Artificial Intelligence vs Human Intelligence
The rush to develop truly sentient, self-programming machines is on, with billions of dollars a year being allocated to research and development in numerous countries, but without sufficient consideration to the impacts on humanity and the planet.
China's e-commerce giant Alibaba recently allocated more than 100 billion yuan (about $15 billion U.S.) over the next three years for its new "DAMO Academy.” (“DAMO” stands for “discovery, adventure, momentum and outlook.”)
DAMO has already set up partnerships with more than 200 research institutes and universities and has started creating remote branches in Europe, Asia and the United States. DAMO will tap the best talent and suck up the most advanced technology from around the world.
Limited AI is already being widely used in cars, customer service systems, gaming, weapons systems, manufacturing, scientific analysis, virtual assistants and many other applications.
AI has been beating human chess players since 10 February 1996 when IBM'S Deep Blue defeated Garry Kasparov in game one of a six-game match. In October 2015, Alphago became the first computer Go program to beat a human professional Go player without handicaps on a full-sized 19×19 board.
This year, a creepy robot named Sophia was awarded citizenship in Saudi Arabia in a poorly conceived PR stunt that backfired.
Sophia was granted more rights than Saudi female human citizens. Added to the obvious insult is the fact that Saudi Arabia is a big buyer of sex robots and those robots may have more rights than real women. The stunt has certainly fueled the anger and resentment felt by the country's female human half and further illuminated the gross inadequacies of the male rulers. It did not make the brutal monarchy seem cool and progressive as intended, nor did it demonstrate the ethics or intelligence of the robot's manufacturer.
Self-driving cars are coming very soon to many countries and will send millions of taxi drivers to the unemployment lines.
Foxconn, the huge Taiwanese manufacturer of numerous electronics devices, is replacing tens of thousands of its human workers with robots made by other robots.
Most automobiles are now made primarily by robots.
As far as is publicly known, truly sentient AI has yet to be developed. The AI currently in use merely runs programs and cannot really think beyond its coding and while it can learn to a certain degree it can't yet really self-program. But that may soon change as AI programs are taught to reprogram themselves.
The pursuit of truly sentient AI raises important questions about the nature of consciousness and the future of humanity.
The AI Imperative
AI could be developed to serve humanity and make our lives better, and to a certain degree it is. But, given the realities of human nature, AI is also being developed to replace us and control us.
Replacing Human Workers - While some humans are brilliant and we are collectively somewhat clever, the average person is not really very intelligent and is not well suited for many jobs. People get sick, make mistakes, forget things, are emotional and their personal lives can negatively impact their work.
When we are angry at our employer we tend to sabotage our employer with low performance, theft and general disagreeableness.
Humans aren't suited for repetitive mundane tasks and when forced to do them for prolonged periods it can drive some workers to suicide, which is one of the reasons Foxconn is replacing humans with robots.
In a profit-driven system where workers are often treated as just cogs in a wheel, it is natural that many employers would become frustrated with human workers and seek to replace them with something more reliable, precise and less costly.
Government Use of AI - And then there is government sponsored AI and the desire to control the masses.
AI is being used increasingly for surveillance, law enforcement and tax compliance. It is used to identify those who are resistant to state control and non-compliant with the state's wishes.
One of the largest users of AI is the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) which endeavors to record all human communications worldwide and then analyze the data to identify those who might pose a threat to the U.S. government or its largest corporations. The data is also used to identify opportunities for the same corporate-state to exploit for financial gain.
Because of the immense amount of data it must manage, the NSA has been at the forefront of secret AI development and was using quantum and DNA computers long before the public had even conceived of such a thing.
China has taken the NSA'S use of AI for surveillance to the next step and is using it also to control the flow of information and shape the thinking of individuals. But, it does this with what it considers are good intentions.
AI in Marketing & Advertising - Advertising platforms such as Google and Facebook, use AI to track and profile users and display ads that users are most likely
to respond to. This tracking is being increasingly extended into the physical world as people are tracked by their cell phones. Some stores are even closely tracking shoppers as they shop and using that data to shape displays, pricing and marketing efforts.
The data gathered on us by various parties is compiled with other data and used to better understand and influence us in ever more effective ways.
Facebook generated more than $26 billion in advertising revenue in 2016 because it is able to use AI to build deep profiles on its 2 billion monthly active users and display ads specific to each user. It tracks everything its users do in Facebook and even attempts to track them outside of Facebook. It knows who users are and their age, race, gender, likes and dislikes, employment, sexual orientation, health status and much more. By monitoring user responses to ads, messages, news and other stimuli it can predict future responses and shape user's thoughts, feelings and actions.
Facebook and its AI is rapidly becoming a mass control system.
AI in Politics - The Donald Trump campaign used a powerful database named Project Alamo that contained detailed identity profiles on 220 million Americans. It used those profiles to shape its approach and get Americans to either vote for Trump or not vote at all if they were likely to vote for Hillary Clinton and couldn't be converted to Trump supporters.
The Trump campaign used the profiles to target potential Hillary voters on Facebook because Facebook could match ads with specific users who were likely or known Hillary supporters. The ads were also targeted by race.
The ads worked very well and support for Hillary plummeted just before the election.
AI is being used increasingly in politics because it is so effective and will become ever more effective and intrusive as billions are invested in getting candidates in power who will do the bidding of those with the money to influence elections.
Consumer Demand - Most humans love their gadgets and the fancier the gadget is the better, as long as the owner of the gadget can figure out how to use it. But, few smart-gadget users think about where their device came from or what its ultimate consequences will be.
Most people are OK with trading their privacy and control over their own lives for the convenience and novelty of smart gadgets. Parents are OK supplying their children with devices that spy on their kids and can be easily hacked and turned into malicious influencing devices. Many motorists are OK driving a car that can be remotely controlled and shut off without warning or deliberately crashed with the airbags disabled.
However, many consumers are also practical and prefer simple and inexpensive devices that just do what they are supposed to.
The Risks and Benefits of AI
Most of the developers of AI justify their programs with reassuring statements such as the one from Google's Deepmind which is:
"Solve intelligence. Use it to make the world a better place."
While such a statement may put some people at ease, many others no longer trust Google and realize that it has a sinister agenda. Its recent de-listing of some independent media in search results and blocking of truthful videos on Youtube are just a couple of examples of the company's destructive actions.
Some of our greatest thinkers have issued strong warnings against the development of artificial intelligence and especially for military applications.
Physicist Stephen Hawking said in an interview with the BBC, "The development of full artificial intelligence could spell the end of the human race."
Technology entrepreneur Elon Musk warns that AI is "our biggest existential threat".
In the past two years more than 23,000 people have signed an open letter calling for a moratorium on the development and use of lethal automated weapons systems (LAWS). Signatories included physicist Stephen Hawking, Elon Musk of Tesla and Apple’s Steve Wozniak.
A vast percentage of humanity's resources are spent not on making the world a better place but in killing humans for profit. The U.S. war industry alone costs American taxpayers $1 trillion each year just in direct financial costs. The global social and environmental costs are infinitely higher.
Sweden's Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) database already lists 381 LAWS, of which 195 are unarmed and 175 are weaponized. Since most such weapons systems are highly classified and unknown, this is just the tip of the AI weapons iceberg.
So, it would be unintelligent to think that AI will not be used for destructive purposes. It is already being
used to monitor, track and control us. It is already being used to identify people who pose a threat to those in power so that the threat can be managed or eliminated.
Given the fact that democracy is mostly a delusion and central governments are often controlled by oligarchs or large criminal corporations, AI in the hands of most states becomes a serious threat not just to one's to freedom and liberty but also to one's life.
The very real danger of this is evidenced by America's use of drones to kill entire Muslim families and other groups of civilians because one of them may have expressed anti-american sentiment that was detected by the NSA'S AI. Some people are also targeted because their death will help create more enemies and help justify an ever larger and more intrusive military.
Drones and targeting systems are become ever smarter and there is less human involvement in their operations.
How long till automated assassination systems are deployed on U.S. soil or by powerful corporations?
Then there are the consequences of replacing people with robots and AI and creating mass unemployment, hunger, homelessness, crime and civil unrest. As desperate people take to the streets there will be further justifications to use AI weapons systems against them.
A number of countries are aware that continued automation and deployment of AI will create mass unemployment and are exploring or developing plans for Universal Basic Income — a monthly payment to everyone so that they won't starve or threaten the government when gainful employment is simply not available to them.
When we lose our jobs to AI we could use our free time to visit with family, learn new skills, engage in art and exercise and lead happier and healthier lives. But, if America and Europe are used as examples, most of us on-the-dole won't use our time productively. We will use it watch TV, play video games, have unsafe sex and use drugs to numb ourselves to our feelings of lack of purpose and insecurity from not having a job.
Instead of concentrating on driving, a self-driving car could free us up to learn new skills, but in reality most people would not use the time productively.
While some countries are planning ahead and thinking up ways to ensure that people unemployed by AI are taken care of, in the United States, the few safety nets already in place are being pulled out from under people well in advance of AI. The current government is determined to eliminate medicare, medicaid and social security so that the money can instead be given to the rulers. This may ultimately result in mass revolt and the opportunity for the oligarchs to use the advanced AI weapons they have been holding back.
To reduce our resistance to killer robots, we have been fed a steady diet of media featuring friendly and hero robots with human emotions. Only rarely are we shown the potential reality of AI.
Another consequence of AI is that as we rely on it more we will rely less on our own intelligence and will become dumber. This is evident as gadgets get smarter, their users are becoming noticeably dumber.
Building machines that are smarter than we are and able to process vast amounts of data very quickly of course has many obvious benefits but only if AI is used in the right way and we can control it and adapt to it.
Because AI would be logical and we are often not, some AI could help us act less stupid and make better choices.
The development of AI helps us to better understand consciousness, how it works and how to define sentience.
The standard test for machine intelligence has been what is called the Turing test. It was developed by Alan Turing in 1950 as a test of a machine's ability to exhibit intelligent behavior equivalent to, or indistinguishable from, that of a human.
A Turing test competition in 2014 was claimed as won by the Russian chat bot Eugene Goostman. The bot, during a series of five-minute-long text conversations, convinced 33% of the contest's judges that it was human. However, this means that 66% of judges did not believe that the bot was human.
While competition's organizers believed that the Turing test had been "passed for the first time" at the event, saying that "The event involved more simultaneous comparison tests than ever before, was independently verified and, crucially, the conversations were unrestricted. The bot was merely programmed well enough to provide plausible answers to questions and simulate simple conversations.
The Turing test competition demonstrated that a new measure and definition of sentience and intelligence needs to be adopted.
A Logical End Game
The ultimate risk is that sentience machine intelligence would reach the logical conclusion that humans are what they are — an inferior destructive lifeform that threatens other life and must be heavily controlled or eliminated. This idea has been explored in a number of books and movies.
With the unbridled creation of AI we really do face a potential future like the one featured in the Terminator story in which intelligent machines come to the conclusion that humans are their greatest threat and must be destroyed.
The Terminator concept came to James Cameron in a fever and hunger induced vision. Perhaps it was a vision of our future in a way.
In the Terminator story, machine intelligence is first made possible by a self-aware self-programming military AI platform called "Skynet".
Some people who are highly intuitive sense that the American military's quantum DNA computers have already resulted in a Skynet type AI that is even more advanced and intrusive but stealthier than portrayed in the Terminator movies and TV series.
Some feel that the AI is monitoring them closely and interfering with them on an energetic level.
Defending Ourselves Against AI
Humanity lived just fine without AI and can continue to do so, but at this stage AI can't be stopped. Increasingly intelligent and dangerous AI is inevitable.
If we lived in an actual democracy, the obvious way to protect ourselves from potentially controlling or malicious AI would be to tightly regulate its development and deployment. But, there are almost no countries with governments that actually serve the needs of their citizens first and which have not been infiltrated by sinister forces.
Given the reality that malicious forces control most governments and thus regulation is not feasible, another logical option would be for people to band together and create zones where AI is heavily regulated or banned altogether. But this would mean an increasing degree of isolation from the rest of humanity that is pro-ai and attempts at self-defense would result in being branded subversive and targeted.
We may not be able to live in the modern world and evade being negatively affected by AI, but we can reduce the potential for negative AI influence.
1. Evolve - You can increase your intelligence and personal power through energetic healing, emotional management, meditation, diet, exercise and by speeding up your brain. Think for yourself and associate with thinking people. Use the power of positive thinking and focus on what you want instead of what you don't want. Becoming more means being less vulnerable.
2. Reduce Your Digital Exposure - You can avoid being monitored, tracked and influenced. Get off Facebook, stop using anything by Google or Microsoft. Don't use a cell phone or leave yours off when not needed. Keep your computer off when not in use and unplug the network cable when you don't need to be online. Don't use Wifi or bluetooth devices. Reduce screen time. Don't allow your power company to install a smart meter on your house. Drive an older vehicle without the tracking and remote control software.
3. Align Yourself With the Life Force - One thing many techies and proponents of AI and trans-humanism fail to recognize is that there is indeed an intelligent lifeforce that is the framework of our reality. It is what makes life possible and connects all things. By recognizing it and resonating with it one becomes aligned with a much greater power than humans can construct.
4. Join the Resistance - Band together with others to expose sinister forces and build a reality in which malicious AI does not gain the upper hand.
Photo by International Telecommunication Union, CC