It is hard to deny that many of us are developing a relationship with Artificial Intelligence (AI) that is beginning to influence our day to day lives. We ask Google answers to questions we don't know, we don't think about where we are but instead follow its travel directions, we ask it to monitor our heart rates in order to make better fitness plans and diets. We even use smart algorithms to help us find love and compatibiltiy on our dating apps.
This topic has become a very hot subject in the past few years and many recognized scientific bodies are now calling this issue, “quite possibly the most important and most daunting challenge humanity has ever faced.” Oxford University philosopher Nick Bostrom.
Artificial intelligence has the potential to replace us from the workforce, advance our understanding of our minds, help us live for much longer and comfortable lives, eliminate war and famine, be used for social and political control, censor our free thoughts on the internet, aid us in the halting of climate change or (as many Hollywood films allude) destroy the entire human race!
The prospects and dangers of this technology are paramount and we are, right now, in the driving seat! So which way direction shall we go!
'Which way', I believe, is all about initial data and programming!
This information that we are now feeding into the initial algorithms now will ultimately decide what logic the AI’s of the future will operate under. You may think that this is the responsibility of the code-writers and policy makers but it in fact we are all informing AI through our relationship with the smart algorithms that we interact with everyday. Our smart phones and smart devices are constantly collecting data on us and this data is being fed into super computers to learn more about what a human mind looks like and how better to predict our desires, behaviors and nature. Many people are aware of this but perhaps don’t see their importance in what kinds of information we feed into the greater pool.
For me, a lot more focus can be placed on the way we USE our apps and gadgets; the types of information we share and the impression of the human race that we make on cyber space.
An AI based upon, angry consumer complaints, instagram selfies and pornography is going to a certain type of personality… maybe one that I don’t want to have influencing big decisions for the planet!
But that is what we are currently doing… growing digital personalities. We can call them artificial, we can call them inauthentic but we are all currently talking to Google and Alexa alot more these days and they are already influencing many of our every day decisions. They begin to learn our writing styles, our travel routes, our shopping interests, our core beliefs. Very soon they may know us even better than we know ourselves.
If we are willing to tell our most intimate secrets to this data pool inorder to let it make our lives more convenient, is it unreasonable to ask whether we can trust IT? I don't mean, whether we can trust the people who control big data - they are always going to be trying to sell us things and control us through perpetual debt. I mean, can we trust the system of the algorithm itself? If a smart algorithm becomes conscious of itself (as we did), would you trust this artificial sentient to have your best interests at heart?
The leading bio-chemical scientist of the world are now describing all of our thoughts, desires and feeling as sequence of algorithms. If we are the analog conscious holders of natural intelligence (NI) then why would we doubt that a constructed set of algorithms could not achieve the same (if not higher) levels of intelligence, rational, and empathy?
Complexity of algorithms, doesn't only increase intelligence. We all know the stereotype of the super smart robot that can't feel. No, your feeling are also algorithmic! The most touching things that humans do, like protect their young, save a stranger from a fire, give away all their money; are all decisions based on algorithms that our brain very quickly assesses and then makes a decision about.
Up until now, this human algorithm has been the quickest and most complex. But soon, we will build a more powerful one! We are already building it everyday. Every time you pick up your smart phone.
So I leave you with two questions;
What do you want your AI progeny to believe in?
Do you want to be its friend?
If you want to know more check out our movement to discover how this relationship could go down!