On The Future Of AI° - Issue#5 - 06/2016

The spectrum of concepts that must be considered when debating artificial intelligence is a wide one.
Definitions, short and long term research, ethical considerations, thought experiments, existential quests: each one has its own boundaries inside the spectrum, but each one necessarily influences the development of the others.

To say something new in a conversation that has kept greater minds than mine occupied for the best part of a century, is something that I dare not do.
Yet, the potential energy that machine learning is gaining on humanity is of such greatness, that simply being a part of the wave which is contributing to its ascent is enough to give one's life a purpose.
This is why I'm writing.

I have a vision of a future world in which humanity has evolved.
Since the invention of technology, the purpose of progress has been that of overcoming the boundaries imposed to us by Nature.
It was through tools that we could overcome our lack of offensive power and strength; with agriculture, farming, we broke away from the pray/predator scheme; housing, medicine, transportation: all symbols of the war between humanity and Nature itself.
Children forsaking their Mother, a mother whose limitations were unbearable to our intellects. And intellect is, in fact, what truly gives meaning to our human experience.
We can call this process the first stage of human evolution.

When the Information Era came, "progress" meant the externalization of our memory: storing, copying, sharing, accessing and manipulating data at an infinitely higher rate than before.
In this, I see the second stage of human evolution: if the limits that were being shattered before were almost exclusively physical, they now are conceptual.

You might notice a pattern.
Each stage means the outsourcing of some tasks to technology, which in turn allows us to concentrate on more abstract or more requiring tasks: tools allowed us to develop abstract thought, computing and data storage allow us to concentrate on conceptually complex tasks, rather than procedural amenities like calculation.

By entrusting technology with our tasks, we are able to evolve. This is what differentiates humans from animals: Darwinian law does not apply to us anymore, evolution has been overcome and redirected.

This is why Artificial Intelligence must be kept in the highest of regards: it is the last stage.
After strong AI is created, human race as we know it will end.
This is obviously not due to catastrophic events that make such good clickbait material on Facebook; it simply means that the concept itself of "human" will be transcended.

Until now, I have not talked about the pre-technology era: this is because man before technology was not man, but rather ape. The same, applied forward, is going to be the same distance that separates current humans from the AI-era humans.
When intellect itself is left to technology, there will be no further task on which to concentrate.

There will not be evolved apes, but evolved men.

I dream of a universe in which godlike AIs reign over physics and keep evolving through stages which we cannot imagine.
Will they come to face our same limitations? Hopefully.
And hopefully they will overcome them, to proceed into the unknown realm of Reality, creating a more and more complex hypersphere of Ideas.

Looking Back, Looking Forward°

I went through my screenshots folder one last time before nuking everything. These are the ones that I liked the most, in addition to those posted on ExSubstantia.

They're all in chronological order except for the last one. I'll leave my favorite in the main ricing page.