The Bible introduces us to three types of intelligence:

  1. Supernatural Intelligence
  2. Human Intelligence
  3. Artificial Intelligence.

While most Christians could point to verses in the Bible that have examples of “supernatural” and “natural” intelligence, do we know where to find examples of “artificial” intelligence? That’s the objective of our new series. You can read the first part here where we looked at the history of Artificial Intelligence (AI).

AI Today

It’s been 15 years since the publication of A History of Man’s Quest for Immortality where we described the status of AI research at that time. How about today? It’s amazing how much things have changed in just 15 years. With knowledge now doubling every day, we can see how quickly AI will grow in the coming months and years.

Types of AI are based on likeness to the human mind — ability to think and even “feel” human. AI systems include reactive machines, limited memory machines, theory of mind, and self-aware AI.

  • Reactive machines – older machine types that do have the ability to learn. Reactive machines are not memory-based. They are still in wide use today. Computers are an example of Reactive Machines.
  • Limited memory machines – current AI systems are capable of learning from data to make decisions. That includes learning from previous learned information. Limited memory machines use image recognition for both learning and how to solve problems in the future. Virtual assistants, self-driving vehicles and chatbots are examples of Limited Memory AI.
  • Theory of Mind – this is a next level for AI innovation. This is where AI would be able to discern human thought processes, emotions, beliefs and needs. Researchers are working on ways for AI machines to “understand” human beings. Most researchers believe they are many years from developing this type of AI machine.
  • Self-aware AI – this is a type of “self consciousness” where a machine would be “aware” of itself and be able to form a representation of itself. Alan Turing proposed a way of testing machines to determine if they were capable of thinking like a human. Once known as the “imitation game,” it is now called the Turing Test. Self-aware AI would be able to pass that test because it would “think” like a human. No AI has passed the Turing test to date, but many AI researchers believe that day may not be far off. Researchers believe they need to develop Theory of Mind machines before they’ll be able to build Self-aware AI (also known as Artificial consciousness (AC), Machine Consciousness (MC) and Synthetic Consciousness (SC), including research into cognitive robotics).

Artificial intelligence algorithms are designed to make decisions, often using real-time data. They are unlike passive machines that are capable only of mechanical or predetermined responses. Using sensors, digital data, or remote inputs, they combine information from a variety of different sources, analyze the material instantly, and act on the insights derived from those data. With massive improvements in storage systems, processing speeds, and analytic techniques, they are capable of tremendous sophistication in analysis and decision making. Brookings

AI and Supercomputers

Remember Deep Blue? It was a supercomputer that played chess with then reigning world champion Gary Kasparov in the 1990s. Kasparov won the 1996 match, but lost the 1997 rematch making Deep Blue the first supercomputer to defeat a reigning world chess champion in a tournament. Even though that was the first time many people had heard the term “supercomputer,” the word had been around for decades.

It was first used in the 1920s for some IBM tabulators being used at Columbia University. The 1960s saw the development of the UNIVAC LARC, the CDC 1604, the IBM 7030, the ManchesterAtlas, and the CDC 6600. Some historians believe the U.S. Navy’s IBM NORC was a type of supercomputer for its time. Computer scientists continued to build faster and faster supercomputers in the 1970s, 80s, 90s and 2000s.

The processing speed of today’s supercomputers are many times faster and play an important role in AI development. In just the past twenty years the speed of supercomputers has expanded from 7.226 TFLOPS for the IBM ASCI White supercomputer in 2000 to 415.53 PFLOPS for the Fugaku supercomputer in 2020. A petaflop (PFLOP) is a measurement of quadrillions of floating point operations per second. As fast as that sounds (and it does sound fast), the United States is working on next-generation machines that will be capable of computing at “exascale” speeds of 1 exaflop — equaling one-thousand petaflops. The result could be a supercomputer that will be twice as fast as Japan’s Fugaku. China is also working on an exascale supercomputer, but information about that development is secret. Many researchers believe China and the U.S. are developing exascale supercomputers for many purposes including military, industrial, cybersecurity, scientific and social.

IBM’s Summit supercomputer is one of the world’s most powerful and is owned by the U.S. government. Notice the part it’s playing in AI.

The biggest problems in science require supercomputers of unprecedented capability. That’s why the US Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) launched Summit, a system 8 times more powerful than ORNL’s previous top-ranked system Titan. Summit is providing scientists with incredible computing power to solve challenges in energy, artificial intelligence, human health, and other research areas, that were simply out of reach until now. These discoveries will help shape our understanding of the universe, bolster US economic competitiveness, and contribute to a better future. Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Researchers believe the increase in supercomputing speeds will play a big part in the future of AI, especially as supercomputers become faster. Supercomputers have already been used in AI research and plans are to use them more in the months and years to come. Supercomputers may eventually help researchers cross from Limited Memory Machines to Theory of Mind machines. That would then open the pathway to Self-aware AI.

Using AI

Even though AI has been with us for decades, many business leaders are only now beginning to learn about it. Just five years ago, 15-hundred business leaders were asked about AI and only 17 percent said they were familiar with it (Deloitte, 2017). Many of the leaders who were familiar with AI were not clear how they could use it in their businesses. That was five years ago, so we can assume the percentage of business leaders who know about AI now has probably increased.

Most of us have some experience with artificial intelligence through:

  • computers
  • smart phones
  • smart automobiles
  • onboard navigation systems
  • smart maps
  • self-driving cars
  • autonomous vehicles
  • smart kitchens
  • smart televisions
  • smart air conditioners
  • home security
  • image analysis software
  • video editing software
  • gaming software
  • virtual assistants
  • digital personal assistant
  • travel assistant
  • social media
  • remote working
  • remote learning
  • marketing and advertising
  • robotic assistance
  • factory robotics
  • humanoid robots
  • Virtual Reality
  • Augmented reality
  • Metaverse
  • web-connected vacuum cleaners
  • weather warning apps
  • medical diagnosis and treatment
  • drug development
  • online banking
  • finance and investment
  • online shopping
  • speech and facial recognition systems
  • drones
  • air travel
  • web searches
  • smart cities
  • law enforcement

Next Time

In the next part of our special series we will begin answering a question asked in the first part –

Do we find Artificial Intelligence (AI) in the Bible? 

We hope you’ll join us for a fascinating look how AI fits into God’s eternal plan.

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