This paper is about the artwork ‘Drones with Desires’, which is shown in figure FIXME. This artwork will be discussed later, but first there will be a short introduction about the designer of the artwork. The designer of this artwork, Agi Haines, is highly interested in visuals and mechanisms inside the body. This is probably the case because Haines’ parents were also artists working with the human body, so Haines gets used to the, for most people, shocking images in an early stage of her life. She completed her masters in the Design Interactions department at the Royal College of Art, and she is at the moment undertaking PhD research at Transtechnology research.
The artwork ‘Drone with Desires’ is a drone that looks like a big blob with wings moving trough a room. The drone is working based on the anatomy of the brain data from Haines herself which is gained from a MRI scan. The movement of the drone is controlled with this data, which is used to decode it to an algorithm. This algorithm is an artificial neuro network which controls the movement of the drone. The drone can be resembled with an artificial central nervous system, or brain, floating around the room. The movement of the drone is special because it is derived from human brains, but the drone can also learn from its anatomy and environment as it flows around which is even more striking. The drone makes decisions formed by the level of comfort and curiosity. With these levels connections in the network alter their strength to replicate learning behavior as it develops in the human brain.
What Haines wants to make visible according to my findings about the artwork is the boundary of the humanness in combination with the fast changing world of technology and artificial intelligence used in machines and devices. To foster a theoretical discussion, this subject is divided into two questions. In the next phase there will be a theoretical discussion using these two questions as the main guidance for the discussion:
How ethically responsible is it to develop and apply new techniques while keeping in mind the possible harms and risks?
Where can the line between human and non-human be drawn, according to the fact that humans will or can be enhanced by new techniques and artificial intelligence?
In the end the message of the designer as a whole as well as the subquestions will be reviewed and there will be a deliberate conclusion.
Arguments (theoretical discussion using secondary literature, sources)
The development of new techniques
The artwork drones with desires shows the development of a drone in a exaggerated manner. Drones are increasingly used by hobbyist as well as different industries like the film industry or the agricultural field. Drones are really beneficial if they are used in a good way. They can for example replace persons in doing dangerous work or they can replace satellite imagery which reduces the cost and increases the precision of the imageries. But what happens if drones are used in a so to say ‘wrong’ way? Or what if the drone can think for itself and create its own desire, like in the artwork?
Lets look at the bigger picture, namely the impact of artificial intelligence on devices and machines. An artificial intelligent system is a system that can learn on its own. This means artificial intelligence can ensure that machines can create there own desires, this is partly what Haines wants to show us with her artwork. Steven Hawking, one of the most famous theoretical physicist of the world stated in an interview from BBC the follows: “The development of full artificial intelligence could spell the end of the human race.” This is a pessimistic view on what Haines shows with her self thinking drone. In the same interview Hawking mentioned two reasons for this stance. The first reason he gives is that at some point in time artificial intelligence can create itself over and over again to an ever increasing rate. The second reason is that humans, who’s progress is limited by the biological evolution, could not compete the speed of the development of artificial intelligence. Hawking probably is right, but at the same time he uses artificial intelligence to communicate. A computer is used to help him talk because Hawking suffers from ALS so he could not talk on his own. This proofs that artificial intelligence is useful but at the same time very dangerous if it is used wrong or developed without legislation.
R.L. Adams, a software engineer who wrote an article called: ‘is artificial intelligence dangerous?’ comes up with 3 subquestions about artificial intelligence. These questions are: ‘Is our species’ hubris in crafting artificial intelligence systems ultimately going be to blamed for its downfall when it occurs? What’s to stop artificial intelligence that lands in the hands of bad actors or secretive government regimes hell bent on doing harm to its enemies or the world? What’s to stop artificial when it’s unleashed?’ The answers to these questions are impossible to give now because the time has to tell us but one thing is inevitably to neglect and that is the fact that when artificial intelligence is unleashed, mankind could not stop the much faster and smarter thinking machine, so it will overrule humans.
If artificial intelligence brings so many risks, why do we still have the urge to develop it? Because it has so many benefits! As short mentioned before, artificial intelligence is used to communicate with people who can not talk on their own. But it can be found in more things in our daily life. Artificial intelligence is processed in for example Siri(Apple’s personal assistant), Tesla cars (self-driving function), amazon.com and Netflix (who can predict our preferences according to previous choices) and Nest(a learning thermostat that can control the temperature with data gained from your previous behavior). Artificial intelligence makes life easier and that is the main drive to keep developing it.
Previous examples of artificial intelligence were only for recreational purposes, but it also offers solutions to important problems. For example the raise of the production of agricultural products by 70% of the production now, since the world population then is estimated about 9 billion people according to experts. Artificial intelligent systems can analyze many data gained by drones to increase yield which is impossible for humans. Another application of artificial intelligence is in the healthcare sector. According to this patent high risk patients can be monitored using artificial intelligence. These examples are important achievements of making the world a little better using artificial intelligence.
The line between human and non-human
The artwork drones with desires of course doesn’t look like a human or any form of it. But Haines argued in a interview about the artwork whether or not it is human when the drone replicate her decision-making process as well as her flesh? Isn’t the machine then a clone of yourself? This clone can be used to for example do medical research, because it is exact the same as yourself but when medical research goes wrong you have nothing to worry about and if it goes well it can be applied to the relevant person.
There are two extremes regarding the thin line of human and non-human in terms of human enhancement, namely people who find every human enhancement a threat to humanity and people who embrace human enhancement. Leon Kass, a bioethicist who worked in the President’s Council on Bioethics in the USA from 2002 to 2007, argued that we humans have to respect and appreciate the special gifts given by nature. he gives as an example that turning a human in to a cockroach would be dehumanizing