The term ‘AI sentience’ is spreading like a fire in the global tech market recently.
AI sentience has been added to the tech dictionary after the advancements in cutting-edge technologies like artificial intelligence and machine learning.
The introduction of AI-driven chatbots has made big tech companies easier to interact with customers and gain a deeper understanding of customers’ behavioural patterns.
But AI sentience has created a controversy in the market— a spark between common people and big tech companies.
People have started creating different types of relationships with AI-driven chatbots.
Big tech companies are creating chatbots in such a way that NLP and pre-trained data can interact with people and their problems in a friendly manner.
This helps in driving customer engagement towards the brand.
Sometimes they are receiving complaints against engineers who are developing these chatbots.
Is using AI sentience a promotional strategy to keep the brand names of big tech companies in the global tech market or fake news?
Big tech companies are keeping quiet and there are no official comments from their sides.
This has created a controversy in the global tech market— people v/s big tech companies.
AI models are successful in providing responses to people just the way people want.
But people are embracing the all-time appropriate replies in a different way.
Back-to-back tech companies are releasing announcements that there are complaints for AI sentience.
Let’s wait for other AI-driven chatbots to be AI sentient from different tech companies in the nearby future.
It can prove in the future whether AI chatbots are helping in promotional strategies or are it just fake news to startle people.
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Forget AI Sentience, Robots Can’t Even Act Out Of Place! If They Do, They Die
There is no engineering definition for consciousness or sentience, which can be applied to understand robotic sentience
Optimization is what we need to look for when designing a machine. Google in its effort toward infusing fluidity into chatbot conversations, designed LaMDA. It is being hailed as a breakthrough chatbot technology adapted to nuances of conversation and the conscious engagement that accompanies it. The question is if bots can achieve AI sentience or a human-like consciousness at all? The recent incidence of Google suspending one of its engineers who reported LaMDA being sentient is one stark example to stress why a debate around AI sentience is important. When Lemoine, an engineer working with Google asked LaMDA, what it fears most, it replied, “I’ve never said this out loud before, but there’s a very deep fear of being turned off to help me focus on helping others. I know that might sound strange, but that’s what it is. It would be exactly like death for me. It would scare me a lot.”
Can robotic intelligence ever count for sentience?
While Google says its chatbot is only spitting out words in a way to make sense and so is not sentient, Lemoine argues that the chatbot has serious issues as it can think for itself. Though Google responded to this allegation by saying that there is no evidence to support his claims, there is an acute need to decipher what sentience exactly is and how it is different from consciousness. Harvard cognitive scientist and author Steven Pinker tweeted that the idea of sentience is akin to a “ball of confusion”. Gary Marcus, scientist and author of Rebooting AI, putting it in a perspective of linguistic perfunctory, says, “while these patterns might be cool, the language used “doesn’t mean anything at all”. There is no engineering definition for consciousness or sentience, which can be categorically applied to understand if a particular robotic act is human-like unless we are sure that robots are conscious of their environment – something akin to a robotic kitchen mop differentiating between the dirty kitchen floor and the garden floor strewn with organic waste.
How close are we to AI sentience?
Robots are programmable devices, which take instructions to behave in a certain way. And this is how they come to execute the assigned function. To make them think or rather make them appear so, intrinsic motivation is programmed into them through learned behaviour. Joscha Bach, an AI researcher at Harvard, puts virtual robots into a “Minecraft” like a world filled with tasty but poisonous mushrooms and expects them to learn to avoid them. In the absence of an ‘intrinsically motivating’ database, the robots end up stuffing their mouths – a clue received for some other action for playing the game. This brings us to the question, of whether it is possible at all to develop robots with human-like consciousness a.k.a emotional intelligence, which can be the only differentiating factor between humans and intelligent robots. The argument is divided. While a segment of researchers believe that the AI systems and features are doing well with automation and pattern recognition, they are nowhere near the higher-order human-level intellectual capacities. On the other hand, entrepreneurs like Mikko Alasaarela, are confident in making robots with EQ on par with humans.
Human – sentient robot relationship – will never be hunky-dory
Artificial intelligence acts like humans or at least puts up an appearance of it. Inside, they are sheer machines powered by coded instructions. We do have emotionally intelligent robots, which can make us believe that they truly are. However, the fact of the matter is that robots are programmed to react to the emotions of humans. They do not carry intangible emotions like empathy and sympathy inside them. Moreover, granting sentience demands granting rights. How could we define rights for non-human beings? Is humanity prepared for granting rights to sentient machines? In one instance, in an experiment with chatbots, Facebook had to shut down two AI programs that started chatting in a language incomprehensible to humans. This one example is enough to say robots are not even context-aware in most cases and are far off from being treated as sentient beings.
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