The term Artificial Intelligence has crept into our everyday lives and continues to appear and reappear in articles, social media, documentaries and films.
Artificial intelligence was born at a meeting held in the summer of 1956 in Dartmouth (United States) in which those who participated became later the main researchers in the area. In preparation of the meeting, J. McCarthy, M. Minsky, N. Rochester and C.E. Shannon drafted a proposal in which the term ‘artificial intelligence’ appeared for the first time.
The proposal presented in the meeting organized by J. McCarthy and his colleagues includes what can be considered the first definition of artificial intelligence. The document defines the problem of artificial intelligence as the construction of a machine which behaves in such a way that, if the same behaviour was performed by a human being, the latter would be called intelligent. Other definitions exist which are not based on human behaviour, such as acting like people or reasoning like people.
But, are not verbs like ‘to think’ and ‘to act’ part of a process initiated by others verbs often forgotten? To dream and to imagine.
Dreaming and imagining are two unique capabilities of human beings. Intelligence depends on imagination and only by improving it we would be able to build a fairer, more humane and more honest world.
Thanks to imagination we can think beyond the limits of our immediate situation, generate new mental content with which we can reevaluate the past and dream and imagine a better future.
A machine will never be able to imagine and dream: a machine will always need our imagination and our dreams to be able to design, calculate, evaluate, build, develop, test, measure and a long list of other activities which are at risk of being performed by a machine in a not so distant future.
At what point in our lives do we have the greatest imagination potential? In childhood, when we are little boys and girls. At that time, no machine, no matter how intelligent, could beat us in the battle of imagining and dreaming.
Let us make the most of these capabilities from a very early age. Let us endow these little GREAT people with experiences which will allow them to imagine and dream of a better world. And let us put Artificial Intelligence at the service of this fantastic mission of creating a better world.
Let us make our boys, girls and youngsters win the game!
(Author: Lucia Gonzalez)