Summary of the Book Transformers and Philosophy
The authors of the book start by explaining the history of the transformer and possibility of the philosophical ideas regarding the future existence of the artificial intelligence. The Transformers as per the author’s explanation in the book include comic prints, video games, and movies. The book explains ways applied by a dream team of philosophers that engaged in clearing the curiosity among the human kinds concerning the artificial intelligence mechanical civilization. The book explains on the robot civilization and the way it will change the normal human life. The book explains the moral effects as a result of artificial intelligence civilization, the fear of generating robots that would end up generating their ideas and the creative life that is connected with robot civilization.
Review of the Book
The authors of the book Transformers and Philosophy begun with covering the stages of the civilization and arranged it in three stages. Stages 1, 2 and 0 and they explained that the current human civilization falls under stage 0.7. The current civilization stage according to the authors suggests that humans beings have to go thousands of factors just to arrive at stage one. The authors also stated that within the coming century humans will experience a lot of emerging technological developments and especially the up-and-coming of nanotechnology and artificial intelligence (Shook, and Swan, 12)
The authors describe the body of robots that they referred to as visiting creatures to the planet earth. They described their body as being in a position to move and change their physical body shapes in similar ways that animals changes their shapes when moving or performing a specific task. The act would be incredible taking into consideration the speed that machines operates and their ability to change physical body shapes. The currently used machines apart from being fast in the performance of a specific task they do not change their shapes to great extents as explained by the authors (Shook, and Swan, 32)
According to authors, the robot that would be consisting of nanotechnology would have seamless and fluid external view that is similar to that of living creatures. The internal view of the built robot would consist of equal trillions of moving parts, which is also equivalent to those found in human bodies. The difference according to the author would be that the robot is expected to operate at different ranges of atmospheric compositions of temperatures, pressures, and a very high speed compared to the speed of human beings and finally be stronger than normal human beings. The authors illustrated that the robot that is of the same size to that of the human body regarding strength and brains would be in a position to change its shape and package itself into a size that is equivalent to that of a ball-point pen and be equally heavy. Similarly, the authors suggest that there are high chances that a big robot would have very high intellectual power that can only be compared to the intelligence of the entire current human race. The robot civilization would also build up other robots that are estimated to be more diverse than human beings (Shook, and Swan, 62).
The robot civilization will abolish the original civilization of humans with the only exemption being those who will embrace the human biological form and will be gradually turn out to be the Amish of the civilization. The reason being humans would opt to improve their current intelligence through mixing with pure artificial intelligence to improve their productivity and intellect level. The authors additionally differentiated robots culture with that of human beings concerning their reproductive arrangements. The authors cited that they would be high chances that robots will construct factories that will similarly be used to build more robots and hence they will be multiplying at a high rate than human’s biological processes (Steiff 28).
The authors explain that robots are not assumed to be useful conceptual to the mind of philosophy, but can also be beneficial in human life as a result of integrated technology that is linked to people’s daily needs. The robots and the use of artificial technology have been used by the authors to help the human understand the meaning of being humans. For instance, the Transformers animated movie has been applied to drive the message that Autobots are major success of humanity concerning its utopian ideals through the application of advancing technology (Steiff 28).
The authors described transformers as being persons because they have control over their actions during transformation and maintaining their identity just like human beings when they change from infant to adult. Different from humans, transformations in transformers can take place within a minimal span of time while that of human takes some years. The authors compared transformers with human beings and stated that they are unified bodies and not a random collection of parts. They only change in appearance, but the spark and body unity just like that of human’s soul and body unity preserves their personal identity (Shook, and Swan, 98).
The authors explained on the people perception towards robot regarding whether they have their mind or they are mindless beings. They concluded that it would be impossible to state clearly about transformers being mindless unless it is well stated of the things and traits that a person or object with a mind has to perfect on. This is because, with advancing technology, the unthinking robot seems to perform effectively on most of the tests criteria that are meant to conclude that an object has a mind or does not have. According to the authors, with the advancement in emerging technology, advanced robots would be programmed to be in a position to imitate human behaviors including facial expressions and actions. The robots would also appear to think, feel and act in a similar way like human beings. The authors emphasize that it would not be possible to completely conclude on whether transformers would be having their mind or not. Just like it is impossible to tell whether the fellow human beings have their mind and people only have to believe that they do have a mind, the same situation and believe can apply to the robots (Shook, and Swan, 122).
The authors discuss an idea of transformers as they are assumed to be simply machines since they do not have souls like that of human beings. The book attempts to bring out the facts concerning the possibility of having a being with all of the traits that are related to humans and still be different from humans. This is in support of possibilities that the transformers could exist having the traits such as being alive, intelligent and having souls and remain nonhumans. The authors brought about the idea of the existence of extraterrestrial spacemen and angels who are believed to have souls, are intelligent, alive and are persons and yet they are not human (Steiff 32).
The book specifically stated that in all matters to do with morality robots should be viewed as a person who ought to be held responsible for their actions. They should be jailed for their immoral actions to regulate and control evil acts even if it sounds awkward to hold a machine that lacks minds of their own accountable for their immoral actions. The authors to emphasize on the definition of a person, the book outlined five traits that bring about a concrete definition of a being that deserve to be referred to as a human. For a being to be referred to as a human, it must think in an intelligent and rational manner, have strong states of minds, for instance, express its emotions, the theory of mind, have desires and adhere to specific beliefs. The authors also add that the being in questions must also speak a language, contrary to be simply transmitting information, interacting, be in steady relationships with other persons and finally be answerable for their immoral doings making them morally responsible for all their actions (Shook, and Swan, 137).
The transformer is a mixture of teaching ideas, steps that are intended to cultivate people creativity, and philosophical reflections on the roles played by human creative work throughout their development. Robots are supposed to learn their behaviors by using self-reflective process. They are also supposed to learn their mode of co-existing with humans through copying natural process of the progression of intelligence in human beings. Robots are referred to as intellect machines that can help human beings in many different areas especially in performing involving and heavy tasks due to their high operating speed and strength. They are also supposed to behave in a way that they can co-exist with humans as true and reliable companions.
Robots as a result of the application of high technology in building them up, they can express the level of autonomy and hence start behaving in different situations in a way that would be unpredictable for their human designers. Although robot could be helpful to the lives of human, by helping them accomplish given task within a short time, there could be scenarios where the autonomy of the robot could be controlled by people that have bad intentions. People with bad motives could end up modifying robots behavior in risky and fraudulent manners and hence affecting the security of human beings. As a result, the moral responsibility of the artificial intelligent Transformers is necessitated to make the robots personal accountable for their actions.
Shook, John R., and Liz Stillwaggon Swan. Transformers and Philosophy: More Than Meets the Mind. Vol. 40. Open Court, 2013.
Steiff, Joseph. “In the Eye of the Beholder.” Transformers and Philosophy: More than Meets the Mind (2009).