Headline: AI Won't Threaten Humanity

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base3numeral base3numeral's picture
Headline: AI Won't Threaten Humanity

From Motherboard:
"A new report authored by a group of independent US scientists advising the US Dept. of Defense (DoD) on artificial intelligence (AI) claims that perceived existential threats to humanity posed by the technology, such as drones seen by the public as killer robots, are at best “uninformed”.

Still, the scientists acknowledge that AI will be integral to most future DoD systems and platforms, but AI that could act like a human “is at most a small part of AI’s relevance to the DoD mission”. Instead, a key application area of AI for the DoD is in augmenting human performance.

Perspectives on Research in Artificial Intelligence and Artificial General Intelligence Relevant to DoD, first reported by Steven Aftergood at the Federation of American Scientists, has been researched and written by scientists belonging to JASON, the historically secretive organization that counsels the US government on scientific matters.

Outlining the potential use cases of AI for the DoD, the JASON scientists make sure to point out that the growing public suspicion of AI is “not always based on fact”, especially when it comes to military technologies. Highlighting SpaceX boss Elon Musk’s opinion that AI “is our biggest existential threat” as an example of this, the report argues that these purported threats “do not align with the most rapidly advancing current research directions of AI as a field, but rather spring from dire predictions about one small area of research within AI, Artificial General Intelligence (AGI)”."

Primary, I did not realize that JASON was a real world organization, despite being the common thread for the Argonauts. The fact that it's in an article about how AGI won't destroy us was startling.

Strength in depth...

The Fleet

Holy Holy's picture
Thanks for that link. The

Thanks for that link. The original Jason report looks quite interesting on first sight. I am going to look into that.

Grim G Grim G's picture
Well TITANs may not wage war

Well TITANs may not wage war on us, but what about what it will do to our economy? It's starting to look like AIs will produce faster than we can consume, and then what? Can humans really survive without a need to survive?
Also, THEY TOOK ARE JABS!!!!!!!!!

Lurkingdaemon Lurkingdaemon's picture
Grim G wrote:Also, THEY TOOK

Grim G wrote:
Also, THEY TOOK ARE JABS!!!!!!!!!

Do some night studies for engineering or robotics: be the guy that MAKES the robots!

In all seriousness, one of my big pet peeves for science fiction is the idea that AI - of any kind, but primarily of the military variety - would go off the rails with a logical fallacy of: "I must protect my creators by destroying my creators."

AI in Eclipse Phase gets a pass because of spoilers:

Spoiler: Highlight to view
the Promethean 'friendly' Seed AI helping trans-humanity the whole way, albeit in secret, and the TiTANs turning on humanity by being subverted by an extraterrestrial computer virus that can break physics.

It's the frankenstein complex and it's been done so much that it's almost patently offensive to the idea of AI, and the people who work in the fields behind AI.

It's nice to see my pet peeve vindicated by folks actually working on the subject at hand.

R.O.S.S.-128 R.O.S.S.-128's picture
Unemployment isn't so bad if you're rich

Technological unemployment may not be so bad either, if it's easy enough to buy in to a piece of the action.

After all, a fully automated corporation would be funneling the wealth created by all that robotic labor to its shareholders... but who are its shareholders? They could be anyone, they could be everyone. What if everyone is shareholders?

Maybe not necessarily of the same corporation, but what if at some point in the future, everyone has a large enough stake in some corporation or other, or mix of corporations, large enough that the returns provide them enough money for a comfortable lifestyle. Should an unexpected disaster wipe someone's investment out, it might even be theoretically feasible to bail them out with just enough capital to get back on their feet.

Of course, newly born people would need a seed investment to get them started. But for most people this could be provided by their family, as long as said family is already doing well. Think of it as getting an early inheritance.

Rather than everyone being unemployed as we traditionally imagine it, it would be more like everyone is retired, and everyone is a bankster. Except the robots, because we're all exploiting the robots.

Starting off it does have a bit of a chicken-and-egg problem. You'd need to get people enough starting money to become self-sustaining, and you'd need to teach them how to use it (because that's their job now).

Once bootstrapped though it can easily become a self-sustaining cycle, as each subsequent generation can be educated and bootstrapped by the generation before them.

Technically, any sufficiently determined person with a sufficiently large income (from any source) could start the cycle within their own family right now. They would simply have to divert a large share of their income into revenue-generating investments over the course of a couple decades, until they are making so much money that way that they no longer have to work. Then, take a family member and teach them how to do the same thing. Then those two can teach two more, and so on, until the entire family can make enough money to live without working.

Of course, "you can lead a horse to water but you can't make it drink". That plan has no provision at all for people who are unwilling or unable to understand how investment works.

After all, theoretically right now anyone who makes more than $30,000 a year after taxes should be able to pull this off within 40 years (and by the end of that 40 years, 80% of their wealth will have already come from their investments, not their salary) by living as if they made $20,000 a year (and assuming they live somewhere cheap enough to get away with it).

But nobody is doing this. After all, it's easy to get out a calculator and say "if I lived as if I was on the edge of poverty for 40 years, I could retire a millionaire". Actually keeping your belt that tight for that long is hard.

Though maybe, with a bit of education, we could convince people who make say, $60,000 a year to live as if they made $50,000 so that they can retire a millionaire. They get rich, someone else gets that job, everyone wins.

End of line.