Samir’s Selection 05/15/2013 (p.m.)

  • Assuming Moore’s Law keeps churning away at its normal exponential pace, Kevin Drum figures that [artificial intelligence surpasses human intelligence and robots start replacing us not just in manual labour or repetitive processing tasks, but in, well, everything] will happen somewhere around 2040, and it will gradually make our current economic assumptions untenable: most humans will become permanently unemployable since there will be nothing they can do that a robot can’t do better and cheaper, which means there will be too few consumers to create demand for the products the robots can create. The only way out will be to vest humans at birth with ownership shares in the robot means of production, as Noah Smith has suggested, creating a post-capitalist society of hereditary aristocratic humans and robot slaves… 

    Here’s the thing about robots: they will be telepaths. When we think about intelligent entities, we instinctively model them on our own experience, where the thoughts we have take place through lightning-fast interchanges between billions of neurons inside our brains, while connections to information sources outside our skulls take place via relatively slow, dumb, evocative means like language, vision and empathy. For robots it won’t be like that: information processing via electromagnetic links with the cloud will be just another form of neural connection, much as my laptop right now is actually writing this blog post on a server thousands of miles away. In fact, it’s quite likely that the first entity to achieve human-like levels of intelligence will be Google, rather than some metal humanoid. We’re talking the Borg, not C3P0…

    The real problem with AI’s is that it won’t even be clear where one AI stops and another one begins. If Google were a person, what would it encompass? Would it include my docs on Google Drive? I have a couple of Google tabs open right now. Who do those tabs belong to? Me? It? Its shareholders?…

    I think the writer who’s addressed these concerns most clearly is Charlie Stross. In “Glasshouse”, for example, Stross makes it clear that in a post-Singularity society the key concern becomes the protection of individual identity, because infinite access to information tends to make everything bleed into everything else….

    Our system of making individuals independent and responsible works because we train individuals to act independent and responsible. I think one of the real challenges as artificial intelligence develops is that we’re going to have to look increasingly at how intelligence emerges in systems that have no clear boundaries and can’t be delineated as separate persons, and our political system and our economic laws may come to seem increasingly antiquated and baroque, designed for beings that no longer exist.

    tags: AI robot future singularity economics politics law individuality identity Google BorgComplex

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

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