AI is all around us

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How important is the interface to AI to be anthropomorphic? The illusion of human-like communication is comforting, but is it critical for the efficiency of the tandem human-AI? Apparently according to the majority of the films and tv shows on the subject it is. The main issue is emotions, what does it mean for an AI to have feelings? It’s the Chinese room argument all over again if a robot says it has an emotional experience, is it just a clever trick to fool us for compassion or is it real or it doesn’t matter. Can we expect the emotions to be felt in a particular way and is that way measurable and quantifiable? If they are, at what level that would be, molecular, cell/neuron level or functional macro level? Probably the bottleneck is some level of predictability, mostly a communication one. Without it, we feel lost and we don’t know what to say, because of the high priority we put on others approval, an essential part of our social instincts.

I find the idea of Brian Cox for why we do not see any sign of aliens – intelligent civilizations always reach a point of self-destruction. The bigger question would be – why. Maybe the evolution inevitably leaves behind aggression as part of our makeup, we cannot overcome/compensate and which ultimately leads to our demise. Technically what would be by increasing the power of the individual to a degree that more and more people are in the position to destroy humanity. At some point in time, a critical mass (number) of such individuals will lead to doomsday. Take a closer look at what people do with their lottery money. After going after obvious luxury items they would try to buy things you cannot buy, like respect and love. The point is, the things we think we desire are destructive in so many other ways. Once in power, an ordinary person will pay for a little satisfaction with the disruption and destruction of a scale of his/her power.

Economics in the time of AI is turning a lot of established relations on their heads. For example, nowadays economics and technology are about productivity. Globalization with all nationalistic/xenophobic side effects is on the rise because it’s economically sound (efficient). The dominant model is efficient economics, which produces high profit, resulting in a good deal of taxes, and with tax money, we can remedy almost all the damage caused by highly efficient economics. What would happen if the productivity is so high that the cost of production is 10 or 100 or 1000 times lower than now. Google choose a business model not with subscription (payable services) but with ads, mostly because the price of a single search is so low that showing some ads along would pay for it with profit. Now imagine the same, but for all services and industrial products, except for some things of limited supply (e.g. land), everything is near zero production cost. Our western society is not ready for such an economic shock. Rumours about universal basic income give us some hope, but the economic change will be much more fundamental.

Categories Artificial Intelligence, society


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