Thursday, January 22, 2015

The possible dangers of artificial intelligence

See Sam Harris's recent blog on this. Harris admits to zero marginal cost with this:

"Once we built the perfect labor-saving device, the cost of manufacturing new devices would approach the cost of raw materials."

Like Rifkin he also realizes that tech may one day supplant the need for workers, so then what? Just increasing wealth inequality as he surmises? Possible if we stay in a capitalist mode. Maybe not if we evolve into Commons mode.

His main issue though, one not contemplated by Rifkin in this book, is that the IoT just might gain autonomy given its virtually near infinite connections with, well, everything.
Then what? That's why I brought the movie Transcendence into the conversation in a similar scenario. In the movie the AI was benevolent yet humans were afraid it was inhuman and demanded its demise.* But there's no guarantee it will not develop its own values and possibly eradicate the infestation known as humanity.

* Note that while the humans shut down its 'computer' it was already too late, since the AI had  created bio/nanotech that survived to spawn a new race anyway. That may very well be the actual case now with our genetically modified foods that we all eat and are mutating us as we speak.

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