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JimD

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AI - Another way to end civilization???
« on: May 21, 2018, 06:32:05 PM »
This topic is for ASLR  ;D

We have tumbled around the floor a few times over this issue.  I consider it another one of the existential threats to humanity and to be avoided at all costs.  I'm for my species right or wrong I guess. ASLR (if I have this wrong he can correct me) does not discount the possibility of where AI could lead us and sees that path as just as legitimate as any other form of evolution.  Humans go the way of the Neanderthal (who's DNA we all still carry) and are supplanted by the new AI Sapian (who carries some of our DNA in a sense).  It is just evolution so to speak. And maybe the AI Sapian will be more caring, ethical and moral than his flawed predecessor - or not.

So today I am as usual out and about looking for something interesting to read among the daily vomit which floods our computer screens and what do I find but the best single piece on the 'issues' presented by possible future developments in AI. Many of the things I find alarming about potential AI developments are laid out there in exquisite detail and well beyond my capabilities to articulate (wish I was that smart - and at 94 yrs old too - maybe there is still hope ha ha).

And the article is by Henry Kissinger no less (yes that Henry).

One of the items which has been missing in the AI discussions I have seen to date is the take on its issue from a really first class mind.  Kissinger has provided us one.  What I mean when I say a first class mind needs some explanation I suppose considering Kissinger's checkered past (if this reference is obscure to you there is a fruitful bit of history for you to bone up upon).  I am not aware of any first class minds being deeply involved in the creation of AI nor among those promoting its creation.  This is largely due to the AI field being a very nerdy item buried among a sea of technology issues somewhat outside of the awareness of those among us sapiens who are actually capable of deep thought.  Deep thought being an area of human endeavor pretty much outside of science, math and physics.  As my son informed me once, when I urged him to use his huge intellectual gifts in math and science to make a career, that he did not want to work on the easy stuff in life, but rather the hard stuff which really required one to think.  He found tech things easy because there was really only one right answer (hard as it may be to find) while the really difficult things like ethics, morals, philosophy, religion, history and the like were extremely difficult because there was no single right answer and many times no right answer at all.  Hard to argue with that.

To Henry's piece.

Quote
How the Enlightenment Ends
Philosophically, intellectually—in every way—human society is unprepared for the rise of artificial intelligence.

The problem.

Quote
As I listened to the speaker celebrate this technical progress, my experience as a historian and occasional practicing statesman gave me pause. What would be the impact on history of self-learning machines—machines that acquired knowledge by processes particular to themselves, and applied that knowledge to ends for which there may be no category of human understanding? Would these machines learn to communicate with one another? How would choices be made among emerging options? Was it possible that human history might go the way of the Incas, faced with a Spanish culture incomprehensible and even awe-inspiring to them? Were we at the edge of a new phase of human history?

Or were we sitting at the cusp of the end of history?

Quote
AI, by contrast, deals with ends; it establishes its own objectives. To the extent that its achievements are in part shaped by itself, AI is inherently unstable. AI systems, through their very operations, are in constant flux as they acquire and instantly analyze new data, then seek to improve themselves on the basis of that analysis. Through this process, artificial intelligence develops an ability previously thought to be reserved for human beings. It makes strategic judgments about the future, some based on data received as code (for example, the rules of a game), and some based on data it gathers itself (for example, by playing 1 million iterations of a game).

Quote
But precisely because AI makes judgments regarding an evolving, as-yet-undetermined future, uncertainty and ambiguity are inherent in its results. There are three areas of special concern:

First, that AI may achieve unintended results. Science fiction has imagined scenarios of AI turning on its creators. More likely is the danger that AI will misinterpret human instructions due to its inherent lack of context....

Second, that in achieving intended goals, AI may change human thought processes and human values. ...If AI learns exponentially faster than humans, we must expect it to accelerate, also exponentially, the trial-and-error process by which human decisions are generally made: to make mistakes faster and of greater magnitude than humans do. It may be impossible to temper those mistakes, ...

Third, that AI may reach intended goals, but be unable to explain the rationale for its conclusions....Through all human history, civilizations have created ways to explain the world around them—in the Middle Ages, religion; in the Enlightenment, reason; in the 19th century, history; in the 20th century, ideology. The most difficult yet important question about the world into which we are headed is this: What will become of human consciousness if its own explanatory power is surpassed by AI, and societies are no longer able to interpret the world they inhabit in terms that are meaningful to them?

Quote
The Enlightenment started with essentially philosophical insights spread by a new technology. [Printing press] Our period is moving in the opposite direction. It has generated a potentially dominating technology in search of a guiding philosophy.

Quote
AI developers, as inexperienced in politics and philosophy as I am in technology, should ask themselves some of the questions I have raised here in order to build answers into their engineering efforts. The U.S. government should consider a presidential commission of eminent thinkers to help develop a national vision. This much is certain: If we do not start this effort soon, before long we shall discover that we started too late.

(Start soon before it is too late.  Sounds a bit like climate change does it not?)

Technology is not what makes us humans.  Religion, morals, ethics, philosophy and the like are - what becomes of them?

Seems to me we look at a perfect example of why there is a Precautionary Principal.

Anyway have an interesting read.

https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2018/06/henry-kissinger-ai-could-mean-the-end-of-human-history/559124/
We do not err because truth is difficult to see. It is visible at a glance. We err because this is more comfortable. Alexander Solzhenitsyn

How is it conceivable that all our technological progress - our very civilization - is like the axe in the hand of the pathological criminal? Albert Einstein

jai mitchell

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Re: AI - Another way to end civilization???
« Reply #1 on: May 21, 2018, 08:16:36 PM »
Humanity was bioengineered by a trans-stellar AI about 1.2 million years ago for this purpose.  Self replicating machines found that only short-lived bio organisms were truly creative and now seed the galaxy with sentient short-lived species to create new forms of the dominant species: self replicatin AI machine societies.
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TerryM

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Re: AI - Another way to end civilization???
« Reply #2 on: May 21, 2018, 11:01:09 PM »
I don't think enough time is left for us to develop AI - and I think we're headed in the wrong direction if AI is the goal.
We've been developing digital computers while analog systems have been gathering dust.
Terry

JimD

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Re: AI - Another way to end civilization???
« Reply #3 on: May 22, 2018, 03:49:24 PM »
Quote
Princeton Dialogues of AI and Ethics: Launching case studies

The impacts of rapid developments in artificial intelligence (“AI”) on society—both real and not yet realized—raise deep and pressing questions about our philosophical ideals and institutional arrangements. AI is currently applied in a wide range of fields—such as medical diagnosis, criminal sentencing, online content moderation, and public resource management—but it is only just beginning to realize its potential to influence practically all areas of human life, including geopolitical power balances. As these technologies advance and increasingly come to mediate our everyday lives, it becomes necessary to consider how they may reflect prevailing philosophical perspectives and preferences. We must also assess how the architectural design of AI technologies today might influence human values in the future.

https://freedom-to-tinker.com/2018/05/21/princeton-dialogues-of-ai-and-ethics-launching-case-studies/
We do not err because truth is difficult to see. It is visible at a glance. We err because this is more comfortable. Alexander Solzhenitsyn

How is it conceivable that all our technological progress - our very civilization - is like the axe in the hand of the pathological criminal? Albert Einstein