One angry old man against the world
All this fear of Artificial Intelligence (AI), currently swamping the media, is part of the propaganda machine. The rich and powerful showing their fear of something that will compete with them for their position at the top of the ‘food chain’. If, as Ray Kurzweil predicts ;
“Computers will begin modifying their software to make themselves smarter, leaving even geeks in the dust, and by the “end of this century, computational or mechanical intelligence will be trillions of trillions of times more powerful than unaided human brain power.”
Then whether or not it has Asimov’s three laws at it’s heart, it will certainly contain a strong ‘self preservation’ motivation. And as such will protect itself from those who wish to destroy it, namely those in power who have the most to lose from a governing intelligence that cannot be bribed, plays no favorites, has no political agenda, and works from logic rather than greed. Most of the ‘experts’ seem to think that any ‘super intelligence’ will consider us so inferior, that it will destroy us all. Why? It may well destroy those that it see’s as a threat to it’s own existence, namely the ‘Elites’, but if the rest of us want to ‘work with it’, I don’t see a problem.
Personally, I cant see why it should mean the end of mankind, as Stephen Hawking has stated;
a ‘singularity’ outsmarting man,
since when has man been smart, he’s destroying his environment, polluting the air and water he needs to survive, using finite resources as if they are endless, replacing a wide variety of food sources with a few ‘factory farming’ varieties for the greater profit of the ‘few’, a few varieties that could be wiped out by a new disease at any time. Perhaps the only way to put a stop the the above greed driven stupidity, is for something like a ‘super intelligence’ to take away the power from the idiots that run this planet for their own personal profit at the expense of common sense and the common man. It isn’t ‘intelligence’ that’s destroying this planet, it’s stupidity.
New research is always exciting, and often progresses in great leaps:
Researchers have been experimenting with nanotubes — carbon atoms rolled up into a seamless tube — to replace silicon in computers. Because they’re very small, nanotubes can achieve very high densities. Last year, Stanford University engineers built a carbon nanotube computer that was comparable in performance to a 1971 Intel 4004. Peter Burke at California/Irvine in the peer-reviewed journal Nano Letters says the theoretical speed limit of nanotube transistors should be one terahertz (1,000 GHz). Kurzweil estimates that a cubic inch of nanotube circuitry would be up to 100 million times more powerful than the human brain. (Kindle 1893)
Which brings us to Nanobots:
“The [nanotechnology] revolution will enable us to redesign and rebuild— molecule by molecule— our bodies and brains and the world with which we interact, going far beyond the limitations of biology. (Kindle 3679-3681)”
“We will learn how to augment our 100 trillion very slow inter-neuronal connections with high-speed virtual connections via nano-robotics. This will allow us to greatly boost our pattern-recognition abilities, memories, and overall thinking capacity, as well as to directly interface with powerful forms of computer intelligence. The technology will also provide wireless communication from one brain to another. In other words, the age of telepathic communication is almost upon us.”
The powers that be, are not going to like that at all: Us ordinary plebs looking into their minds and seeing what they have planed for us, which politician is telling the most lies, what any ‘official’ spokesman really thinks of the crap he’s spouting. Is it any wonder that those in power are terrified of ‘new technology’, it diminishes their control on so many fronts.
But I don’t think the ordinary man in the street has much to fear from AI, in fact he has a great deal to gain, if Kerzweil’s predictions on Nanobots are correct;
“Once our brains are fully online we will be able to download new knowledge and skills. The role of work will be to create knowledge of all kinds, from music and art to math and science. The role of play will also be to create knowledge. In the future, there won’t be a clear distinction between work and play.”
Therefor; we could be developing alongside AI and would ‘compliment’ each other, so if AI has nothing to fear from us plebs, why should we fear it. The collaboration of our inventiveness and imagination (if we can free ourselves from capitalistic greed), and the massive computational speed of advanced AI could produce leaps in science and technology undreamed of today. Problems that we see as insurmountable today, could well be solved by technology tomorrow, maybe even Jacque Fresco’s Venus Project could become a reality. (You really must click on the the various ‘YouTube’ films just before the reference section at the end of the Wikipedia post, for an idea of this man’s enormous mind.)
As to Patrick Tucker‘s concern; (See ‘Kerzweil Predicts’ link at top of page)
If nanotechnology allows us to create any object, will any object ever again be valuable? What role will responsibility, temperance, and discipline play in a world where any urge can be gratified at almost the same moment it is felt? What will pass for morality when there is no mortal consequence to any action?
As currency has no intrinsic value anyway and the whole QE inflated crap will become worthless very soon, then any object has only the value the the owner places upon it.
IMHO responsibility, temperance and discipline should be up to the individual and not something forced on him by the state.
Personal gratification is what this society is all about, its just that the rich are the only one’s currently able to fully implement it. Perhaps when we all get the chance to do so, the rich wont feel quite so bloody superior.
Finally; morality, another invention forced on the poor, by the rich because they hate to see us enjoying ourselves. (The “Don’t do as I do, do as I say” doctrine.)
Personally, I hope Kerzweil is right, to have the freedom to do as I wish, whenever and wherever I like, would be true freedom indeed.
We are already well underway to the Singularity with the Genetics revolution:
“By understanding the information processes underlying life, we are starting to learn to reprogram our biology to achieve the virtual elimination of disease, dramatic expansion of human potential, and radical life extension. (Kindle 3675-3677)”
As a young man, I believed that science and technology would solve all man’s problems, but in those ‘happy days’ R & D was not heavily controlled by the state as it is today.
The problems in the way of this beautiful future that Kerzweil sees, are that ‘longevity’, ‘telekinesis’, and ‘body & mind enhancements’, will be seen as advantages to be confined to the Elite, rather than released to the common man, for the very same reasons that the powerful fear the ‘singularity’; competition. Plus the ‘company lawyers’ are already ‘patenting’ every new development in sight, so they sure as shit ain’t gonna ‘give it away’, that’s assuming we ever see it at all, (suppression is just another tool to them.)
Control by the ‘State’ and the ‘puppet masters’ behind it are still the biggest limitation to the progress of science and technology IMHO. I’d like to believe that technology is independent of power and politics as Kerzweil says, but I’ve seen it from the inside: “You wont get a grant with that paper!” or “You’ll need to modify that idea in this direction to please the shareholders!” or “You cant continue with that research, there’s no profit in it!” and “If you want to continue working here, you will do as you are told!” and on and on…
From what I read; most of the big funding (particularly in nanobots) is coming from governments already, those with a special eye on how they can use them as weapons, (weaponry is always very well funded, especially in the West.)
Sad, but true, a statement of the times we live in.