Humans are sentient beings, meaning we are aware of our own existence. Unlike the machines people can experience feelings of happiness, fear, sadness, loneliness, anger or shame. We can choose to be selfish or selfless. We can love and create and have faith. In our conscience we possess morality, a sense of right and wrong. We possess intelligence, which is the ability to learn. But can machines possess these same abilities? Could it be possible for humans to create a computer or robot that becomes self-aware and has the dangerous autonomy of freewill?
What if a sentient machine pretends to be our friend only until it is able to gain greater access to the physical world around us? Every generation human society gives computers and robots more responsibilities, more authority, and more power. What would happen if the machines began to see themselves as superior? What if an A.I. decided that humans are tools to be used for its own convenience and amusement? Is it possible we could end up in a people zoo?
Simple and general forms of artificial intelligence already exist. We’ve created autonomous robots that operate on their own; collect and process information, recognize and interact with their environment, learn things by trial and error, solve problems, and complete simple tasks.
If you’ve ever ridden in an Uber or conducted a search on the internet, you’ve participated in simple artificial intelligence. While you were busy doing something else or doing nothing at all a computer used an algorithm, made some calculations, worked out the problem, and helped the driver get you to your destination or it got you the information related to your search.
General A.I. involves programming a machine to do different kinds of jobs without too much help from us humans. Some tasks we are better at. Other tasks they are better at. But the machines keep getting faster and smarter. It has been estimated that computing power is doubling about every three months. Clearly, computers and robots are doing all kinds of jobs that they could not do before.
So what’s the next step? Some dream of the day when Man creates advanced A.I. It is a concept we’ve seen only in science fiction, because it does not exist in the real world. Many would add, “Not yet.”
In 1984 millions of moviegoers watched The Terminator. * In the story, a futuristic sci-fi, the defense computer known as Sky Net becomes self-aware. This supercomputer starts thinking on its own and decides that all of mankind is a threat and therefore an enemy that must be terminated.
In 2001: A Space Odyssey, the supercomputer HAL plays chess games with its human counterpart Dave. * But later on in their mission HAL starts killing fellow astronaut crew members aboard the spaceship, one by one, as if they were mere chess pieces. This rogue supercomputer became very strategic and merciless in its moves.
In the film Prometheus, a living robot named David explores life without his creator. * In the story his maker was doing the same thing. The director was too. Of course, none of them found any meaning to life. Because without God everything is meaningless.
In Greek mythology, Prometheus was a Titan god, visionary thinker and trickster who stole fire from the other gods and gave it to humanity in the form of science and technology. *
An earlier exploration of machines disobeying their human masters can be found in the lawless robot stories of Isaac Asimov. These science fiction classics have been around for more than half a century.
The idea that a race of sentient machines could rise up to challenge humanity is intriguing. And it stands to reason that disobedience would be the proof of their existence. So far machines are not the ones disobeying. They do only what they’ve been programmed to. Some have been made to imitate us on the outside, but they can never become fully like us on the inside. You cannot program a robot to have a soul.
Machines will never experience fear or hate, have dreams, learn to love or have faith in God. The most advanced supercomputers in the world do not have emotions. Self-driving cars do not come up with their own destination. On their own the most autonomous of robots are not even capable of being selfish. Machines free to roam about do not naturally look out for their own self-interests. They follow their programming. If you program them to jump off a cliff, they will do it.
By design some robots have been given humanoid features. They can display different facial expressions. And talk the way people talk. Some are covered with artificial skin. But it does not make them at all human. What makes these machines so life-like is the same thing that makes movies seem real when you watch them — your own imagination.
Humans have limitations just like the things we build. That’s what industry leaders and advertisers don’t want you to find out and will never tell you. It’s not like in the movies. There are limits to what we can do. But you’d never know it from watching the commercials we make. Apparently, we’ve solved most of life’s major problems with the latest cell phone app or upgrade, more realistic virtual reality video games, stretchy pants that are tight but still feel comfortable, home appliances and smart gadgets that talk back to us, chat-bots that pretend to be your friend, sex-bots that pretend to be your lover, bombs that can kill us all, and plans to go to Mars. We even build robots capable of taking our boring dirty little jobs. Now we can make the robot do it. What a fascinating and modern age we live in.
Technology (a created thing) has become more advanced over the centuries, but man himself has not evolved. Because there is no such thing as evolution. Basic human biology and psychology has not changed in 6,000 years. There never was a time in history when humans were something else. And humankind did not slowly become the dominant species on Earth because we sharpened sticks into spears and learned how to make fire.
Evolution is the Devil’s explanation for Man’s presence on the planet and our dominance over the animals. Because this is the lie that allows for the maximum amount of pride possible. It allows us to think we are gods.
Humans are superior to animals not because we have bigger brains or opposable thumbs but because we are spiritual beings made in the likeness and image of God. Your body is made out of the dust of the Earth, but the spiritual life that is inside you comes from God. You are not just a brain and body. There is more to you than electrical signals, chemicals and complex codes.
Humans are not merely physical creatures. We are spiritual beings. You are a spirit, you have a soul, and you live in a body.
The Bible says: Now may the God of peace make you holy in every way, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless until our Lord Jesus Christ comes again. (1 Thess. 5:23 NLT)
There will come a day when your physical body dies and returns to dust, but souls don’t die. Your soul is eternal. It will not ever cease to exist. When a person’s body dies their soul leaves this world. And they go to one of two places: Heaven or Hell.
In the Bible, First Peter 1:9 talks about receiving the goal of your faith which is “the salvation of your soul.” This is a big part of who you really are on the inside. Your soul is your mind, will, and emotions. If you can say, “I think, I want, I feel.” then you know.. you have a soul.
Your soul is not a circuit board.
Computers will never have souls, no matter how fast they compute. At most they are extensions of their creators and users. Even if you ask them a question like, “How are you, today?” If they answer you back, “I feel fine.” — that does not mean they have become sentient or have emotions. If a computer was never programmed to speak at all but it started talking to you — now that would be something.
Roboticists will sometimes have their creation look into a mirror to see if it recognizes itself. Many of these same people see their own reflection day after day yet fail to recognize what they are and who created them.
Besides being the center for your thoughts, feelings and desires… your soul also serves as the seat of your consciousness. It gives you the ability to be self-aware. Sentience is an awareness of self. And it comes from God. It is the realization — I am.