Gigaom brings you our unique analysis and commentary on the present and future of AI.
The historian Will Durant said that language is what made us humans, and language is a very special thing. Durant might have even gone further to say that it's intelligence--intelligence at a certain level--that makes us human. We often draw a line that equates consciousness and intelligence. For instance, apes and dolphins, we think, may be super smart and they're likely conscious, dogs, too. Ants, not so much--probably not conscious and not that smart. All the way down.
Now, there is a line we draw below which life doesn't have any value. We take antibiotics to kill bacteria with no regard for their lives. We weed our gardens and pull of weeds and leave those plants to die without regard for their lives. So the question is this, where would machines--if they became intelligent--draw that line? Will we be above it or below it?