I have been musing this on and off since R. Daneel Olivaw. It is tempting to wonder if R. Daneel Olivaw was created by humans, or did it (He?) spontaneously arise without intelligent living intervention?
It seems to me that the creation of Artificial Intelligence goes against entropy. Not the execution of the intelligent computations, the electrons whirling, the gears turning, the power being consumed, friction wearing things down, chips burning out, but the design/creation of the device in the first place? In order to have any logical device, there must be extreme order and complexity. Memory is highly organized, interconnected, symmetrical, and in its general specifics entirely the opposite of what one would expect as a result of entropy. The same for logic gates, and the hierarchical and algorithmic interconnection of them. Somehow, they would have had to become organized to begin with. I can not envision, even as a result of infinite randomness, the development of an intelligent device based only on the interaction of the laws of physics applied to inanimate matter, let alone its evolution into even more complex intelligent devices. There would, it seems to me, have to be some design of the system in the first place, some planning of the organization, connections, and process.
Thus, it seems to me that the very nature of entropy would deny the possibility that complex organized intelligent devices could ever arise based on the processes of the physical world alone.
If there was never any life in the universe, could AI devices ever be created, or does the existence of AI always imply that there originally was some form of intelligent life to begin with?
Is there any possible, or plausible, way that in my universe, without hand waving, R. Daneel Olivaw type construct could ever occur without the intervention of intelligent life? I am not concerned about it being a robot, I would be happy with a smart information processing rock that developed mobility through the application of intelligence that it gained spontaneously.
There appears to be an issue with the word 'Artificial Intelligence'. Let me clarify it as meaning 'non-living intelligence', that is intelligence that is not nor ever was 'living', as opposed to intelligence as we know it, that is a result of or based on life.
I absolutely never imagined having to define 'living' as in 'animate' vs 'not living' as in 'inanimate'. A 'living body' is something that we all classify as a 'not dead' body. I am not about to go into the details as to how we determine that a mass of elements, molecules, gasses, protoplasma, tissues, muscles, bones, and such that is at one moment called a 'living body' and at the next moment called a 'dead body'.
I am aghast at how many people do NOT know what Artificial Intelligence is. There are a LOT of misconceptions about it. it does NOT mean 'made by humans', it means 'not human (or life) intelligence'. If it is not 'real' human (or life) intelligence, it is Artificial Intelligence. The definition does NOT indicate how the artificial intelligence device was made, it means simply that it is intelligence that mimics human (life) intelligence but is not in a human (living being). It is a standard definition. Every google source I tried gave the same equivalent definition. Intelligence that mimics human intelligence. Absolutely never any reference to how the device that does the mimicking is made. I am using a standard term with a standard definition.
The most intriguing answer so far is that weather systems are indeed a form of artificial (non-human or non-living) intelligence that is 'natural' (for those arguing the definition), not human-made. They have the obvious ingredients of data (temperature, pressure, air volume, wind speed, etc.), input, processing, output. You have reprogrammability (the landscape changes). You have logic (if-then) operations. You have comparisons and resulting decisions. You have repeatability. You have a deterministic, algorithmic model. It does not 'think'. All the criteria for an AI. Now, could it transmute into a different application? Could it generalize? By what creative possible or plausible mechanism? Are there other such examples of 'machine (non-living) intelligence', created without any intervention from living thinking beings?