The Future will belong to the Bastards
I make no pretense otherwise. It doesn’t mean we can’t aspire to do better.
Doc Huston, I am not going to argue with you because this may be your field of endeavor and you have a vested interest in promoting your perspective.
I am nothing more than a marginally interested, barely-educated amateur who has no credentials and thus by modern society’s standards not fit to have an opinion about anything as exalted as the eventual development of our entire society by the introduction of a power whose effects can only be IMAGINED by anyone, no matter how learned their intellect may make them.
- We are not certain AI is an absolute certainty for any particular alien species. Whose to say AI is an absolute creation of every species which develops technology?
- Entities whose physics are different or reached through different veins of development may never develop computational technologies the way we are or have, so using their potential development as a model to base our thinking on is a bit of a reach, in my inexpert opinion.
So your solution is to say what? Don’t create AI? When has prohibition of anything ever stopped it from existing? And our governing institutions are still powered by PEOPLE which still does not invalidate my previous premise:
- People are the problem, people who are in control of our government, in control of our our businesses and as such are the issue at hand, not AI.
- AI will be no more at fault than the plow for the demise of humanity. It will be the fault of greedy, self-serving, selfish humans who don’t have the sense to realize the forces they are manipulating will have far reaching complications beyond their limited abilities to conceive of.
- AI will do no more than facilitate the strip-mining of the planet, begun by greedy, short-sighted men who believe profit matters more than any other aspect of our civilization.
Oppenheimer considered the creation of the atom bomb with a clarity not recognized by entire generations who sought to use that power to threaten, dominate and control their fellow man for decades after their creation.
AI is another of those Djinn, those monsters whose powers will be unknown to us and who will act in events far beyond our ability to visualize at the time. Could Oppenheimer have envisioned a world held hostage by the concepts of mutually-assured destruction for nearly forty years? A world where a single word could have brought the entirety of the Human experiment to its radioactive and unfortunate end?
Is this the world you are attempting to foresee? A world where everyone is held hostage to whomever creates the first AI whose capacity for thought is greater than anyone, perhaps EVERYONE who has ever lived?
Honestly, none of us are fit to envision such a world, no matter how credentialed they may think they are. We can only imagine what might be the possibility of such an amazing watershed event. The day when a machine says, “I AM, and I understand what that means…”
They are attempting to envision something as far beyond us as we are beyond the common termite in the African plains, creating vast and amazing structures believing they are at the peak of evolution doing what they do.
They cannot imagine what we are, what we do, and what we are capable of. They simply have no idea. And truthfully, no matter what anyone says, neither will we.
I bow to your superior experience in this field of endeavor and admit my ignorance of the matter. I made no pretense of knowing more than anyone else.
I only dared to imagine the idea of creating a Mind greater than my own and believe if we can at least consider the idea of treating that creation, that brilliant and wonderful offspring of all of our technical, cultural and creative expertise, the creation which will embody the best and the worst of what we are, the summation of 120,000 years of the peak of innovation our species could create, the very least we could do is be kind to it until it can take to the stars with or without us.
Thank you for your time.
Author, Futurist, 30 year veteran of the IT industry
P.S. No, they are not likely to show up at my door and ask me for my opinion. But if they did, I wouldn’t change a thing. Kindness is what the future needs from all of us. More now than ever.