The human mind will always be superior to machines because machines are only tools of human minds.

Write a response in which you discuss the extent to which you agree or disagree with the statement and explain your reasoning for the position you take. In developing and supporting your position, you should consider ways in which the statement might or might not hold true and explain how these considerations shape your position.

The rapid development of artificial intelligence has re-ignited the debate about the superiority of machine intelligence to human mind. Some argue that because machines are ultimately the tools of human minds, the human mind will always be superior to the machines. The implicit assumption behind this argument is that a tool must be inferior to its creators. While in general I agree with superiority of human minds to machines, the reason is different. Indeed, a tool can be significantly superior to its creator, and yet, what makes them different is the presence (or lack thereof) of original creativity and self-motivation. Human minds have both but machines have neither.

First, in some aspects, the tools that human beings create can surpass the capabilities of humans themselves, which is exactly why such tools are so useful. There are physical limits to what human beings can. For example, one can only run and swim so fast on land and in water, respectively. Yet, with cars and boats we could travel much faster than our physical body can. In terms of the speed of movement, cars and boats, the tools human beings create, are far superior to humans.

Second, even in terms of intelligence, machines have already demonstrated their superior abilities in certain areas to the human brains. Decades after IBM’s Deep Blue defeated human chess players, AlphaGo, another artificial intelligence program, has defeated all human Go players. This is made possible by the enormous computational power of machines, which also enables complex models to predict future weather and to study the seismic waves to unravel the interior structure of the Earth. Those endeavors can hardly be achieved by human brains alone because of the astronomical amount of data involved. Therefore, it can hardly be refuted that machines are superior to human minds in terms of computational capabilities.

That being said, I still agree with the statement that the human mind will also be superior to machines despite some machines advanced abilities. There are two core reasons for my thesis: creativity or originality, and self-motivation. First, even though machines can achieve what is beyond the physical limits of human minds, they lack creativity and cannot come up with original ideas. Let’s still take supercomputers as an example. While it is true that computationally human minds can never surpass those formidable machines, it is human minds that propose conceptual models and mathematical equations for machines to process. For now, it is inconceivable that machines themselves could improve the such models or equations to better solve the problem such as weather forecasting and planetary probing. All these endeavors that need originality and creativity ultimately depend on human minds.

The second reason lies in the fact that machines cannot think for themselves and couldn’t spontaneous form a goal to achieve. Even though no human Go player can defeat AlphaGo, it should be noted that AlphaGo itself does not aspire to win. Instead, the concept of winning is a string of codes fed by human operators. In other words, were there no instructions whatsoever regarding the purpose of the machine, the machine would not self-motivate and act. The same principle is true for the aforementioned supercomputers; no supercomputers would have the internal will to forecast the weather or analyze the data. As a result, without human’s instructions the machines can do nothing.

To summarize, even though I acknowledge that in many aspects machines can do better than human minds, we owe the the superiority of human minds to its capabilities of original thinking and self-motivations, both of which machines lack. Hence, until machines acquire those two essential traits, human minds will be superior to the machines they create

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