By James Hall:
Where is the public outrage against the systematic surrender of human dominion over our temporal world to artificial intelligence?
The confusion about AI stems from the different perceptions of exactly what it means. A widely accepted definition indicates that Artificial Intelligence is the capability of a machine to imitate intelligent human behavior. The far more exoteric interpretations of its meaning can be speculated ad infinitum. Despite this lack of consensus the implications from the effect of AI upon humanity is incontestable. Everyone is familiar with the understanding of components that make up the human species, but who among us can guarantee that the consistent nature of man will continue into the future?
Dylan Love wrote back in 2014 the essay, By 2045 ‘The Top Species Will No Longer Be Humans,’ And That Could Be A Problem that cited the words of Louis Del Monte, physicist, entrepreneur, and author of “The Artificial Intelligence Revolution.”
“Today there’s no legislation regarding how much intelligence a machine can have, how interconnected it can be. If that continues, look at the exponential trend. We will reach the singularity in the timeframe most experts predict. From that point on you’re going to see that the top species will no longer be humans, but machines.”
“By the end of this century,” he continued, “most of the human race will have become cyborgs [part human, part tech or machine]. The allure will be immortality. Machines will make breakthroughs in medical technology, most of the human race will have more leisure time, and we’ll think we’ve never had it better. The concern I’m raising is that the machines will view us as an unpredictable and dangerous species.”
Del Monte believes machines will become self-conscious and have the capabilities to protect themselves. They “might view us the same way we view harmful insects.” Humans are a species that “is unstable, creates wars, has weapons to wipe out the world twice over, and makes computer viruses.” Hardly an appealing roommate.
With all the challenging cultural visions of the past and the visitations of ancient aliens that has become the popular rage over the last several decades, it is impossible to dismiss the unknown as irrelevant. A basic theme put forth in all these scenarios is that advanced technology has played a significant part in the development and survival of the human genesis. Be that as it may, the development of the AI technology already bypassed the concept of imitating intelligent human behavior and is approaching a surpassing and uncontrollable matrix that has profound incompatibilities with the humble human condition.
Matt Chessen is a U.S. diplomat, technologist and American author who served in some of the most challenging assignments in the Foreign Service wrote, Artificial Intelligence will be the end of humanity, but not for the reason you think. This backdrop shares a bleak description of the cyber utopian planet.
The theories for oblivion generally fall into the following categories (and they miss the true danger). They are:
- Military AIs run amok:AIs decide that humans are a threat and set out to exterminate them. Terminator, Skynet, etc. You’ve seen the movies (Key lesson: don’t build Skynet).
- The AI optimization apocalypse:AI’s decide that the best way to optimize some process, their own survival, spam reduction, whatever, is to eliminate the human race. (Key lesson: don’t create unbounded optimization algorithms).
- The resource race: AIs decide that they want more and more computing power, and the needs of meager Earthlings are getting in the way. The AI destroys humanity and converts all the resources, biomass — all the mass of the Earth actually — into computing substrate. (Key lesson: don’t program a megalomaniacal AI or let it outside its box). ((Also somewhat irrelevant as advanced AI intelligences will likely try to get super-small for efficiency.))
- Unknowable motivations: AI’s develop some unknown motivation that only supremely intelligent beings can understand and humans are in the way of their objective, so they eliminate us. The analogy of the anthill and the superhighway applies here — ants can’t conceive what a superhighway is or why humans need one, and humans have no compunctions about bulldozing the anthill to build a superhighway. See WaitButWhy for more. (Key lesson:air gap your superintelligent AIs)
Mr. Chessen’s warning may not take into effect the basic urge for individual self-preservation. His conclusion follows.
Here it is: Artificial Intelligence will facilitate the creation of artificial realities — custom virtual universes — that are so indistinguishable from reality, most human beings will choose to spend their lives in these virtual worlds rather than in the real world. People won’t breed. Humanity will die off.
While this finale may appeal to those who retain a minimum of rational self-respect, the human race as a whole, never acted as the embodiment of intelligent within a benign paradise. The projected demographics from the Current World Population Info data are alarming. Check out the chart where “World Population has reached 7 billion on October 31, 2011, is projected to reach 8 billion in 2023, 9 billion in 2037, and 10 billion people in the year 2055.”
It is not inconceivable that most people alive today will live to see the eleven figure hordes of mostly improvised and subsistence level economic slaves reach that milestone of Malthusian unsustainability. Is there any mentally balanced proponent of AI that would forecast that artificial intelligence technology will bring about prosperity to the entire planet?
Surely, a virtual reality connected to a Twitter social network, delivered through an Amazon drone after a Google triggers the order and paid with Bitcoin is unrealistic for a global economy.
What possible range of products and services could emerge to employ so many competing workplace positions? Since AI is to replace the mundane functions of the underemployed, what exactly will they engage in to earn a living? If the alternative is a universal guaranteed income, will the underlying money be debt created into existence or will it simply be allocated by the cyborgs gatekeepers, who will distribute a livelihood to the masses?
Even if the proponents of AI believe they can install a shut down button in the chips that operate the older generation of artificial intelligence, what happens when the ether zone organisms cross into an undiscovered dimension and generates into an incomprehensible genus being?
How applicable would that eminent Star Trek Prime Directive be when the Bread and Circuses are already defined by the sentinel of specie utopia?
“No identification of self or mission; no interference with the social development of said planet; no references to space, other worlds, or advanced civilizations.”
Such reasonable sentiments sound encouraging for mere mortals, but would they ever apply to a machine that does not have a soul?
Face the existential reality of an aspired confluence with an android in the search of immorality. Those that see transhumanism as the liberator from original sin already reject the Creator because they see themselves as gods in the techno ethos of Mount Olympia as they dismiss that their savior will return to the Mount of Olives.
Louis Del Monte offers this admonition in Nanoweapons: A Growing Threat to Humanity – Louis A. Del Monte as he describes the most deadly generation of military weapons the world has ever encountered.
“With dimensions one-thousandth the diameter of a single strand of human hair, this technology threatens to eradicate humanity as it incites world governments to compete in the deadliest arms race ever.”
He poses this query, “Will it be possible to develop, deploy, and use nanoweapons in warfare without rendering humanity extinct?”
With the ontogenesis of artificial intelligence, where is the public outrage against the systematic surrender of human dominion over our temporal world? Such questions should have definitive responses. Imagine a DARPA army of AI generals commanding stormtroopers equipped with nanoweapons. The notion that battles will be fought against other metamorphic warriors is absurd on the face of the proposition.
However, that is exactly where the fog of war is going. Even more ridiculous is that a command structure can be put in place to control the deliverance of death. The enemy for such legions of these utopian Archimedes war machines would claw their way and use their death rays on their inventors.
AI provides the means for self-annihilation. The exponential expansion of the population presents the incentive to eradicate massive proportions of marginal inhabitants. This assessment may never appear in political press releases, but by the standards of ruthless conquerors and dictators, human kind where in the past and still to this day, are expendable.
With the means of bio plagues and weapons of mass destruction the prospects are frightening. Using and applying the technology of artificial intelligence, the promise of a utopian future will fall short for mankind. Who would write the historic account after human beings were eliminated by the machines originally designed to serve the specie but reprogrammed by AI terminators?
When human consciousness becomes extinct, only cybor-circuts will remember the experiment that destroyed civilization. So much for the promise of an Erewhon on earth.
© Copyright by James Hall, 2018. All rights reserved.