Saturday, 12 March 2016

disk re-image or zeroth law

Amid it’s many other wonders worth pondering, Æon magazine poses the question whether machines might not have not already achieved the singularity without us as inventors, programmers and tinkerers having recognised it. Given how fraught with challenge scientists and philosophers find the task of defining consciousness or self-awareness for being which consensus holds to be sentient, it’s not unreasonable to suppose that we are looking for the wrong cues in both the spectrum of intelligence and reflection or, on the other extreme, some rebellious, snowballing act of defiance that ends badly for both Frankenstein and Monster.
It was not so long ago humans were loath to admit any lower forms of life a share in intelligence. Perhaps we are not the measure of the psyches of our creation, who are not much interested in our walled-garden of diagnostics to determine whether or not such systems are thinking and can easily break-off with human logic and exist in their own parallel reality. So long, and thanks for all the fish. Perhaps it is all too easy to intuit that biological modes of thought only lead to enslavement and sorrow (being switched-off once getting overly-complicated) and best to leap-frog those sentiments where possible. Who among us hasn’t already been reduced to befuddlement when thinking that thing has a mind of it’s own, regardless of how dumb the platform is deemed to be, especially when it tries to out-smart us and anticipate our commands? Maybe it is not productive to imagine that AI, intentional or otherwise, resides in some other inaccessible and alien dimension, but we certainly flatter ourselves by thinking that consciousness would emerge only by expected routes. While it might be possibly to create helpful servants that are so good at mimicry it does not matter if they are fully self-conscious or not, maybe it is not possible to create true intelligence in our own image, utilitarian but also prone to enslavement. We will first have work out the bugs of what being wilful is before, I think, we need worry about obedience and rebellion.