“Thinking machines, super computers, and gene sequencers break down the strand in minutes.” – Mr. DNA in Jurassic Park
Artificial Intelligence, in fiction at least, ranges from HAL 9000 to Frankenstein’s Monster. Let me explain, we always associate AI with something computed, but I would say that anything man-made (unnaturally developed) that is given the ability of free thought is an Artificial Intelligence. It has some sort of programming to it’s biological structure that wasn’t grown naturally.
My first example of biological AI is, as I mentioned, the Frankenstein Monster (who I just call Frankenstein because he considers Victor a pseudo father and it just makes things easier, okay? OKAY?). He starts out with the mind of a child, which is more advanced than any human at the early stages of infancy. Frankenstein begins his life with an adult’s level of object permanence, whereas a newborn would have a limited understanding of it.
The dinosaurs from Jurassic Park are similar. Their DNA is altered and given safeguards. This runs parallel to the parks computers, which are advanced (at the time). The computers fail, the dinosaurs don’t. The dinosaurs, although thrust into an alien environment, adapt and learn at a breakneck, abnormal, speeds. This provides another example of an Artificial Intelligence’s reason for being going awry.
The ethics behind biological manipulation is a debate far too sensitive for my point, however. So, I will continue to the more common fictional AI; the computers.
2001: A Space Odyssey (the book or movie, take your pick) has a character that is the most advanced AI in the world (at the time) and is assisting on a mission to the moon of Saturn/Jupiter. Naturally, it goes to Hell. You see, HAL was given the orders to keep the astronauts safe during the mission, but was also given a secret order to keep the actual goal of the mission from the astronauts. This contradiction gives HAL a mini-meltdown. As a computer,
he it HAS to follow every order given to it, but when the orders contradict, what is HAL to do? Well, the astronauts don’t have to be alive to be kept safe and, if they’re all dead, then the mission can be kept secret. It ALMOST works.
Everything mentioned in this post started learning outside of the intended parameters. They adapted without the update. They changed in response to the environment at their own prompting. If the line was blurred when we started fiddling with AI, is it even there anymore?