The problem with calling it AI

I have an issue with the term Artificial Intelligence.

2 minute read

Calling an intelligence that happens to not be human, not be “nature made” intelligence an “artificial intelligence” is a fundamental problem for me. In my opinion, the term Artificial Intelligence carries a lot of baggage.
I feel like it is used with an implicit, automatic meaning attached that any AI must by definition be different, probably lesser, not “human”, not real.

We need terms for things to aid in being able to easily talk about them, and unfortunately I don’t have a better term to suggest, so I’ll stick with talking about “AI”, but realize, it’s under protest. 😉

I’ve considered Machine Intelligence, but it’s got issues too. What if the constructed intelligence isn’t made of silicon. What if it’s made from meat. There’s the argument that machines can be made from anything, but then there’s the argument that we are machines. How can one really argue that we aren’t[*]I mean, yeah we're messy, complicated, weird machines, but... .

So I considered the term Constructed Intelligence, but that too doesn’t seem to work too well. Suppose an intelligence caused to come into being a new intelligence, which then grew, differentiated, etc. That’s what we do. Are our kids Constructed Intelligences? Is it different when it’s not “human”? Why?

I often just think of things in terms of minds, but there are subtypes and specialties that probably shouldn’t be considered mind-like, even outside the issue of consciousness and self awareness. I’ll write a bit about that in another post to be titled “AI types and ramifications”.

Would a human mind translated (somehow) to a different substrate be a machine intelligence? A constructed intelligence? An artificial intelligence?

Or just different.

Bottom line, I think we’d do better if we put the emphasis on the Intelligence, and not the Artificial. It’s too broad and too, ahem, artificial a distinction.

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