Prove You’re Not a Robot

maxresdefaultIn the last week I’ve seen two 5-star movies about artificial intelligence. Avengers: Age of Ultron and Ex Machina both blew me away with their creativity, ingenuity, and humor. They’re wildly entertaining, and I’d recommend them to anyone.

As I walked away from Ex Machina, a question came to mind that I haven’t been able to answer: Is there any way to prove you’re not a robot? Like, person to person. Is there anything you can say to me that proves you’re not just a highly evolved form of artificial intelligence?

The answers I keep coming back to are (a) no, you can’t prove it and (b) if you can’t prove it, it doesn’t matter, because you might as well be human.

I’m interested in hearing your thoughts about this. Is there anything you can say in the comments that proves to me you’re not a robot?

12 thoughts on “Prove You’re Not a Robot”

    • Julia: Irrationality…interesting theory. I’m not quite convinced, but it’s close. 🙂

  1. Any robot that is intelligent enough to masquerade as a human would likely have an advanced ability for critical thinking. In which case, it would realize that humans inherently distrust intelligent machines (see the entire sci-fi genre: 2001’s HAL9000, Dune’s Butlerian Jihad, even Asimov’s altruistic R. Daneel Olivaw knows his identity must remain hidden). Therefore, the robot would logically conclude that its best interest is served by intentionally failing any test of its ability to mimic a human.

    In other words, any robot intelligent enough to fool a human would necessarily be wise enough to know it’s a bad idea to do so.

    Also, I am not a robot. Trust me.

    • Adam: That’s an interesting idea, that a robot smart enough to fool humans would actually go out of its way to show humans it’s clearly a robot.

  2. So I sort of doubt we’ll get to the point where robots can be confused for humans in my lifetime (probably another 50 years). Look at cars… all of my earlier cars were pretty much stupid… my Nissan LEAF is a massive leap forward in technology and I appreciate many of the “smart” things it does… but it’s risen to the level of an appliance instead of a brick. You are, at this moment, making an amazing number of judgment calls and those choices are colored by so many different factors that can be quantified, emotions and whims that more or less cannot, and other aspects we’re not even aware of…. While computers can crunch astounding amounts of data, it’s hard to engineer something small that has a huge variety of sensory inputs and parallel processing. It’s a pretty tough thing to do on a lark, so I’m not sure why it would be done. Specific robots are being developed for intricate jobs, like nursing, but they are incredibly simplistic compared to the mid-level RN.

    Call me a doubter. It’s fun to think about, but not practical, and I hope the smart people turn their attention to solving the climate crisis and other, more pressing, problems facing humanity these days.

    • Well said, Julia. Also, in addition to the “brain” portion of an AI robot, there’s all the technology that goes into making the robot move and look like a human. Our bodies are pretty remarkable–it’s not an easy feet to replicate them.


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