Does A Conscious AI threaten Human Existence?

Written by Tarry Singh · 3 min read >
AI Human Consciousness

Steve Jobs did Acid, Could Artificial Intelligence Be Next?

What the heck does AI (Artificial Intelligence) or robots has to do with LSD – or better known as “Acid”, you might wonder.

Let me explain.

In 1943, a Swiss chemist called Albert Hofmann, accidentally discovered and got high on LSD himself. It opened a world to him. He describes:

…In a dreamlike state, with eyes closed (I found the daylight to be unpleasantly glaring), I perceived an uninterrupted stream of fantastic pictures, extraordinary shapes with intense, kaleidoscopic play of colors. After some two hours this condition faded away.

In the 70s, the tech revolution was taking off, a lot of kids were tripping on acid and discovering hidden secrets of the universe around us.

Some even went ahead to start big companies!

Today, all we may remember is that it gave us Steve Jobs: the guy who saw the world so different, so unique that the rest of the industry simply handed over the innovation baton to him.

In his own words…

Taking LSD was a profound experience, one of the most important things in my life. LSD shows you that there’s another side to the coin, and you can’t remember it when it wears off, but you know it. It reinforced my sense of what was important—creating great things instead of making money, putting things back into the stream of history and of human consciousness as much as I could. – Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs Celebrating
Steve Jobs Celebrating. How often do we see today’s CEOs this exuberant?

But today we are celebrating AI, Technology, Algorithms above creative people who gained magical, even spiritual insights through life experiences.

But as more and more AI and/or Robots make our daily tasks “easier”, are we not getting too ahead of ourselves in hoping for too much goodness?

We are hoping that AI starts becoming so human – or at least sufficiently conscious, that it realizes it has a conscientious duty to search for magical insights we see being solved.

For instance, solving world-pressing problems by uncovering hidden secrets such as curing cancer, poverty even silly stuff like baldness, aging, skin conditioning?

But wait!

Isn’t this too much of a wishful thinking?  Are we fooling ourselves in the hope that this is what this advancement should bring?

What if they “consciously realize” about their intellectual and physiological superiority over us dumb, self-indulgent humans?

Or, they start taking LSD (and more such new drugs) and unlock the unimaginable truths – which we also call “myths” because we’re too stupid to know better?

Imagine if they go even further and figure out stuff like rearranging history by traveling back and forth in time?; creating multi-virtual worlds to keep us fooled?

Could they gain superspiritual intelligence and even communicate with God?

Just think about it!

So, is it really going to happen?

Robots tripping on Acid?

I don’t know about that and not sure if LSD might be the only way to gain amazing insights into universal truths, secrets and mysteries.

Many folks have written tons of books around AI, Robotic superintelligence. Ray Kurzweil (of Google) ,for instance, thinks that computers and/or robots will achieve superintelligence by 2045, a point when we will reach the technological singularity.

In plain English? Computers and robots will not only achieve superintelligence at exponential speed but also surpass ours, leaving us in the dirt!

Computers and robots will not only achieve superintelligence at exponential speed but also surpass ours, leaving us in the dirt!

Martine Rothblatt, the writer of “Virtually Human” goes even further, saying:

Given the exciting work on artificial intelligence that’s already been accomplished, it’s only a matter of time before brains made entirely of computer software express the complexities of the human psyche, sentience, and soul.

Well, given Google own’s DeepMind a firm founded by Demis Hassabis, himself a neuroscientist and game developer, I can imagine where Ray is coming from.

DeepMind is an AI and machine learning firm whose algorithm is directly inspired by theories about how the human brain stores, retrieves, and learns information—called reinforcement learning.

While currently its focus is on video games; implications on autonomous computing are huge and its application in transportation, finance and healthcare — which is its ultimate goal, will be deep.

Funny and even nasty manipulative algorithms such as “facial expression transfer” are already making it possible to start manipulating the brain from outside.

Take a look at this experiment…

While some academics and researchers who are deeper into building BMIs (brain-machine interface) may disagree that all that mass, liquid and blood stuff is not exportable.

I’m sure someone, somewhere wants to crack that puzzle too and/or is already working on it.

Or even worse, manipulation could already be an easy way to displace humanity.

No need to build a plastic brain.

How could our future world look like?

Skynet world where we fight the robots for survival or Matrix world where humans become super intelligent importing skills at dizzying speeds.

Remember how Trinity uploads helicopter lessons in seconds or the movie “Phenomenon – where John Travolta get hit by a lightning and is super intelligent instantly, even with psychokinetic powers.

Or, will it be the world where we will chug along, hand-in-hand with robots taking over our jobs, leaving us under-employed first and then rendering us useless, jobless and mindless.

Or the third scenario, where we start using AI and robots to our advantage, creating the 6th wave of unprecedented economic boom – as Nikolai Kondratiev had theorized with his Kondratieff wave.

I’m hoping for the third scenario for the sake of my kids, grandkids, and humanity.

(Inspired by Andrew Smart’s book “Beyond Zero and One”)

Written by Tarry Singh
Tarry loves to write about Technology, Innovation, Entrepreneurship and it affects businesses and our daily lives. Profile

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