We’ve discussed previously in these pages concerns of an emergent artificial intelligence. The possibility of such a “singularity” event, where AI eclipses human intelligence and sets about engineering geometric expansion of its own faculties is one that apparently worries some very smart people. Their concern seems to be that introducing an alien personality into our civilization that is unmoored to our manner of thought or boundaries of behavior may prove quite destructive. See for yourself.
AIs: They’re not just like us
“We cannot blithely assume that a superintelligence will necessarily share any of the final values stereotypically associated with wisdom and intellectual development in humans—scientific curiosity, benevolent concern for others, spiritual enlightenment and contemplation, renunciation of material acquisitiveness, a taste for refined culture or for the simple pleasures in life, humility and selflessness, and so forth,” Bostrom has written (pdf, pg. 14). (Keep in mind, as well, that those values are often in short supply among humans.)
“It might be possible through deliberate effort to construct a superintelligence that values such things, or to build one that values human welfare, moral goodness, or any other complex purpose that its designers might want it to serve,” Bolstroms adds. “But it is no less possible—and probably technically easier—to build a superintelligence that places final value on nothing but calculating the decimals of pi.
Is it even necessary to articulate the obvious consideration? That we are already well down the path of “blithely assuming” that certain sentient beings “not like us” will “necessarily share” our “final values.” It’s strange to now hear these issues mentioned with angst instead of reverence. Not that a pause to reflect isn’t prudent no matter how oblivious were prior plunges. But really, based on precedent, we ought to just presume, Diverse AIs are our strength!
Also, almost certainly a metallic consciousness could be cajoled into doing the 700IQ jobs Americans won’t do. And at a rate of compensation that triggers the highest tranche of executive bonus. If AIs can be additionally programmed to vote democratic as reliably as a Chicago dead man, then I hardly see what consequence would be any other of their catastrophic inclinations. For what does it profit a man, if he shall save the whole world, but lose his own seat?
An Alabama congressman commits modernity’s most appalling heresy: he stops pretending to be blind. Democrats waging a war on whites. This skull disperser was uttered on the Laura Ingraham show. Though the dextrous host immediately understood what obloquy such plain observation can incur, and quickly reasserted the Sgt. Shultz doctrine of white denial, saying in response, “I see nothing!”
What’s even more amusing, if such macabre kabuki, can be called such, is that the congressman was responding to explicit (and de rigueur) demonization of whites by a democrat. “The GOP can not be the party of the future, if you’re seen as the party of white people.” This racial grave dancing was so unpaletable that even a republican was prompted to reply. Though not a word is being mentioned of this original remark. And why should it? At least publicly whites all agree: we shouldn’t even be on this planet. As for sound machines like Ingraham, they understand their role…
More mainstream Kakistocracy readers
I’ve been using the term Imperium lately to describe our beloved American kakistocracy. It may be scrawled on grocery bags, but I hadn’t heard the term deployed similarly by other commenters until today. David Stockman wrote:
If you look at the entire radar screen of things developing both domestically and internationally, we are plunging deep into a perfect storm of policy failure. The American Imperium is collapsing. There is blowback everywhere. The wreckage of prior policy mistakes of our intervention with foreign policy is coming home to roost, and the Ukraine is one area at ground zero for that.
But second, monetary central planning is now coming to a dead-end. It is inflating the third financial bubble of the century and the Fed is now clueless as to how it will manage to unwind the massive balance sheet expansion it has been(sic) undertaken.
And third, the fiscal doomsday machine continues to crank on. Washington is ignoring the fact that we are six years into a business cycle expansion and we are still running massive deficits and there is no cushion for the next upset that comes to the economy.
Now, why is all of this important? Because I think the foreign policy failures — the collapse of the American Imperium as I call it — is at the center of this, and it will push all of these things in the wrong direction.
We are now becoming much more aggressive in our foreign policy than ever before. We can’t afford it by any means. And the potential for this to create black swans to roil or dislocate these very fragile markets that have been created by this massive central bank balance sheet expansion — it all makes what is happening in the Ukraine, or in the Middle East in Gaza, or in the collapse of Iraq, even more dangerous in terms of what it could trigger. So we are in a real pickle here and I think it is compounding by the day.
That’s the kind of pessimism that brings a gleam to the eye. Now start commenting, Dave.