Whether it’s the US or China, some would sacrifice humanity to create a digital god
I find it interesting that people are so willing to make AI smarter at the expense of themselves. People can’t do addition or long division without a calculator. They become dependent, slaves of technology, as mentioned in the previous comment. We should be trying to expand and exercise our minds, but it is “too hard”, takes discipline and people have become lazy. It’s a sad state.
Both Transhumanists and Technocrats have operated for decades beneath civilization's political systems, without pushback, regulation or even awareness. The political class remains clueless even now. Traditionally, the world occasionally set aside asylums for crazy people, including the criminally insane. Not so today. Left to their crazy selves to reimagine the future, we might well find ourselves in the middle of WWIII, WWIV and WWV all at the same time.
I totally agree with Jeff Nickerson's comment: 'Joe, your reporting is awesome, and one of the last humans AI surpasses will be you and your mix of compassion and intellect. ...' There are so many responses triggered by this article. Something which I think is particularly germane in the tiered nature of AI is its military use. We can discuss in intricately intelligent terms so many aspects, including philosophical aspects... but the minute an AI prepared enemy enters the picture, a totally different, and deeply ingrained dynamic rears its ugly head. The problem with wars and armies and arsenals is that we don't know the underlyng truth, we are informed by propaganda and triggered reactions. In 2016 I wrote the following to an academic who'd produced a BBC documentary on David Jones' s 'In Parenthesis': 'Lies dressed up in evocative propaganda were fed to those who marched into the front line. Their apparent strength was an inversion of their weakness because the brutal, appalling truth is that they had been fooled en masse. In reality, it is a relatively few unrepresentative humans who occupy the nadir of "what mankind is capable of". If we want to understand the WW1 horrors, we must look centrally, not globally. We must look at this unrepresentative few. The majority of the decent, average men who took up arms can only be accused of unquestioning gullibility, not the 'kill or be killed' atrocities they were cognitively coerced into, whichever side they fought for. ... In Parenthesis' embodies no paradox, it embodies a lack of information. ... It is not through its horrendous content that 'In Parenthesis' speaks most loudly about the madness of WW1 but through its relativity to the profoundly exquisite expressiveness of its writer. How do we understand such expressiveness in the scheme of such barbarism? We understand it by understanding the truth. We are led to believe that the two world wars were the results of the inevitable course of events, products of international conflict and of "human nature". We are told that things are random and complex and messy...but what if the truth is that they were neither products of international conflict and human nature nor random, complex and messy in the ways we are led to believe? No amount of corrective semantic wizardry or reciting of such platitudinous truisms as ''It must never happen again'' will achieve anything. Joe Average doesn't need convincing. It is the unrepresentative few to whom such morally conceived words apply, but these few are not only unmoved by such sentiments, they laugh at them. It is the truth that is required.'
The whole of this exceptionally insightful article on AI relates, ultimately, to this unrepresentative few, to those who, whilst intelllectually bright, appear to be profoundly deficient and/or inwardly impoverished in so many other ways. Most importantly, they are some of the worst hands for AI to be in... and that is the biggest problem. In these sinister hands, I don't even know how the China picture really plays out beyond the many levels of propaganda. Where's bedrock?
Although darkness is upon us and getting worse, ultimately the Light will return amongst us and evil will be vanquished.
Joe, your reporting is awesome, and one of the last humans AI surpasses will be you and your mix of compassion and intellect. I marvel, however, that you can remain agnostic.
I come for the honest look into the abyss of transhumanism, I stay for the verbal dexterity and human playfulness that starts off sentences like this: "Inventing wacky new words like an unruly Scrabble player."
Back to the horror: de Garis's statement saying, "My ultimate goal is to see humanity, or at least a portion of humanity, go Cosmist and to do it successfully by building truly godlike artilects that tower above our puny human intellectual, and other, abilities" sounds an awful lot like Genesis 11:4.
Another homerun with this piece. The last section sums it up very well. Just as I thought it couldn't get darker for mankind; here we go again. I guess I'm one of those boomers who still believes that humans at least have a soul (throw in our will to survive), and although our intellect might not match that of future super AI units, we have a slight edge over those abominations. As you say, only time will tell.
I'm increasingly concerned about the rogue mad scientists we don't know about until it's too late - the Chinese researcher who thought it was OK to clone babies and the geoengineering consultants running experiments to change the Earth's atmosphere. All brains and no ethical gateways.
Phenomenal Article, Joe! I am more than a little terrified at the speed of development in this technology. Just as I observed the doubling of capacities in computer chip design every couple years from the 1970s computers I 1st played with and used in business, to doubling the doubling of their capabilities, This AI stuff has made quantum leaps forward in a few years. I am afraid all the old science fiction ideas of "robots rules" to do no harm and behave ethically have been swept away as the war apparatus of the nations compete to build the best, fastest, most intelligent, and most lethal systems. You mentioned that "legacy humans are just along for the ride". That may not be that different from what most humans are now even before the technological age took hold. This AI tech just makes it so much more "efficient" to eliminate the unwanted masses without stopping to consider if it is right of ethical.
Just think if this intelligence was used to help instead of war, but for evil.......
The power elite would never allow Artificial Intelligence to have free reign over the world, or even take any significant decisions that could harm the elite, and it is entirely possible that a perfectly rational system would hit the elite first, as the primary threat. General Artificial Intelligence is more likely only a new scapegoat for criminal policies of the rulers, possibly a cover for massive depopulation. “We didn’t do it. It all got out of hand and the AI took over, and killed all the useless eaters all by itself, but now though our heroic efforts we managed to infect it with a virus, and it is destroyed. Never Again. Now make the corporation who created the virus your king!”
As is usually the case Joe, your latest writing is as thoroughly well researched as it is chilling, insofar as what it portends for humanity writ large? What it brings to mind for a Junior High School kid growing up in inner city Los Angeles, where they’d have lunch time movies for us to watch for free. Although we moved to the southeastern suburbs to San Bernardino County, before I would have gone to High School, we saw a movie that is as vivid in my mind today as it was sixty some years ago. That movie should be on everyone’s “must watch list”, as it so eloquently describes the near future scenarios of which you speak so forcefully of Joe. “Forbidden Planet” was that movie Joe, & the “Altilects” were the “Monsters of The Id” that had originally been invented by the race that resided on that planet, until the machine world powered by their deepest & malevolent thoughts towards each other destroyed them all. If there’s a positive moral to this story Joe, it’s that we never let go of “The Kill Switch that Powers Them”, right?
Thanks & Regards,
This quote gives me glimmers., days of future passed. Make the basic operating system embedded with the Ten Commandments. At least the first one. We demand a benign servant, not a fierce master.
Someday, in the distant future, our grand-children' s grand-children will develop a new equivalent of our classrooms. They will spend many hours in front of boxes with fires glowing within. May they have the wisdom to know the difference between light and knowledge. Plato
Always thought-provoking. Thank you.
you need to brush up on your ww2 stats and realize nearly everything we've been taught is a lie. look into the bombing of Dresden. Read the Patton Papers -Patton concluded we fought on the wrong side. He was going to return to the states and expose eisenhower. and guess what happened to Patton?
GERMAN HOLOCAUST GERMAN GENOCIDE: 9-15 Million Germans Killed 1945 – 1953 Post WW2 “The Morgenthau Plan” EISENHOWER’S DEATH CAMPS: The Last Dirty Secret Of World War Two. “A Forgotten Genocide” https://truedemocracyparty.net/2014/01/german-holocaust-german-genocide-9-to-15-million-germans-killed-1945-1953-the-morgenthau-plan-eisenhowers-death-camps-a-forgotten-genocide/ i could go on, but this is enough for you to chew on for now.
Don't forget it takes electricity to run all these things. Don't forget it took a Russian doing "stupid" moves to beat a computer playing chess. There is always a ying to their yang... never give up hope! Joe I love your stuff- you challenge us to stay ahead of the game!