Free-Will, Real Or Not, Humans and AI Might Need It, Driverless Cars Too

Lance Eliot
15 min readApr 30, 2019

Dr. Lance Eliot, AI Insider

Is there such a thing as free-will, and what about free-won’t

Perhaps one of the oldest questions asked by humans is whether or not there is free-will.

We generally associate free-will with the notion that you are able to act on your own, making your own decisions, and that there isn’t any particular constraint on which way you might go.

Things get muddy quite quickly when we begin to dig deeper into the matter.

As I dig into this, please be aware that some people get upset about how to explain the existence of or the lack of free-will, typically because they’ve already come to a conclusion about it, and therefore any discussion on the matter gets things pretty heated up. I’m not intending to get the world riled up herein.

If I were to suggest that the world is being controlled by a third-party that was unseen and undetected, and that we were all participants in a play being undertaken by this third party, it becomes hard to either prove that you have free-will if you claim you do, or prove that you don’t have free-will.

You can make this into a combo deal by suggesting that the play is only an outline, and you still have some amount of free-will, as exercised within the confines of the play. The problem though with this viewpoint is that someone else might contend that there is either free-will or there is not free-will, and if you are ultimately still under the auspices of the play, you don’t have true free-will.

Another viewpoint is that maybe everything that seems to be happening is already predetermined, as though it was a script and we are simply carrying out the script.

Another viewpoint on the free-will underpinnings relates to cause-and-effect.

Perhaps everything that we do is like a link in a very long chain, each link connecting to the next. Any decision you make at this moment is actually bound by the decision that was made moments earlier, which is bound to the one before that, and so on, tracing all that you do back to some origin point.

In the philosophy field, a concept known as determinism is used to suggest that we are bound by this cause-and-effect aspect. You can find some wiggle room to…

Lance Eliot

Dr. Lance B. Eliot is a renowned global expert on AI, successful startup founder, global CIO/CTO, , was a top exec at a major Venture Capital (VC) firm.