Artificial intelligence is beginning to disrupt entire industries from investing to advertising. However, the most revolutionary applications have yet to arrive—Human Chemistry versus Human Compatibility.
As artificial intelligence (AI) and AI equipped software become more integrated into our lives, a transformation in how we perform services and how AI provides many of those services; what it means to live, and to die, and ultimately, how we use AI to find love.
Questions are theoretically explored in the 2013 sci-fi film, Her, which tells the story of a man who falls deeply in love with an intelligent computer equipped with AI. “Samantha”, is designed to evolve and adapt her personality to appeal to human beings using AI. She has a very human voice and provides constant empathetic verbal feedback and conversation. As Samantha’s psychological and intellectual capacities grow, so does the human characters (Theadore) and Samantha’s so called “love for each other”.
Samantha’s Artificially Intelligence may sound futuristic but it is in line with the advancements we are seeing in deep learning today. Deep learning is a powerful new functionality in machine learning which achieves the neuronal activity in the neocortex of the human brain.
Advancements in deep learning allow computers to rival humans in many areas where they’ve traditionally struggled such as pattern recognition, natural language processing, games, and vision. The engineering of deep learning is allowing these artificial neural networks to train themselves in many tasks, allowing them to improve their skills even without human intervention. Many projects are also attempting to move AI beyond automated visual and language tasks. One discrete AI firm, Vicarious, is teaching computers imagination, and Google is programming them to be as creative as possible.
Just as the feature film Her raises many questions about the nature of consciousness—which is central to the issue of loving and being loved. It makes little sense to be in love with any inanimate object that lacks the capacity to self-reflect and reciprocate those feelings. Yet, Samantha is portrayed to appear conscious in every other way that humans appear to be conscious.
While Samantha seems to have emotions, memories, a sense of continuity, a capacity to self-reflect and the ability to use language to communicate all of this. How could anyone fall in love with a machine? How could anyone not realize that loving inanimate objects is a hoax ? Especially since AI is not even close to being able to predict chemistry between two people only potential compatibility.
There’s an even more problematic question here: how will we know if AI truly understands the human experience of consciousness or if it has simply been programmed to replicate the illusion of consciousness? Known as the hard problem of consciousness, this remains one of the biggest mysteries in neuroscience as scientists attempt to explain how we have phenomenal subjective experiences (also known as “qualia.”)
The same social attribution can be applied to AI. The line between the consciousness experienced by intelligent machines and human beings is blurrier then we would like to admit. But even still to this day computers equipped with AI can not predict love between two human beings and human beings falling in love with machines is not much more than a fantasy seen in movies. Not to mention as strange as a human falling in love with a vibrator or sex toy.
Our brains are the biological source of all our emotions, memories and subjective experiences. Given that fact, theoretically, many experts believe that if we were to replicate the structure and function of the brain, we should be able to replicate all the experiences that come with it. That also means replicating the emotions and subjective experiences we each develop throughout our lives. Even so computers with AI still can not predict chemistry between two people.
Technology and AI is advancing at an unprecedented rate—intelligent devices are becoming more and more integrated to our lives. Experts predict that we will have AI at a human level by 2029, and it will be a billion times more capable than humans by the 2040s. Many predict that one day we could merge with powerful machines to extend life. We ourselves may become artificially intelligent. But until then Matchmakers and direct human interaction far outweigh any software’s ability to facilitate loving relationships.
The capacity to feel passion and love could be amongst the many evolutionary advantages that have allowed humans to progress so far as a species. It stimulates the drive to procreate, stay alive and keep one’s loved ones alive. Programming AI to have the capacity to identify chemistry may one day allow us to create more human connections.
We design machines to fulfill many of our needs, such as to communicate and to solve problems. Soon we might use technology and applied reason to further enhance the human condition— including our intellectual and physical abilities but what about our emotional needs?.
AI may one day be able to predict the love we all yearn for. If we can develop non-biological beings that truly understand who we are, who we are attracted to and how we love — it is only inevitable that some of us will find love via AI. Instead of searching for soulmates, we could even create them through cloning and via robotic cyborgs. Instead of consistently ending up in messy relationships, we could design algorithms that give us all the companionship we search for. But would the human race be better off loving machines or prefabricated perfect companions?
AI may ultimately be able to soothe the human condition and relieve us of the existential angst of loneliness by granting access to something we all crave — the powerful desire to love and be loved. At least for now is better left to professional matchmakers who are helping solve the plague of human loneliness.