need Us. New York: Fourth Estate.
Kaku, Michio. (2014). The Future of the Mind. New York: Anchor Books.
Kurzweil, Ray. (2005). The Singularity is Near. New York: Viking Penguin.