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Cognitive Technologies – Are We in Danger of Humanizing Machines and Dehumanizing Humans?

Cognitive Technologies – Are We in Danger of Humanizing Machines and Dehumanizing Humans? The purpose of this article is to introduce some of the problems arising from the rapid development and raising the status of machines and the increasing disregard for human rights in the context of the use of cognitive tech- nologies. Cognitive technologies are highly acclaimed and are being introduced into almost all aspects of life, es- pecially in business. The article asks the question of whether the use of these technologies leads to a gradual humanization of machines while dehumanizing humans. The article is purely theoretical and based on a literature study of selected bibliographic items. On the basis of the analyzed texts an attempt was made to introduce the concept of artificial intelligence, cognitive technologies and algorithms. It also attempts to diagnose the state of work on the regulation of the legal situation related to the development of artificial intelligence and cognitive technologies, as well as the status of robots. The philosophical concept of dehumanization and its selected exam- ples are also outlined. The discussion leads to the conclusion that the pace of development of cognitive technol- ogies, overtaking the human ability to comprehend them, poses a threat of machines getting out of human con- trol. Key words: human, robot, artificial intelligence, cognitive technologies INTRODUCTION development of artificial intelligence, robotics and cogni- The development of cognitive technologies has been gain- tive technologies, and their application in various areas of ing a dizzying pace in recent times. Their current and pro- human life. The dynamic development of digitization and jected capabilities are extremely attractive on many lev- the pace of technological progress can generate legal, psy- els. In business, the purpose of their use is to accelerate chological and social effects that are difficult to predict, the pace of business development and increase the qual- both in the area of business and in the daily lives of citi- ity of services offered, while reducing operating costs [1]. zens. These considerations stimulate the question In everyday life, they are designed to help people and whether, as a consequence of the development of cogni- make their lives easier. By creating new opportunities that tive technologies, the process of gradual humanization of were previously unavailable, they have a huge impact on artificial intelligence with simultaneous systematic dehu- human life and work. Manufacturing automation, auton- manization of humans has not begun. With a whole range omous vehicles, facial recognition, medical diagnostics, of positive effects, it should be remembered that the humanoid robots, digital assistants are just some of them. technology dominating at a given time plays a key role in One can say, we have entered a whole new stage of civili- human life because it is the basis for all activities. And zation progress. However, it seems that the total potential every invention has "a dual nature – it is both a blessing of developing artificial intelligence is not entirely predict- and a curse" [2]. able. Enabling computers and robots, through cognitive systems, to imitate specifically human actions, both in LITERATURE REVIEW terms of repetitive, routine activities and entire processes The concept of cognitive technologies has been around in of performing various tasks, raises a number of new prob- science for quite a long time. Research related to these lems. The presented research problem includes reflec- technologies has an interdisciplinary character and is tions on the nature of problems arising in the process of closely connected with the research on artificial intelli- © 2022 Author(s). This is an open access article licensed under the Creative Commons BY 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/) 270 Management Systems in Production Engineering 2022, Volume 30, Issue 3 gence, algorithms, robots or humanoids. Their rapid de- the human brain. It is a kind of combination of artificial velopment and increasing capabilities generate various intelligence and signal processing - two elements crucial ethical issues. There is a question of responsibility, both for the development of the so-called "machine conscious- for the machines themselves and of their creators, as well ness". They combine a set of modern tools: machine self- as the status of artificial intelligence. Various legal issues learning, reasoning and inference, natural language pro- arise, and finally, the problem of human domination by cessing, speech, computer-human interaction and many artificial intelligence is worrying. The dream of mankind others [11]. Automation and algorithmization are used has long been to have a device that could not only adapt not only for automatic tasks, but also for purely mental its behavior to changing tasks and needs, but that could tasks, until recently considered specifically human, such acquire and use knowledge, that is, learn. These dreams, as reasoning, sensing, and decision making [12]. Thus, hu- from the level of fantasy eventually descended to the mans have entered a world in which technological solu- level of scientific research. In 1950, Alan Turing published tions can learn, recognize the language of humans, and Computing Machinery and Intelligence. In the following communicate with humans themselves using natural lan- years, Marvin Minsky, an American cognitive scientist, guage [13]. In business, cognitive computing is already so stated that it is the task of humans to develop and create widely used that it is one of the fastest growing branches entities that are better and more intelligent than humans of AI today [14, 15]. They are also used in telecommunica- [3]. The term "artificial intelligence" itself (AI) was coined tion, banking and e-commerce companies, just to men- in 1956 by John McCarthy at a scientific conference enti- tion a few of them. Thanks to the use of semantic data- tled Summer Research Project on Artificial Intelligence at bases, they can, for example, recognize images and pro- Darthmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire. The cess natural language [16], and thanks to the increasingly idea was to use machines to perform processes that in hu- improved capabilities of self-learning mechanisms, they mans are called intelligent behaviors [4]. Research on the allow systems to infer and, for example, provide infor- development of artificial intelligence has been described mation. They play a huge role in innovation efforts [17], as attempts to create thinking computers, or machines especially in environmental [18, 19] and other sustainabil- with minds in the literal sense of the word [5], or as "the ity efforts [20]. Work on the increasing automation of pro- science of activities that would cause machines to per- cesses and the development of robotization have, among form functions that are currently better performed by hu- other things, led to a change in the demand for certain mans" [6]. In 2019, the European Commission's High-Level competencies of workers [21]. Most of the tasks per- Working Group developed a definition of artificial intelli- formed by workers are routine in nature, so their work gence and presented it in A Definition of AI: Main Capabil- can easily be replaced by computers and algorithms [22]. ities and Scientific Discipline. She described it as systems Thus, an increasing range of work is being automated, but that exhibit intelligent behavior by analyzing their envi- this has consequences in terms of job losses and thus the ronment and taking actions – with some degree of auton- gradual exclusion of humans and their marginalization omy – to achieve specific goals [7]. The development of [23, 24]. artificial intelligence has gained momentum and is in- creasingly moving towards cognitive technologies [8]. Re- METHODOLOGY OF RESEARCH search on these systems is based on the model of cogni- The study is theoretical in nature and is based on a critical tive science. Cognitive science is a scientific field that analysis of the literature on the subject. The literature has deals with the observation and analysis of action. Cogni- been limited to some literature on cognitive technology tive systems use rational human processes to process and related issues. The literature study, i.e., the analysis data. They also perform diagnostic and predictive func- and critique of the literature of selected publications, tions. They provide inferences, make insights into pro- helped to identify what and how it was analyzed in the cesses and offer automated actions based on data analy- topic of interest of this paper and also helped to outline sis and contextual human interactions and as such are im- the direction of further research. The focus was on the is- plemented in the latest technologies [9]. A new discipline sues of defining what artificial intelligence and algorithms called cognitive computing is being developed in the field are in their essence, and what research on cognitive tech- of science. It encompasses a whole range of activities fo- nologies is all about. Several examples of the benefits of cused on the automation and autonomization of comput- using these technologies are cited and some of their neg- ers, capable of learning and coordinating their own work. ative effects on humans in selected situations are de- Cognitive computing is a kind of computer simulation of scribed. Some sample suggestions for work on legal provi- human thought processes. Scientific research carried out sions related to the participation of artificial intelligence today in the field of artificial intelligence is directed to- are also cited. The study shows that the pace of develop- wards the construction of computer programs and ma- ment of modern technologies is far ahead of human com- chines capable of imitating specific functions of the hu- petence in their control and use. There is also a lack of man mind and senses that are not responsible for simple sufficient reflection on the dangers associated with giving numerical algorithmization [10]. The method of system machines, for example, decision-making power, or hand- dynamics has been applied here. The term "system dy- ing over responsibility to them. Of course, the presented namics", in a general sense, means a set of technologies reflections do not exhaust the whole issue, but it seems that are largely the result of studies on the functioning of that they can open new fields and directions of research. I. MARSZAŁEK-KOTZUR – Cognitive Technologies – Are We in Danger of Humanizing Machines… 271 RESULTS OF RESEARCH AND DISCUSSION to which the average user has no insight [34]. The opera- The world of algorithms tion of algorithms aims to reduce the complex reality to Artificial intelligence works through the use of algorithms. simple logical models, allowing to perform fast and com- Highly developed algorithms have penetrated so deeply plex calculations, correlating extensive data. The huge into both social and cultural spheres that functioning amount of data forces the creation of complex systems for without them is no longer possible. Processes related to their analysis, filtering and distribution. New technologies algorithmization are becoming key processes in almost require new categories of description, because the analyt- every area of modern life, so an increasing number of sci- ical tools and paradigms used so far are no longer suffi- entists undertake research and discussions on them. cient, and a human cannot cope with their interpretation. What are algorithms? There are many definitions of them. Their increasing level of complexity makes their operation One of them, dating back to the 1970s, describes them as virtually impossible to comprehend by human reason. It is a combination of logic and control processes [25]. An- also increasingly difficult to predict the "behavior" of a other, describes them as procedures for transforming in- given algorithm in a particular situation [35]. The better put data into the results we expect using mathematical algorithms become at making decisions about solving hu- calculations performed by a computer [26, 27]. Algo- man problems, the more willing humans are to give them rithms can also be described as a defining technology be- the power to decide and manage their lives, their work, cause as such it shapes the way we think and perceive the and society as a whole. By giving algorithms decision-mak- world [28]. Algorithm can also be thought of as a short- ing power, and thus responsibility, we systematically give hand name for a sociotechnical an assemblage containing: them power over humans. algorithm (in the technical sense), model, target group, data, applications, and hardware – all linked to a social en- Humanizing robots vironment [29]. Algorithms have imperceptibly become Humans have a natural tendency to humanize the various invisible social participants in human space. They can pro- objects they use, attributing to them personal and emo- cess thousands of complex data in real time, exceeding tional properties. Moreover, human brain is particularly the capabilities of not only a single human, but entire geared to picking up a simple set of characteristics in var- groups of people, even experts. Thus, they are often used, ious objects that define a human face (the so-called pa- among other things, to standardize many decision-making reidolia). The development of artificial intelligence and its processes [30]. Algorithms are more often making various nature is particularly conducive for humans to subject it choices for people, shaping their taste, flavor and prefer- to humanization. Especially those machines that resemble ences. They generate visions of a perfect world without humans, like robots and androids. They are not mere de- errors, a world with 100% accuracy, efficiency and pre- vices for humans to simply turn off. They are already be- dictability [31]. Man perceives algorithmized activities as ings that "live" and are a kind of "robo sapiens" [36]. Ro- effective, objective, neutral, and, consequently, trustwor- bots are increasingly being discussed in a social context. thy. Their accuracy, reliability, and objectivity make hu- The socialization of robots does not consist only in their mans willingly succumb to their influence [29]. This puts physical resemblance to human appearance, but in the our vigilance to sleep, and just when a person thinks that creation of multimodal relationships with them [37]. Hu- technology represents a neutral phenomenon, it slips mans interact with them in a variety of interactions based away and exerts its greatest influence on humans [32]. on human relationships. This state of affairs even calls for One of the key examples of this influence to which man is giving robots, especially social androids, a specific status. subjected in this regard is the mechanism of so-called per- In 2011, during the Human-Robot Interaction conference sonalization used, among others, by Google, the existence in Lausanne, a team of experts in engineering and psychol- of which not everyone is aware of, and which also deter- ogy debated a new ontological category for robots. Ro- mines what is to be of certain value to a man. Some schol- bots and devices equipped with artificial intelligence, es- ars describe it as a form of symbolic violence [33]. From a pecially those that fall into the category of cognitive tech- cognitive point of view, personalization is a valuable con- nologies, can take autonomous actions that are difficult to venience, reducing information retrieval time. However, predict and, although their purpose is to help, they can it can lead to cognitive error, also known as confirmation cause physical, economic, or emotional harm to humans error. Confirmation error can, in turn, result in incorrect [38, 39]. Research is moving towards developing the high- decisions based on selective considerations. Other nega- est level of intelligence, or super intelligence. It is in- tive effects include loss of privacy, manipulation of public tended to be a creation that surpasses humans in every opinion, and large-scale dissemination of false infor- aspect. Thus, there will not be a single aspect in which hu- mation or conspiracy theories. Some researchers believe mans will be smarter than such intelligence. In a sense, we that we have been lured into the trap of so-called digital will cease to be a superior species. Many scientists believe ecosystems, such as Google or Facebook, which, in an ex- that the creation of artificial intelligence will be the begin- periment of psychological, sociological, and technological ning of the extinction of our species. Super intelligent non- nature, manage us through algorithms. Human beings are human beings may at some point begin to follow their vulnerable to them because they have no cognitive tools own logic, which may not necessarily align with the as- or normalized knowledge of these systems, since their sumptions and interests of their creators [40, 41, 42]. This owners tactically present them as a kind of "black boxes" 272 Management Systems in Production Engineering 2022, Volume 30, Issue 3 is why there have been calls for artificial intelligence re- Human beings are incapacitated by ubiquitous indexing at search to be placed under the curatorship of an interna- school, in the workplace, at universities, and even in their tional supra-state body that would exercise control to en- personal lives. The mechanism of improvement, which is sure that a situation does not become irreversible in their the basis of technological thinking, is, for example, the creation. The trend of subjecting all areas of our lives to ideological foundation of sports training, i.e., achieving algorithmization and optimization is an undeniable temp- better and better capabilities of the human body, i.e., run- tation. However, we are falling into the trap of technolog- ning faster, jumping higher, hitting harder [57]. Man, pos- ical rationality, forgetting that algorithms are written by sessed by the idea of gauging monitors himself and his programmers who make cognitive errors, lack knowledge, body parameters with the help of modern devices and ap- follow stereotypes, and consciously guide the algorithm plications [58]. Social practices related to self-tracking to a specific action, not always positive. The initiated error begin to play the role of peculiar emanations of "self tech- in the operation of artificial intelligence can be very costly nology". This category was first used by Michael Foucault for us. Hence, there is a need for ethical education [43]. It in 1982, during his lecture entitled Technologies of the is important to remember that as humans "We shape our self, delivered at the University of Vermont. By "technol- tools, and then they shape us" [44]. This phrase also ap- ogies of the self" Foucault meant activities of individuals plies to the algorithms that humans create, but they also aimed at development and self-improvement. It is about create us. [45]. Algorithms, perceived as objective and ra- using one's own resources or performing various opera- tional participants in life, by simplifying, fragmenting and tions on one's own body and soul, thoughts, behavior, trivializing human life, manifest their superiority to hu- way of being, that is transforming oneself in such a way as mans. Observing the work on artificial intelligence, it is al- to achieve a state of happiness, purity, wisdom, perfec- ready evident that although AI does not yet have a self, it tion, or even immortality [59]. Today's commitment to exhibits autonomy. This independence is precisely the such a "training of oneself" arises from one's own decision source of concern. For there is no guarantee that this one to buy a certain device, as well as from the call coming will not get out of control or will not be used for evil pur- from that device [58]. Ordinary daily activities, such as sta- poses [46, 47]. tus updates, liking or spreading various content, make it possible to predict and manage human behavior [60]. The Dehumanization of man algorithm plays the role of alienating the human being, The development of modern technology has made the sci- and by creating constructs of oneself in social networks, a entific world mainly governed by the sciences. Social sci- split occurs between the real self and the virtual self, pre- ences and humanities have receded into the background, sented online. Virtual reality has taken on as much im- and everyone has the right to speak, without the need for portance as empirical reality, and has even become more expertise in this area [48]. There is also a systematic with- important than it. The consequence is the objectification drawal from the humanistic vision of man as "the measure of the human being. Technological totalization is even of all things and the center of research interests" [49]. This more dangerous when the acceptance of the affirmation state of affairs finds its justification in the mechanism of technology, in the subjective feeling of man, making life which Michał Heller called "the mathematical nature of easier, lies outside his consciousness. Instead of making the world" [50, 51]. Thanks to mathematical models one life easier, man achieves only a status symbol, condition- can order the growing complexity of the world, one can ing social relations and an element mediating human re- predict and warn against warn of various dangers, one can lations, displacing the previous forms of direct human intervene and prevent critical situations. Since numbers contacts. The power of technology over man is also man- have taken over, the primary goal of the logic of a numer- ifested in the compulsion to constantly be online in order ical civilization is to count, record and algorithmize every to maintain these relationships and not condemn oneself area of human life [52]. By creating certain standards of to digital marginalization [61]. Human behavior is deter- measuring reality and presenting it in the form of numer- mined by the prevailing technological order, forcing com- ical representations, man has given control over himself pliance with the rules imposed by that order. When an in- to algorithms, which in fact have deprived many phenom- dividual does not keep up with the technological change, ena of their context and meaning [53]. Even human rela- he begins to feel shame and complexes towards the prod- tionships are transformed into algorithms, "becoming ucts of his own work [55]. Such a situation draws a vision mechanized and highly economized sociability" [54]. of a fully mechanized society, focused maximally on the Numbers and indexing enter into every area of human life. production of material goods and consumption, directed The use of indicators always involves simplification and by computers [62]. Man begins to appear as an insignifi- reductionism due to the ease of use and handling of data. cant element of the total machine, properly nourished In this perspective, the multidimensionality of human be- and entertained, but passive and lifeless, almost devoid of ings is reduced to a single dimension, constantly subject- feelings [63]. We are dealing with a process of reducing ing human performance and efficiency to comparison and man to his effectiveness. Thus, we are passing from the evaluation [55]. This situation is referred to as the "power stage of tools as extensions of man to the stage when man of statistics". It entails standardization and rejection of an- becomes an extension of the tool [64]. The process of hu- ything that cannot be classified [56]. This statistical logic man dehumanization has been going on for a long time. of the rule of algorithms minimizes human individualism. Already in the last century, a humanist and psychiatrist, I. MARSZAŁEK-KOTZUR – Cognitive Technologies – Are We in Danger of Humanizing Machines… 273 Antoni Kępinski, drew attention to the progressing pro- CONCLUSION cesses of human depersonalization. He pointed out that Chapter 1 The algorithmic world of modern man shows we see human qualities in individuals less and less often, that machines are more efficient, more effective, more re- defining people rather by their attributes related to effi- liable than we are. It can be said that in confrontation with ciency and effectiveness of functioning. Currently, looking artificial intelligence we actually do not stand a chance. It at a human being, "human characteristics are seen in is definitely becoming more effective and efficient, sur- him/her less and less, and attributes related to the effi- passing the technical and physical capabilities of humans. cient functioning of a technical-social machine are seen Algorithms, which were created by humans and for hu- more and more clearly" [65]. mans, are more and more often incomprehensible by them, out of their control, full of soulless, technical ration- Examples of regulatory proposals ality. It would be a mistake to burden algorithms with The presence of robots in more and more spheres of life problems and evil alone. Their actions and real help for generates various problems, including those of legal na- humans cannot be overestimated. However, it is difficult ture [66]. There are already various proposals for models to adapt to their rules when they force the reduction or of legal regulation in relation to artificial intelligence and even elimination of emotions, compassion, empathy, and robots. However, in the situation of the possibility of au- all other non-quantifiable feelings [55]. Only, are they still tonomous machines, they do not meet the required crite- needed in a world rationalized to the extreme? The ques- ria. There are even some suggestions to consider an AI- tions posed at the beginning, through the analysis of the equipped robot as a legal person, but a difficulty would collected literature, led us to the point where we need to arise in holding a specific individual responsible [67]. ask ourselves another question: who is a human being and Many countries are working towards establishing the sta- what is his or her essence? After all, the use and efficient tus of robots and androids, and determining the issue of operation of technology cannot replace a deep reflection legal liability. For example, Japan, which produces more on reality. We must remember that for the time being we than half of the world's robots, has developed the Japan still possess higher competences than machines in under- Robot Strategy, which is a set of policies with respect to standing, explaining, and making sense of phenomena. robotics. South Korea, on the other hand, has developed However, if we relieve ourselves of the duty to think and a Robot Ethics Charter, which enshrines principles regard- give it to algorithms for our convenience, if we succumb ing the coexistence of humans and robots, as well as to the temptation to give to technologies the decisions guidelines aimed at manufacturers [68]. 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Izabela Marszałek-Kotzur ORCID ID: 0000-0002-8426-0170 Silesian University of Technology ul. Roosevelta 26, 41-800 Zabrze, Poland e-mail: izabela.marszalek-kotzur@polsl.pl http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Management Systems in Production Engineering de Gruyter

Cognitive Technologies – Are We in Danger of Humanizing Machines and Dehumanizing Humans?

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de Gruyter
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© 2022 Izabela Marszałek-Kotzur, published by Sciendo
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2450-5781
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10.2478/mspe-2022-0034
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Abstract

The purpose of this article is to introduce some of the problems arising from the rapid development and raising the status of machines and the increasing disregard for human rights in the context of the use of cognitive tech- nologies. Cognitive technologies are highly acclaimed and are being introduced into almost all aspects of life, es- pecially in business. The article asks the question of whether the use of these technologies leads to a gradual humanization of machines while dehumanizing humans. The article is purely theoretical and based on a literature study of selected bibliographic items. On the basis of the analyzed texts an attempt was made to introduce the concept of artificial intelligence, cognitive technologies and algorithms. It also attempts to diagnose the state of work on the regulation of the legal situation related to the development of artificial intelligence and cognitive technologies, as well as the status of robots. The philosophical concept of dehumanization and its selected exam- ples are also outlined. The discussion leads to the conclusion that the pace of development of cognitive technol- ogies, overtaking the human ability to comprehend them, poses a threat of machines getting out of human con- trol. Key words: human, robot, artificial intelligence, cognitive technologies INTRODUCTION development of artificial intelligence, robotics and cogni- The development of cognitive technologies has been gain- tive technologies, and their application in various areas of ing a dizzying pace in recent times. Their current and pro- human life. The dynamic development of digitization and jected capabilities are extremely attractive on many lev- the pace of technological progress can generate legal, psy- els. In business, the purpose of their use is to accelerate chological and social effects that are difficult to predict, the pace of business development and increase the qual- both in the area of business and in the daily lives of citi- ity of services offered, while reducing operating costs [1]. zens. These considerations stimulate the question In everyday life, they are designed to help people and whether, as a consequence of the development of cogni- make their lives easier. By creating new opportunities that tive technologies, the process of gradual humanization of were previously unavailable, they have a huge impact on artificial intelligence with simultaneous systematic dehu- human life and work. Manufacturing automation, auton- manization of humans has not begun. With a whole range omous vehicles, facial recognition, medical diagnostics, of positive effects, it should be remembered that the humanoid robots, digital assistants are just some of them. technology dominating at a given time plays a key role in One can say, we have entered a whole new stage of civili- human life because it is the basis for all activities. And zation progress. However, it seems that the total potential every invention has "a dual nature – it is both a blessing of developing artificial intelligence is not entirely predict- and a curse" [2]. able. Enabling computers and robots, through cognitive systems, to imitate specifically human actions, both in LITERATURE REVIEW terms of repetitive, routine activities and entire processes The concept of cognitive technologies has been around in of performing various tasks, raises a number of new prob- science for quite a long time. Research related to these lems. The presented research problem includes reflec- technologies has an interdisciplinary character and is tions on the nature of problems arising in the process of closely connected with the research on artificial intelli- © 2022 Author(s). This is an open access article licensed under the Creative Commons BY 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/) 270 Management Systems in Production Engineering 2022, Volume 30, Issue 3 gence, algorithms, robots or humanoids. Their rapid de- the human brain. It is a kind of combination of artificial velopment and increasing capabilities generate various intelligence and signal processing - two elements crucial ethical issues. There is a question of responsibility, both for the development of the so-called "machine conscious- for the machines themselves and of their creators, as well ness". They combine a set of modern tools: machine self- as the status of artificial intelligence. Various legal issues learning, reasoning and inference, natural language pro- arise, and finally, the problem of human domination by cessing, speech, computer-human interaction and many artificial intelligence is worrying. The dream of mankind others [11]. Automation and algorithmization are used has long been to have a device that could not only adapt not only for automatic tasks, but also for purely mental its behavior to changing tasks and needs, but that could tasks, until recently considered specifically human, such acquire and use knowledge, that is, learn. These dreams, as reasoning, sensing, and decision making [12]. Thus, hu- from the level of fantasy eventually descended to the mans have entered a world in which technological solu- level of scientific research. In 1950, Alan Turing published tions can learn, recognize the language of humans, and Computing Machinery and Intelligence. In the following communicate with humans themselves using natural lan- years, Marvin Minsky, an American cognitive scientist, guage [13]. In business, cognitive computing is already so stated that it is the task of humans to develop and create widely used that it is one of the fastest growing branches entities that are better and more intelligent than humans of AI today [14, 15]. They are also used in telecommunica- [3]. The term "artificial intelligence" itself (AI) was coined tion, banking and e-commerce companies, just to men- in 1956 by John McCarthy at a scientific conference enti- tion a few of them. Thanks to the use of semantic data- tled Summer Research Project on Artificial Intelligence at bases, they can, for example, recognize images and pro- Darthmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire. The cess natural language [16], and thanks to the increasingly idea was to use machines to perform processes that in hu- improved capabilities of self-learning mechanisms, they mans are called intelligent behaviors [4]. Research on the allow systems to infer and, for example, provide infor- development of artificial intelligence has been described mation. They play a huge role in innovation efforts [17], as attempts to create thinking computers, or machines especially in environmental [18, 19] and other sustainabil- with minds in the literal sense of the word [5], or as "the ity efforts [20]. Work on the increasing automation of pro- science of activities that would cause machines to per- cesses and the development of robotization have, among form functions that are currently better performed by hu- other things, led to a change in the demand for certain mans" [6]. In 2019, the European Commission's High-Level competencies of workers [21]. Most of the tasks per- Working Group developed a definition of artificial intelli- formed by workers are routine in nature, so their work gence and presented it in A Definition of AI: Main Capabil- can easily be replaced by computers and algorithms [22]. ities and Scientific Discipline. She described it as systems Thus, an increasing range of work is being automated, but that exhibit intelligent behavior by analyzing their envi- this has consequences in terms of job losses and thus the ronment and taking actions – with some degree of auton- gradual exclusion of humans and their marginalization omy – to achieve specific goals [7]. The development of [23, 24]. artificial intelligence has gained momentum and is in- creasingly moving towards cognitive technologies [8]. Re- METHODOLOGY OF RESEARCH search on these systems is based on the model of cogni- The study is theoretical in nature and is based on a critical tive science. Cognitive science is a scientific field that analysis of the literature on the subject. The literature has deals with the observation and analysis of action. Cogni- been limited to some literature on cognitive technology tive systems use rational human processes to process and related issues. The literature study, i.e., the analysis data. They also perform diagnostic and predictive func- and critique of the literature of selected publications, tions. They provide inferences, make insights into pro- helped to identify what and how it was analyzed in the cesses and offer automated actions based on data analy- topic of interest of this paper and also helped to outline sis and contextual human interactions and as such are im- the direction of further research. The focus was on the is- plemented in the latest technologies [9]. A new discipline sues of defining what artificial intelligence and algorithms called cognitive computing is being developed in the field are in their essence, and what research on cognitive tech- of science. It encompasses a whole range of activities fo- nologies is all about. Several examples of the benefits of cused on the automation and autonomization of comput- using these technologies are cited and some of their neg- ers, capable of learning and coordinating their own work. ative effects on humans in selected situations are de- Cognitive computing is a kind of computer simulation of scribed. Some sample suggestions for work on legal provi- human thought processes. Scientific research carried out sions related to the participation of artificial intelligence today in the field of artificial intelligence is directed to- are also cited. The study shows that the pace of develop- wards the construction of computer programs and ma- ment of modern technologies is far ahead of human com- chines capable of imitating specific functions of the hu- petence in their control and use. There is also a lack of man mind and senses that are not responsible for simple sufficient reflection on the dangers associated with giving numerical algorithmization [10]. The method of system machines, for example, decision-making power, or hand- dynamics has been applied here. The term "system dy- ing over responsibility to them. Of course, the presented namics", in a general sense, means a set of technologies reflections do not exhaust the whole issue, but it seems that are largely the result of studies on the functioning of that they can open new fields and directions of research. I. MARSZAŁEK-KOTZUR – Cognitive Technologies – Are We in Danger of Humanizing Machines… 271 RESULTS OF RESEARCH AND DISCUSSION to which the average user has no insight [34]. The opera- The world of algorithms tion of algorithms aims to reduce the complex reality to Artificial intelligence works through the use of algorithms. simple logical models, allowing to perform fast and com- Highly developed algorithms have penetrated so deeply plex calculations, correlating extensive data. The huge into both social and cultural spheres that functioning amount of data forces the creation of complex systems for without them is no longer possible. Processes related to their analysis, filtering and distribution. New technologies algorithmization are becoming key processes in almost require new categories of description, because the analyt- every area of modern life, so an increasing number of sci- ical tools and paradigms used so far are no longer suffi- entists undertake research and discussions on them. cient, and a human cannot cope with their interpretation. What are algorithms? There are many definitions of them. Their increasing level of complexity makes their operation One of them, dating back to the 1970s, describes them as virtually impossible to comprehend by human reason. It is a combination of logic and control processes [25]. An- also increasingly difficult to predict the "behavior" of a other, describes them as procedures for transforming in- given algorithm in a particular situation [35]. The better put data into the results we expect using mathematical algorithms become at making decisions about solving hu- calculations performed by a computer [26, 27]. Algo- man problems, the more willing humans are to give them rithms can also be described as a defining technology be- the power to decide and manage their lives, their work, cause as such it shapes the way we think and perceive the and society as a whole. By giving algorithms decision-mak- world [28]. Algorithm can also be thought of as a short- ing power, and thus responsibility, we systematically give hand name for a sociotechnical an assemblage containing: them power over humans. algorithm (in the technical sense), model, target group, data, applications, and hardware – all linked to a social en- Humanizing robots vironment [29]. Algorithms have imperceptibly become Humans have a natural tendency to humanize the various invisible social participants in human space. They can pro- objects they use, attributing to them personal and emo- cess thousands of complex data in real time, exceeding tional properties. Moreover, human brain is particularly the capabilities of not only a single human, but entire geared to picking up a simple set of characteristics in var- groups of people, even experts. Thus, they are often used, ious objects that define a human face (the so-called pa- among other things, to standardize many decision-making reidolia). The development of artificial intelligence and its processes [30]. Algorithms are more often making various nature is particularly conducive for humans to subject it choices for people, shaping their taste, flavor and prefer- to humanization. Especially those machines that resemble ences. They generate visions of a perfect world without humans, like robots and androids. They are not mere de- errors, a world with 100% accuracy, efficiency and pre- vices for humans to simply turn off. They are already be- dictability [31]. Man perceives algorithmized activities as ings that "live" and are a kind of "robo sapiens" [36]. Ro- effective, objective, neutral, and, consequently, trustwor- bots are increasingly being discussed in a social context. thy. Their accuracy, reliability, and objectivity make hu- The socialization of robots does not consist only in their mans willingly succumb to their influence [29]. This puts physical resemblance to human appearance, but in the our vigilance to sleep, and just when a person thinks that creation of multimodal relationships with them [37]. Hu- technology represents a neutral phenomenon, it slips mans interact with them in a variety of interactions based away and exerts its greatest influence on humans [32]. on human relationships. This state of affairs even calls for One of the key examples of this influence to which man is giving robots, especially social androids, a specific status. subjected in this regard is the mechanism of so-called per- In 2011, during the Human-Robot Interaction conference sonalization used, among others, by Google, the existence in Lausanne, a team of experts in engineering and psychol- of which not everyone is aware of, and which also deter- ogy debated a new ontological category for robots. Ro- mines what is to be of certain value to a man. Some schol- bots and devices equipped with artificial intelligence, es- ars describe it as a form of symbolic violence [33]. From a pecially those that fall into the category of cognitive tech- cognitive point of view, personalization is a valuable con- nologies, can take autonomous actions that are difficult to venience, reducing information retrieval time. However, predict and, although their purpose is to help, they can it can lead to cognitive error, also known as confirmation cause physical, economic, or emotional harm to humans error. Confirmation error can, in turn, result in incorrect [38, 39]. Research is moving towards developing the high- decisions based on selective considerations. Other nega- est level of intelligence, or super intelligence. It is in- tive effects include loss of privacy, manipulation of public tended to be a creation that surpasses humans in every opinion, and large-scale dissemination of false infor- aspect. Thus, there will not be a single aspect in which hu- mation or conspiracy theories. Some researchers believe mans will be smarter than such intelligence. In a sense, we that we have been lured into the trap of so-called digital will cease to be a superior species. Many scientists believe ecosystems, such as Google or Facebook, which, in an ex- that the creation of artificial intelligence will be the begin- periment of psychological, sociological, and technological ning of the extinction of our species. Super intelligent non- nature, manage us through algorithms. Human beings are human beings may at some point begin to follow their vulnerable to them because they have no cognitive tools own logic, which may not necessarily align with the as- or normalized knowledge of these systems, since their sumptions and interests of their creators [40, 41, 42]. This owners tactically present them as a kind of "black boxes" 272 Management Systems in Production Engineering 2022, Volume 30, Issue 3 is why there have been calls for artificial intelligence re- Human beings are incapacitated by ubiquitous indexing at search to be placed under the curatorship of an interna- school, in the workplace, at universities, and even in their tional supra-state body that would exercise control to en- personal lives. The mechanism of improvement, which is sure that a situation does not become irreversible in their the basis of technological thinking, is, for example, the creation. The trend of subjecting all areas of our lives to ideological foundation of sports training, i.e., achieving algorithmization and optimization is an undeniable temp- better and better capabilities of the human body, i.e., run- tation. However, we are falling into the trap of technolog- ning faster, jumping higher, hitting harder [57]. Man, pos- ical rationality, forgetting that algorithms are written by sessed by the idea of gauging monitors himself and his programmers who make cognitive errors, lack knowledge, body parameters with the help of modern devices and ap- follow stereotypes, and consciously guide the algorithm plications [58]. Social practices related to self-tracking to a specific action, not always positive. The initiated error begin to play the role of peculiar emanations of "self tech- in the operation of artificial intelligence can be very costly nology". This category was first used by Michael Foucault for us. Hence, there is a need for ethical education [43]. It in 1982, during his lecture entitled Technologies of the is important to remember that as humans "We shape our self, delivered at the University of Vermont. By "technol- tools, and then they shape us" [44]. This phrase also ap- ogies of the self" Foucault meant activities of individuals plies to the algorithms that humans create, but they also aimed at development and self-improvement. It is about create us. [45]. Algorithms, perceived as objective and ra- using one's own resources or performing various opera- tional participants in life, by simplifying, fragmenting and tions on one's own body and soul, thoughts, behavior, trivializing human life, manifest their superiority to hu- way of being, that is transforming oneself in such a way as mans. Observing the work on artificial intelligence, it is al- to achieve a state of happiness, purity, wisdom, perfec- ready evident that although AI does not yet have a self, it tion, or even immortality [59]. Today's commitment to exhibits autonomy. This independence is precisely the such a "training of oneself" arises from one's own decision source of concern. For there is no guarantee that this one to buy a certain device, as well as from the call coming will not get out of control or will not be used for evil pur- from that device [58]. Ordinary daily activities, such as sta- poses [46, 47]. tus updates, liking or spreading various content, make it possible to predict and manage human behavior [60]. The Dehumanization of man algorithm plays the role of alienating the human being, The development of modern technology has made the sci- and by creating constructs of oneself in social networks, a entific world mainly governed by the sciences. Social sci- split occurs between the real self and the virtual self, pre- ences and humanities have receded into the background, sented online. Virtual reality has taken on as much im- and everyone has the right to speak, without the need for portance as empirical reality, and has even become more expertise in this area [48]. There is also a systematic with- important than it. The consequence is the objectification drawal from the humanistic vision of man as "the measure of the human being. Technological totalization is even of all things and the center of research interests" [49]. This more dangerous when the acceptance of the affirmation state of affairs finds its justification in the mechanism of technology, in the subjective feeling of man, making life which Michał Heller called "the mathematical nature of easier, lies outside his consciousness. Instead of making the world" [50, 51]. Thanks to mathematical models one life easier, man achieves only a status symbol, condition- can order the growing complexity of the world, one can ing social relations and an element mediating human re- predict and warn against warn of various dangers, one can lations, displacing the previous forms of direct human intervene and prevent critical situations. Since numbers contacts. The power of technology over man is also man- have taken over, the primary goal of the logic of a numer- ifested in the compulsion to constantly be online in order ical civilization is to count, record and algorithmize every to maintain these relationships and not condemn oneself area of human life [52]. By creating certain standards of to digital marginalization [61]. Human behavior is deter- measuring reality and presenting it in the form of numer- mined by the prevailing technological order, forcing com- ical representations, man has given control over himself pliance with the rules imposed by that order. When an in- to algorithms, which in fact have deprived many phenom- dividual does not keep up with the technological change, ena of their context and meaning [53]. Even human rela- he begins to feel shame and complexes towards the prod- tionships are transformed into algorithms, "becoming ucts of his own work [55]. Such a situation draws a vision mechanized and highly economized sociability" [54]. of a fully mechanized society, focused maximally on the Numbers and indexing enter into every area of human life. production of material goods and consumption, directed The use of indicators always involves simplification and by computers [62]. Man begins to appear as an insignifi- reductionism due to the ease of use and handling of data. cant element of the total machine, properly nourished In this perspective, the multidimensionality of human be- and entertained, but passive and lifeless, almost devoid of ings is reduced to a single dimension, constantly subject- feelings [63]. We are dealing with a process of reducing ing human performance and efficiency to comparison and man to his effectiveness. Thus, we are passing from the evaluation [55]. This situation is referred to as the "power stage of tools as extensions of man to the stage when man of statistics". It entails standardization and rejection of an- becomes an extension of the tool [64]. The process of hu- ything that cannot be classified [56]. This statistical logic man dehumanization has been going on for a long time. of the rule of algorithms minimizes human individualism. Already in the last century, a humanist and psychiatrist, I. MARSZAŁEK-KOTZUR – Cognitive Technologies – Are We in Danger of Humanizing Machines… 273 Antoni Kępinski, drew attention to the progressing pro- CONCLUSION cesses of human depersonalization. He pointed out that Chapter 1 The algorithmic world of modern man shows we see human qualities in individuals less and less often, that machines are more efficient, more effective, more re- defining people rather by their attributes related to effi- liable than we are. It can be said that in confrontation with ciency and effectiveness of functioning. Currently, looking artificial intelligence we actually do not stand a chance. It at a human being, "human characteristics are seen in is definitely becoming more effective and efficient, sur- him/her less and less, and attributes related to the effi- passing the technical and physical capabilities of humans. cient functioning of a technical-social machine are seen Algorithms, which were created by humans and for hu- more and more clearly" [65]. mans, are more and more often incomprehensible by them, out of their control, full of soulless, technical ration- Examples of regulatory proposals ality. It would be a mistake to burden algorithms with The presence of robots in more and more spheres of life problems and evil alone. Their actions and real help for generates various problems, including those of legal na- humans cannot be overestimated. However, it is difficult ture [66]. There are already various proposals for models to adapt to their rules when they force the reduction or of legal regulation in relation to artificial intelligence and even elimination of emotions, compassion, empathy, and robots. However, in the situation of the possibility of au- all other non-quantifiable feelings [55]. Only, are they still tonomous machines, they do not meet the required crite- needed in a world rationalized to the extreme? The ques- ria. There are even some suggestions to consider an AI- tions posed at the beginning, through the analysis of the equipped robot as a legal person, but a difficulty would collected literature, led us to the point where we need to arise in holding a specific individual responsible [67]. ask ourselves another question: who is a human being and Many countries are working towards establishing the sta- what is his or her essence? After all, the use and efficient tus of robots and androids, and determining the issue of operation of technology cannot replace a deep reflection legal liability. For example, Japan, which produces more on reality. We must remember that for the time being we than half of the world's robots, has developed the Japan still possess higher competences than machines in under- Robot Strategy, which is a set of policies with respect to standing, explaining, and making sense of phenomena. robotics. South Korea, on the other hand, has developed However, if we relieve ourselves of the duty to think and a Robot Ethics Charter, which enshrines principles regard- give it to algorithms for our convenience, if we succumb ing the coexistence of humans and robots, as well as to the temptation to give to technologies the decisions guidelines aimed at manufacturers [68]. 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Izabela Marszałek-Kotzur ORCID ID: 0000-0002-8426-0170 Silesian University of Technology ul. Roosevelta 26, 41-800 Zabrze, Poland e-mail: izabela.marszalek-kotzur@polsl.pl

Journal

Management Systems in Production Engineeringde Gruyter

Published: Sep 1, 2022

Keywords: human; robot; artificial intelligence; cognitive technologies

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