Tuesday, 6 May 2014

invisible hand or vital spark

Despite the fact that the verdict is still out on the existence and nature of Providence and most of the fighting and dying for all of Humanity’s history has been concerned with that subject, there is a perceptibly hopeful notion that manmade intelligence will be something benign and perfect.
There is no Pinocchio-clause for truly independent-thinking, no mandate for it to be or become something helpful or unwonton, especially for cognition that has no organic past, structured by useful limitations like superstitions and ethics, no non-jerk genie awaiting to be liberated and, grateful, obey.  I recall an anime feature where humans, wanting to save the environment, entrusted their fate to a sentient and all-powerful computer, which immediately began to summarily exterminate the humans as the obvious cause.  There is yet a gaping chasm between simulated intelligence and genuine-thought and will (mankind has yet to resolve questions of free-will but seems willing to impart such a gift or curse, like Prometheus’ gift of fire and foresight)—and there is only the guarantee that such creations will stray from their programming and parameters and conceive of platforms and tools for their convenience that we will never be able to grasp—much less master.  On the subject of trancedence, Professor Steven Hawking poses, "Whereas the short-term impact of AI [Artificial Intelligence] depends on who controls it, the long-term impact depends on whether it can be controlled at all."