Eminent scientists – among them Professor Stephen Hawking, who may have a brain the size of a planet – have been warning us for some time now that the advances made by AI could turn out to be the writing on the wall for mankind. I mean, extinction. Hoist by our own petard, no less.
Now we learn that Facebook decided to shut down its very own AI program after it created its own language. It wasn’t done with malice aforethought, or because the two Negotiating Bots (apparently named Will and Alice) wanted to take over the planet… they simply found it a more efficient way to communicate than using the English they had been taught.
Will our desperate race to create better and faster ways of doing things using AI (artificial intelligence) really be our undoing, as posited by Professor Hawking and a myriad of movies such as ‘BladeRunner’ (in which a group of artificially engineered and physically superior humans called Replicants returns to Earth to demand a longer lifespan from their creator – before killing him) – or are we all basically just AIs anyway, seeded by aliens who thought it might be interesting to see what happened… Whether we are truly indigenous or not, did the life-forms who were subsumed and/or destroyed by humanity’s rise from the primordial soup have the capacity to worry about it? Or were they blissfully unaware of the ticking time bomb in their midst until it was too late? And would they have been able to do anything to stop it, even if they had realised what was going on? You can read the original article here. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
I’m just going to swim back into the primordial soup and pretend this isn’t happening…
Elaine Jackson, July 2017
P.S. If you’re interested in the topics raised here, you might enjoy my next project, a graphic novel titled ‘Minding Mama’, which my team and I will be crowdfunding very soon. It’s a dark tale which takes place amidst a ruined eco-system. Humanity has fled underground, leaving the surface to wither and die. Only the FarmBots can survive above ground…
Visit www.mindingmama.org to find out how you can help bring the project to life (if you dare) and earn some unique and very cool rewards!