Am I Crazy about AI?

Artificial_intelligence_AI

(Graphic courtesy of ComputerWeekly.com).

When someone says that Artificial Intelligence (AI) is a threat to the survival of humanity, they are normally looked at as if they said they just saw Elvis in a local McDonald’s yesterday.  It is quickly pointed out that there are so many other ways for the human race to become extinct – pandemic, nuclear war, climate change, even an asteroid – that they don’t even want to think about the fact that technology could be our undoing.  Why not?

First, we don’t actually know what AI is.  Every phone has some sort of AI in it.  Siri is AI.  Google Home is AI. Amazon Echo is AI.  Advertising uses AI – that’s why you have customized ads pop up on the websites you visit.  But, those seem so harmless, so how can they actually kill you?

Sam Harris gives us an easy picture as to how AI will grow and become smarter.

Nick Bostrum also cautions us about it’s inevitability and danger.

Daniel Suarez actually tells us about autonomous robots that can kill.  They exist now.

So, how far are we from losing, no, ceding, control to AI in matters of life and death? Perhaps, not as far as you would think. Some scientists estimate that between 30-50 years, we may reach what is called the “singularity”, where AI will surpass human intelligence and possess the ability for self-improvement.  Suddenly, the dystopian future of The Terminator series is not as much as science fiction as it is science reality.

The companies currently investing heavily in AI are all the biggest tech companies in the world – Google, IBM and Microsoft. They won’t stop improving on it, either.  There is too much money in it and we all know what the root of all evil is…

Fake Severed Heads

Kathy-Griffin-Donald-TrumpYou are not going to get this guy to say that what Kathy Griffin did was appropriate at all, so if the conservatives want to be outraged against all liberals, they need to tone it down.  In fact, I would say most people, regardless of their political ideology would say that Griffin’s display did far more harm than good even if it was for the sake of comedy.  It wasn’t funny, either.

But, I can’t seem to let go of the feeling in my stomach that there is some sort of injustice here.  Where was the outrage on the Right when Ted Nugent said all of the completely barbaric things he said about President Obama? Or when he called Obama the “enemy”? What about all the racist things others have said about Michelle Obama? Or even the Obama daughters? It seems that outrage is based on ideology and not humanity. That is disturbing, at the very least.

Any threat to someone’s dignity should not be tolerated, no matter what. There is no reason to carry on with this behavior and expect that we will ever be able to unify as a country.  If you disagree with the left’s agenda, then attack the policy.  Same goes if you do not like the right’s agenda.

Of course, I am probably guilty of calling Trump a complete moron a million times by now.  Hell, I’ve called him a fucking rat bastard narcissist who should be tried for treason, but that’s not a threat of violence and can actually be justified with the current evidence.  Maybe, though, I’m not the right person to spread this message of tolerance.  Even still, let’s stop it with the racist bullshit and the violence.  This is a democracy (for now), so let’s use the tools available to us in a respectful, powerful way to get our agendas to progress.