Would AI be capable of creative thought and intuition?

Definitely. These creative thought and intuition are the ones that we are going to nail down first. We may even be able to create a machine that is better than us on these, soon.

There are two strong reasons to believe that this is going to be true.

First. There is this so called Bayesian alike of thinking. This is how an AI machine thinks. We won’t discuss it in technical detail, but what we need to know is: this is the way of taking decision using the probability of an outcome to happen based on our previous experiences.

We, human, tend to exaggerate ourselves. We think that we are a logical and creative creature, but it turns out that most of our decisions and actions are decided by this kind of Bayesian alike thinking. That means, we think in probability more than we are aware of. What we praise high as “intuition”, is no more than a result of our brain choosing a better probability. What we praise as creative thinking is mostly no more than heuristic (trial and error) approach in problem solving.

Second, and worse, we are easily made biased in our intuition thinking. We would seriously believe that we have been logical, we even make up a logical explanation to defend our intuition, but sorry, our intuition could be fooled easily. If we ever read Nobel winner Daniel Kahneman’s book Thinking, Fast and Slow, we would better understand how this could happen.

If you don’t believe it, see these two lines, which one is the longer one? Then take a ruler to measure it. Then, see again, could you agree with your (logical) measurement?

So, when we are comparing super slow biological brain and fast lightning machine, and both of them are running more or less the same Bayesian alike of thinking, our chance to be better than a machine is no bigger than we could be better at crunching numbers than a calculator.

By now, if I have convinced you enough, you would probably ask: would  human eventually be defeated by machine? That’s no one knows. But borrowing from Kahneman’s, I love to divide AI development into three phases:

1. System1
2. System2
3. Consciousness

The first phase, System1, is what we discuss here. The second phase, System2 is truly our logical thinking. On this, we have no good idea of how to create a machine that could, for example, develop a Quantum-Gravity theory by itself. (Yet.) The third phase, consciousness, is the problem that currently we don’t even know how to ask it correctly.

Yeah, there’re still those two really really hard problems, just to cheer up ourselves.


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