Artificial Intelligence, using DNA, was created in a test tube seven years ago.
July 20th, 2011 – “Researchers at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) have now taken a major step toward creating artificial intelligence—not in a robot or a silicon chip, but in a test tube. The researchers are the first to have made an artificial neural network out of DNA, creating a circuit of interacting molecules that can recall memories based on incomplete patterns, just as a brain can.” (1)
In a 2013 interview with CalTech researcher LuLu Qian said:
“I am interested in programming biological molecules—like DNA and RNA—to recognize molecular events from the biochemical environment, process information, make decisions, take actions, and to learn and evolve.” (2)
Jump forward to:
July 7th, 2018 – “Researchers at Caltech have developed an artificial neural network made out of DNA that can solve a classic machine learning problem: correctly identifying handwritten numbers. The work is a significant step in demonstrating the capacity to program artificial intelligence into synthetic biomolecular circuits.” (3)
Most people think of “artificial intelligence” as electromechanical – like something on a computer chip. And that may prove true in the future. But science explores all avenues of intelligence, including our own human brain, which has proven itself superior to all other intelligences on the planet.
The term “artificial” should be examined. Even though the bio research is in the rudimentary development stage, is it not a “created” intelligence? This avenue of thought leads to ethical questions. If our science can create an intelligence, can our science legally destroy that intelligence? Will we persist in the term “artificial” so as to somehow immunize our ethical conscience?
Will science create intelligence superior to human intelligence? The “unknown” always promotes fear in humankind. Created intelligence is unknown – so should we fear it? Steven Hawking and Elon Musk, two well know scientists have expressed grave doubts and concerns about “artificial intelligence”.
The Gig Harbor Times expresses that everything that we know has potential for great good and great harm. Think of a created intelligence that we might design to cure health problems or extend life. The GHT predicts two things; 1) the military will want to weaponize it, and 2) Congress will want to regulate it.
What exciting times lay ahead.