Blog: Artificial Intelligence: is this the end of human existence?
The objective of this project was to choose an issue that we were interested in and create a code based on that topic. The main requirement of the project was to display a creative work that informs the viewer. When choosing my topic I contemplated what I am most passionate about and the idea of Artificial Intelligence immediately came to mind. My goal was to inform viewers about the power of artificial intelligence past, present and future. To achieve this goal I first created a timeline of the past 20 years to explained how artificial intelligence has improved. Each year included a picture and information regarding that year’s invention that displayed when the mouse is pressed on the square. Next, I included the idea of Moore’s Law to explore how fast artificial intelligence is improving. Next, I added the sound of a robot verses the sound of a human to exemplify the scary similarity. Following that, I displayed the Turing Test to make viewers contemplate the power of the computer. Lastly, I included the Intelligence Explosion as part of the “future” of artificial intelligence.
Artificial Intelligence was the issue I chose to explore because of what I learned in my technology class this semester. Prior to the class I was naive to the power that artificial intelligence has over humans. At one point I thought AI was “cool” and “fascinating” but now I see it as something so scary. The reason I chose this topic was because I feel I have the power of informing unaware viewers on the impact AI has on our society. The viewers of my code are people that are similar to my once naive self. It became my passion to help those people learn about AI before we let AI become more powerful than humans. Throughout the semester I have explored AI through a deep lens and wanted to use this project as an opportunity to learn more about the topic. I used this project as a platform to inspire other people to investigate AI for themselves. I have come to the conclusion that it is possible that AI will destroy the human race. Through my investigations I have found that when humans create “smarter- than- human” machines, they are creating something more powerful than themselves. In the race between the human existence and Moore’s Law, we lose. We are allowing machines to be so powerful that their drive is to end human existence. This complex conclusion I came to is what inspired me to create my project to help inform other unaware humans before it becomes too late.
The most rewarding part of this project was how seeing how similar my initial conceptualization was to my end result. My initial sketch for the first two screens is displayed on the left. In my actual code I was able to create my exact vision of the first screen. The only thing I was incapable of achieving was a “click” for each circle, instead I used the mouse is pressed function. For the second screen I also was able to achieve my vision, despite having the jar fill up. I successfully created the OOP to explain Moore’s Law.
My next two initial screens are displayed on the left. In regards to screen three, I was able to include the sound of a robot and compare it to the sound of my favorite comedian. My biggest defeat in this case was creating buttons that would just appear on the this specific screen. On screen four, I was able to display the Turing Test as a game for the viewers. When creating the code I decided to make the game more interactive by adding a score variable.
My last initial screen is on the left. Originally, I thought of displaying my last screen so when the viewer press the space bar it would show a new predictions of the future of AI. Although, instead I decided to incorporate the Intelligent Explosion. This part of the code gave me the most difficulty because of how I wanted to display an explosion from an OOP function. Eventually I was able to achieve this goal to help the viewer understand the future of AI.
My project was designed to emphasize artificial intelligence past, present, and future. My goal was to inform the viewers as they interact with my project about artificial intelligence and how it has advanced. As they became more aware of the concept throughout the code I included the possible scary future of artificial intelligence. I wanted to express to my viewers how these powerful machines are becoming superior towards humans. On a deeper level, I wanted my viewers to conceptualize by the end of my code that the future of AI may not include the human race.
The beginning of my code is more informative than scary. It helps people understand how AI has improved throughout the years. I included inventions that seem very cool to viewers like self driving cars and Siri. The timeline begins with IBM’s chess playing robot Deep Blue and ends with Sophia the Robot. The timeline included photos of each invention with corresponding information when the viewer presses the mouse on the square. My goal with screen one was to help educate viewers with idea of AI through inventions I once found enticing. At this point in my project I wanted people to be fascinated with the concept of AI and to continue my code to help get my point across.
I wanted people to feel this way towards AI while on the first screen:
Next, on screen two is where is began to address the rapid advancement of AI through Moore’s Law. Since I knew most viewers were unaware of Moore’s Law I included a definition. To make it more interactive and visually appeal to the viewers to help them understand I created a OOP of falling computers. The speed of the falling computers increases as the viewers moves the mouse towards the right (Year 2025). My objective here was to show the viewer that by 2025 the power of the computer will be the same, or greater, than the human brain.
Now is when the viewers should begin to question AI and go like this:
Now onto screen three. The goal of screen three was to show the crazy similarity between the voice of a robot and the voice of the human. I added the opportunity to use the microphone to have viewers listen to themselves speak and compare what they hear to the robot. The sound of the robot is played when the viewer presses key “A” and is stopped when they press key “I” (for AI). For the human the viewer presses “P” for play and “S” for stop. The most challenging part of this screen was converting the videos I found off YouTube to Mp4s to then convert to Mp3s to preload into p5js. My goal here is to make people really start to understand how humanlike robots are becoming and begin to come to my conclusion on AI. The conclusion that AI is going to take over society and replace humans.
Now is when viewers go:
Screen four includes The Turing Test. My goal here is to make my code interactive to entice the viewers. I thought a game for my viewers would be an entertaining way to help them learn. Similar to my screen with Moore’s Law I included a definition on the Turing Test. The game is to stump my viewers on who answered questions: a human or the computer. My goal here was to make viewers realize that the computer is becoming more humanlike. I included this screen before my last screen because I wanted people to fully grasp how we are creating artificial intelligent machines that are becoming more powerful than ourselves. I included different keys on the keyboard to help the viewer play the game. Additionally, when the viewer gets a question correct, the score variable increases by one. Once people complete my game, they realize how hard it is to deceiver better AI and a human.
The viewers new reaction:
The last and final screen was designed to show the future of artificial intelligence. This is the point in my code where I want to make the biggest impact on my viewers. I included the Intelligence Explosion because it explains the steps AI is taking to become superior to human life. The reason I included the OOP for when the viewer presses “i” was to emphasize the power explosion has on ending human existence. I ended my code here because I felt it was the perfect way to show viewers that AI is not as cool as it seemed in the first screen. This screen was created to help the viewers get to my conclusion of AI to motivate them to help destroy AI before it becomes too late.
Viewer’s feelings at the end:
When creating this code I ran into many challenges along the way. One of my biggest challenges was with “homescreen()” and having mouseIsPressed to work when the code first started. Originally, when the code was called the mouseIsPressed only worked when the code was called for the second time around and onwards. I had to change my keypressed functions to add a currentScreen variable. Once I created this variable and fixed the corresponding keys it began much easier. This also helped me fix the problem of having the sounds only play on the third screen. Originally, the sounds could have been accessed if the corresponding key was pressed on any screen. The currentScreen function also helped me create my game on the Turing Test. I struggled immensely with making the questions appear each time the viewer pressed a key. My goal was to make the questions appear one at a time which did not work until I created the currentScreen function to correspond with the keys used in the game. My last challenge that took me a great deal of time to overcome was with the OOP function on the last screen. First, the screen was calling the OOP when the viewer approached the screen instead of when they pressed “i”, which was my goal. Once I was able to fix that problem, the objects that appeared did not leave the screen when the code ran again. Eventually I was able to fix the update function in the class Explosion to make the OOP only run when the keypressed is “i” and to end once the viewer moves to the next screen.
Personally, I would not do anything differently with more time. The reason I say this is because my initial conceptualization mirrored my final design almost perfectly. The only thing more time would have allowed me to do is add more about AI to help the viewer understand my conclusion, which I did not feel was necessary.
As I reflect on CSCI 187 I realize how much I appreciated the class. The reason I took this class was to fill a requirement, but I am so thankful for that. Had I not needed this CCC, I would have graduated without taking any computer science course at Bucknell. Now when fellow peers ask me what class to take I recommend CSCI 187. Throughout the semester I felt challenged with different problems and different topics we learned. When I was able to overcome those challenges I felt more accomplished than I did in a majority of my other classes I have taken throughout college. This class taught me that my biggest regret of college career was not taking more computer science courses prior to senior year. I would agree that at times I felt defeated and anger towards concepts we learned, but once I was able to understand those concepts was when I felt a special sense of accomplishment. After watching my project come to life and sharing it with my peers to see, I felt a sense of pride from CSCI 187. I felt that I was able to challenge myself because of CSCI 187 and what I was able to achieve gives me a great deal of joy.