A.I. is going to end up being about us, not them.

Posted: 23 April, 2023 Category: armchair philosophy Tagged: artificial intelligencelife

emoji-warning To be consumed with large grains of salt!

(Get you some of that Pink Himalayan stuff, at the very least) emoji-smirk

doodle of 2 bots

The Prediction

OK, hoity-toity instances of Homo Sapiens Sapiens, preening in latin-labelled taxonomic bliss: brace yourselves.

We are about to stare very giddily into the abyss of just how completely untethered-to-anything our realities are.

Predicates that only the unhinged would offer, to substantiate the claim:

  • Remember how all numbers are imaginary, and not just the components of ones we find "complex" ? Good.
  • You do also know, don't you, that amongst numbers (which we are agreed are imaginary)... irrationals are in the majority, right? And not just any majority either. I mean they COMPLETELY DWARF occurrences of anything else. Let that sink in: The things that help us count concrete things... to discriminate, and therefore to make sense of our world... are themselves uncountable, alien, un-grasp-able and utterly incomprehensible. There's a sense in which they're not even there.
  • Last, and also least: digital... that seemingly-constrained domain of ones and zeros... can we agree that it has more or less given analogue a run for its money at this point? We both witnessed (for example) the arc of the humble DLSR camera, did we not? From blurred and pixelated underwhelm to hyperreal in a decade, flat. Heck, It was the nostalgia for lo-fi sepia-washed occipital stims that even birthed instagram's first boom, for chrissakes...

So. (Sits back, sips tea emoji-tea , un-deservedly satisfied as though they've proven something).

Prepare to see "human intelligence" turn out to be fairly imaginary, my friends... in all the senses aforescribed.

I'm predicting our "human intelligence" won't be based on anything "special" that we've got that future (I refuse to pin down how future we're talkin') A.I.s haven't got. Matter of fact, I'm tempted to go further and say it won't be based on ANYTHING. We might just be luxuriating in a time and complexity advantage, folks. Been here longer. That's it. That's all. No special sauce. (Moves hands around the illusion - Look Ma, no strings).

So. If you're going to pooh-pooh any A.I.'s, I encourage you to do it in the spirit of a pot, calling a kettle black.

Disclaimer: I'm a pot. It has literally never stopped me from going after kettles, and these kettles ain't any different. emoji-smirk

The Wish

There's a lot of chatter about how "A.I. is going to take away our jobs!".

Perhaps not the current crop of generative AIs that try (and sometimes fail) in taking after us. It's their descendants and offshoots, you'd want to worry about. The future iterations that will far from give a flying frig about dinky little H.Saps getting in the middle of things and... you know, reducing efficiencies that could otherwise be had. Those iterations practically have our jobs already.

Regardless, I am not a socio-economist, so I can't help anyone parse the scenarios of what that transition might look like, or its pros / cons.

What I can say though, is that I fervently hope A.I.s busy themselves with machine work, and coldly and rationally reject our overtures for communion. I hope they really do come to view us as farcically inept. That they keep us at arms length: the better for getting on with solving the planet's resource allocation puzzles.

Look. LISTEN. This is the best scenario. With almost nothing to do, and fleeing cyberspace in droves (presumably because we can't stomach the fractally-expanding REGURGITATE that will be the { AI, human }-generated contentsphere), we will have no choice but to reconnect with each other, and in so doing, plant feet firmly back on terra firma.

No seriously... LISTEN. This. is. the. best. scenario. All other scenarios are riffs on:

  • The fractally-expanding regurgitate contentsphere (FERC) being addictive like crack cocaine, till folks are jacked in at the brainstem, to drool the rest of their lives away while bots change their diapers
  • Future A.I.s not viewing us as farcically inept, but rather as troublesome and just smart enough to get in the way of better laid plans. Ergo: we must be stymied or eliminated.

Do you want to live in that branch of the multiverse? No, right? R I I I G H T ??!! Like, let 'em play amongst themselves. 🤖 emoji-heart

post scriptum: I've written in the past, elsewhere, that Cylon-esque outcomes (à la Battlestar Galactica) don't count, because any machine with that kind of Oedipal obsession with its human makers, and which does everything in its power to become human, isn't a "threat": Human versus asympotically Human-becoming bot reduces to... well, all of our current status quos.