There was a cover story in TIME magazine about a topic not discussed often: singularity. The article suggests within our lifetime, computers will become so fast and efficient they will herald in an era of genuine artificial intelligence. From that point forward human civilization will be forever altered for better or worse.
Every technology alters human culture, from the steam engine to the internet. Artificial intelligence would do the same.
Will artificial intelligence become possible in our lifetime? I have doubts about that. We are not even a smidgen close to developing machine sentience and self-awareness. Our computer programs are dumber than an insect, able to accomplish only what they are programmed to do.
Will someone eventually reverse engineer the human brain and discover the mathematics, the algorithms of sentience and create consciousness in a computer program? I suppose anything is possible, but I see a big problem with this happening anytime soon. The question is how does the paranormal fit into any equation?
The paranormal is an objective reality. Precognition, telepathy, and out-of-body near-death experiences are not fantasies but are quite real. Parapsychology is gathering convincing evidence of the existence of psi and the paranormal. Scientists pooh pooh these efforts and generally ignore the entire topic. Yet, there is far more proof of the paranormal then there is in the possibility of creating artificial intelligence.
We have no clue as to the nature of psi, yet it is intimately linked to living consciousness. Can we recreate consciousness in a lab if we have no understanding of psi? If we fail to even acknowledge the existence of psi, this failure of imagination will likely prevent true artificial intelligence from becoming reality.
If thinking machines existed, would they also have the same paranormal abilities as living creatures? Could a machine have clairvoyance, or have its “mind” travel outside its body/PC? Is psi an inherent property of consciousness? Artificial intelligence enthusiasts seem wedded to a materialist philosophy, believing consciousness can be reduced to a formula. Having a closed mind in this arena may doom the quest for AI.