You see a man walking toward you on the street. He reminds you of someone from long ago. Such as a high school classmate, who belonged to the football team? Wasn’t a great player but you were fond of him then. You don’t recall him attending fifth, 10th and 20th reunions. He must have moved away and established his life there and cut off his ties to his friends here.
You look at his face and you really can’t tell if it’s Bob for sure. You had forgotten many of his key features and this man seems to have gained some weight.
The distance between the two of you is quickly closing and your mind is running at full speed trying to decide if it is Bob.
At this moment, you have a few choices. A decision tree will emerge and you will need to choose one of the available options.
In the logic diagram I show, there are some question that is influenced by the emotion. B2) “Nah, let’s forget it” and C) and D) are results of emotional decisions and have little to do with fact this may be Bob or not.
The human decision-making process is often influenced by emotion, which is often independent of fact.
You decision to drop the idea of meeting Bob after so many years is caused by shyness, laziness and/or avoiding some embarrassment in case this man is not Bob. The more you think about this decision-making process, less sure you’d become. After all, if you and Bob hadn’t spoken for 20 years, maybe we should leave the whole thing alone.
Thus, this is clearly the result of human intelligence working.
If this were artificial intelligence, chances are decisions B2, C and D wouldn’t happen. Machines today at their infantile stage of development do not know such emotional feeling as “too much trouble,” hesitation due to fear of failing (Bob says he isn’t Bob), or laziness and or “too complicated.” In some distant time, these complex feelings and deeds driven by the emotion would be realized, I hope. But, not now.
At this point of the state of art of AI, a machine would not hesitate once it makes a decision. That’s because it cannot hesitate. Hesitation is a complex emotional decision that a machine simply cannot perform.
There you see a huge crevice between the human intelligence and AI.
In fact, animals (remember we are also an animal) display complex emotional decisions daily. Now, are you getting some feeling about human intelligence and AI?
Shintaro “Sam” Asano was named by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2011 as one of the 10 most influential inventors of the 20th century who improved our lives. He is a businessman and inventor in the field of electronics and mechanical systems who is credited as the inventor of the portable fax machine.