While the complexity of Artificial Intelligence both inspires and overwhelms, Joshca Bach provides a thoughtful, almost common sense conclusion in his paper, “Every Society Will Get the AI It Deserves“
INTELLIGENCE IS A TOOLBOX WE USE TO REACH A GIVEN GOAL, BUT STRICTLY SPEAKING, IT DOESN’T ENTAIL MOTIVES AND GOALS BY ITSELF. HUMAN DESIRES FOR SELF-PRESERVATION, POWER, AND EXPERIENCEs AREN’T THE RESULT OF HUMAN intelligence BUT OF PRIMATE EVOLUTION, TRANSPORTED INTO AN AGE OF STIMULUS amplification, MASS INTERACTION, SYMBOLIC GRATIFICATION, AND NARRATIVE OVERLOAD.
THE MOTIVES OF OUR ARTIFICIAL MINDS WILL (AT LEAST INITIALLY) BE THOSE OF ORGANIZATIONS, CORPORATIONS, GROUPS, AND INDIVIDUALS THAT MAKE USE OF THEIR INTELLIGENCE.
IF THE BUSINESS MODEL OF A COMPANY IS NOT BENEVOLENT, THEN AI HAS THE POTENTIAL TO MAKE THAT COMPANY TRULY DANGEROUS. LIKEWISE, IF AN ORGANIZATION AIMS AT IMPROVING THE HUMAN CONDITION, THEN AI MIGHT MAKE THAT ORGANIZATION MORE EFFICIENT IN REALIZING ITS BENEVOLENT POTENTIAL.
THE MOTIVATION OF OUR AI’S WILL STEM FROM THE EXISTING BUILDING BLOCKS OF OUR SOCIETY; EVERY SOCIETY WILL GET THE AI IT DESERVES.WHAT TO THINK ABOUT MACHINES THAT THINK: TODAY’S LEADING THINKERS ON THE AGE OF MACHINE INTELLIGENCE (EDGE QUESTION SERIES) “EVERY SOCIETY GETS THE AI IT DESERVES” BY JOSHCA BACH, COGNITIVE SCIENTIST MIT MEDIA LAB. HARVARD PROGRAM FOR EVOLUTIONARY DYNAMICS
In the video excerpt that follows, Lex Fridman asks Joshca Bach to extrapolate on the philosophical constructs of dualism, idealism, materialism, and functionalism.
Watch the whole interview – a brilliant, intellectually intense 3 hour discussion – Joscha Bach: Artificial Consciousness and the Nature of Reality | Lex Fridman Podcast #101
Joscha argues that if we want to consider how AI can lead society towards benevolence we must start with an understanding of how we got to now in our own thinking, and by extension the specific underpinnings that shape our current realities.
This is where I believe we are at with technology – we can do anything. However, without critical thought – requiring discussion beyond a reactionary set of minimal experiences and beliefs – the creation of dangerous AI is a path that is as easy to access as the one that leads to benevolence.
One could argue the dangerous path is more likely as it doesn’t necessarily require critical thought towards longer term outcomes.
For example, a common thought when developing something new is generally, “If we can build it, let’s do that quickly and figure out the rest later.”
However, in my experience, moving at high speed and adopting such a formalized mindset, will not reward or inspire critical thought.
If one agrees that we can do anything, then that brings me back to the critical nature of being accountable for what we create and how that will impact future generations; specifically a time that no longer includes myself or the reader.