HuMachines – Humans, Machines, MacHumans or HuMachines? – Part 1


https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/humachines-humans-machines-machumans-part-1-krishna-pisupat?trk=hp-feed-article-title-share

What make Humans Humans – Cognitive Abilities such as Learning, Understanding, Reasoning and Decision Making or Senses and Emotions or the Bodies composed by Trillions of cells? Whatever has been the line of separation until now, it would soon become inadequate to resolve the ambiguity. Recent technological advancements are going to erase these boundaries.

It’s been drizzling. It was around 6 PM on a Christmas Eve at the foothills of Smoky Appalachian Mountain range. My car was racing towards my home town. I was overwhelmed by the idea that I was about to share my breakthrough discovery with my family. Then suddenly my car started losing momentum and the engine shutdown. I came out from my thoughts and anxiety and steer the car towards the Shoulder. Within no time it came to a complete stop. I was clueless what to do. There was no one around as far as my eye can see.

Then there was a noise that I felt was approaching me. I was scared – what if that was a Bobcat or something. Slowly, it became inaudible to vague to clear. It sounded like a car. Hmmm…. I cried a sigh of relief. Then I stepped out of my car and tried to stop the car, expecting a ride. The car stopped around 10 meters away from me. I approached the car and peeped through the car window. There was a beautiful Lady with blond hair and blue eyes. I explained my situation to the Lady. She readily understood the situation and expressed her sorry to my situation. She seemed to be a sensible person with helping nature. Although I was a stranger to her and trying to stop her car in the middle of a Jungl-ish place, she was undeterred to offer me the ride. I felt she must be brave to offer me a ride to a near by town. I asked myself, “Would I offer a ride to a HitchHiker midst of these situations?”. The Answer was No. While brain was puzzled with these thoughts, I took my luggage and got into the car.

After basic introductions, the conversation went on to our professions, interests and then a few general topics like Technologies, Finance, Economy etc. The whole episode made me feel that I found a good friend as there were a lot of similarities in our expertise and the knowledge we both possess. I had not met anyone before who is such a trove of knowledge in one of the most advanced and niche areas of Quantum Physics. No wonder of my knowledge in such a remote area as I am Doctor of Philosophy in Quantum Physics and the topic has been my research area. I published most of my research papers on the subject. But how can she possess knowledge about those nuances at great depths. Honestly, I was amazed. She sounded knowledgable in every topic and discipline we discussed in that one and half hour drive. In addition to her helping nature, concern and knowledge her good looks and well balanced composure made a lasting impression on me. I would, any day, be ready to meet her again. I felt that she was warm and trustworthy.

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If we abstract out or eliminate the whereabouts and other details of the plot, there was a framework that the Narrator’s brain used to read the whole experience. When his car broke down, he heard a sound that scared him. He was the only person around – at least as per his knowledge. He suspected something dangerous to be lurking around. When he heard the car, he felt some Human was approaching. An alternative possibility was not even in his consideration as it was beyond his doubt that only a Human can drive the car.

During the conversation, the Lady expressed a few emotions and words to back them. Her expressions, body language and words made him feel that she was kind hearted and brave to offer him the ride.

During basic introductions, both exchanged their information about their professions, interests etc. Then the conversation went a bit deeper to his interests and research area. His brain started considering her to be someone with good heart. He stopped feeling that she was a complete stranger to him. Because of a lot similarities, his psychology made him trust her and like her.

To brief, here are the things that made his brain used to conclude the specifics of the Lady

  • Abilities – Lady’s ability to drive the car; On hearing the car noise, he readily felt that it was some Human Being
  • Looks – Her looks impressed him and as she was beautiful.
  • Emotions – Her facial expressions, language she used, her compassion towards him made him feel that she was a kind hearted and brave person
  • Knowledge – As she talked about his area of research, he started treating her to be close to him professionally – i.e. to be an insider. He started connecting him to her professionally.

In this whole plot, Narrator didn’t even consider the possibility that she could be a Non-human entity. The above criteria made him to conclude that she was a human being. If you were to decide yourself, would you think that she is a human? What if we are in year 2030? Would you still stick to your conclusion? Or would you consider any additional criteria?

“What make Humans Humans – Cognitive Abilities such as Learning, Understanding, Reasoning and Decision Making or Senses and Emotions or the Bodies composed by Trillions of cells? Whatever has been the line of separation until now, it would soon become inadequate to resolve the ambiguity. Recent technological advancements are going to erase these boundaries.”

If these criteria is only the criteria to make the conclusion, how far Technology has arrived or is set to arrive in near future or near long term future to erase these boundaries between Humans and Machines?

Stay Tuned to read the analysis….

( To be Continued …. )

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