The term Artificial intelligence has been gathering attention and creating excitement in the contemporary technology landscape. Though it has attracted the intense attention and imagination of the world in recent times, it has been the holy grail of computing ever since the idea that machines can compute and make decisions surfaced in the human mind. Well before Alan Turing , before Van Neumann, before Charles Babbage and possibly even before Leibnitz and Boole, the fascination for machines that can think has always existed.
Scientists, mathematicians and anyone in the business of building these systems as well as those popularizing it very well know that the term itself serves more as a marketing tool than what it implies to mean. They do not expect a 'thing' to think.
Central to all of information related technologies is the concept of search, so much so that a search engine pretty much rules the world today. If one were to take a look at a dictionary or a telephone directory it becomes obvious that the key to the success of these books lies in the fact that the information is ordered. imagine a telephone directory that is not alphabetically sorted, but random names filling up its pages. It might as well be in the dust bin. Our minds does much more that ordering the information. Today's computing systems look into the mind for the answers to its search problems.
Every area of pursuit when approached systematically, can be comprehended and eventually structured. Mathematics, science, economics, social, healthcare, politics and many an area provides us with fresh problems and challenges. Though these problems present themselves in multiple forms, the destination is simply their solution. The pursuit for these solutions defines the structure and course of these areas.
To take a simplified view, it is a search towards a state called 'solution' from the state called 'problem', much like finding a path from a point in space to another in a maze. This may be achieved in many a ways, and one such approach would be to systematically take every possible path one by one and pursue it and verify if it leads to the desired solution which satisfies all the necessary conditions.
This generic approach of considering every known and unknown path, pursuing it, and figuring if it leads to a solution, and continuing this until we eventually find the solution, provides us with a mechanism that might succeed mostly. Though this appears very trivial, the complexity arises due the fact that there may be countless possible paths, so huge in number that it becomes practically impossible to eventually arrive at the solution in a meaningful timeframe for it to be useful.
This is the point where the human mind and its intelligence ascends into the throne. Through the power of the inexplicable phenomenon of intuition the mind is capable of figuring solutions to seemingly impossible problems in a sudden flash. one cannot layout a methodology or an algorithm for this. the mind simply elevates itself to such possibilities of genius and provides pathways hither to unknown.
From time immemorial there has been a quest to decipher this. mathematicians and computer scientists and pretty much everyone else from statisticians to psychologists to neuroscientists and nuclear physicists have tried to throw light into how to mimic the human mind.
There has be tremendous progress in computing as a byproduct of this quest. new methodologies such as the Artificial Neural Networks have finally come of age, and moved from massive housings to the handheld mobile. apps that help us fill sentences , translators, voice recognition, speech synthesis, email spam detection and on to self-driven cars, the new programming paradigm has come a long way.
In spite of the innumerable progress this technology has been able to offer, one must keep in mind that inside of all of this, it still is a simple loop, or finding the right path out of the possibly infinite. there is no intuition or a mental awareness, the sheer hardware ability both in terms of speed as well as size is still the backbone of all its achievements.
This pursuit for a solution and the various means of searching it aside, the trajectory of an artist is a traversal of several paths yet without a destination. There is no specific target , objective or goal that has stated objectives and parameters to optimize. it does not involve an algorithm of looking at several paths and evaluating them all and figuring the right one, because there is no right path in the travels of an artist.
While searches with specific clear destinations pose insurmountable challenges, once can only try and imagine the plight of an artist. With infinitely many paths, his travels are infinite too. some come to an end abruptly, some meander and circle and keep reaching the same spot over and over, some are rather long, one can never tell if the destination has been reached, nor can you say this is the best of the paths. These travels of the artists are inspired and fuelled by the intuitive nature of the mind. There are no destinations to be reached, and nor are they successes and failures.
Unlike the process of finding out a solution to an optimization problem, these are undertaken through the emotions and awareness of a consciousness, these travels and their unexpected findings are exclusive to the human mind. A machine can never become an artist.
This 2018 painting 'Untitled' by contemporary Polish master painter Rafal Stepniak , is the pure expression of an emotional and intuitive travel through colors and forms, and showcases the unique possibilities of the creative human mind!