Meet your new BFF: AI

AI is here to stay! We best get used to it!

The end of life as we know it!

Mark Sagar, computer whiz and founder of Soul Machines, based in Auckland, New Zealand, says, “We are going to need to learn to cooperate with machines.”

Sagar and his colleagues are attempting to create — how do I say this? — a virtual human being from scratch, consciousness and all.

Sagan’s avatars have the virtual equivalent of human tissue, human muscle fiber, and even a complete human central nervous system and human brain — replete with virtual neurons, synapses and mood-influencing hormones, such as dopamine, serotonin, and oxytocin.

Sagar’s cybernetic humans communicate with “us real humans” via computer cameras and microphones, constantly analyzing what they see and hear to ascertain our moods.

Because Sagar’s avatars see us via computer cameras, they react to our facial expressions in real time. The face-to-face interactions, Sega is hoping, will one day be totally humanlike.

Sagar’s virtual humans are just one of many AI products that are, or soon will be, “ending life as we know it.” The vast majority of them fall into four broad categories:

1. Domestic helpers

2. Personal assistants

3. Colleagues/companions

4. Intimate partners

And then, there are the Warriors

In the United States, the AI revolution began with the development of unmanned remote-controlled, aerial, ground, and underwater vehicles, first used in the Afghanistan and Iraq wars.

Today however military contractors are using AI to create not just unmanned war machines, but autonomous mobile devices with the ability . . . to think for themselves!

Former Secretary of Defense Ash Carter said that for now “the US military is not planning to give its autonomous war machines the freedom to make split second life and death decisions on their own, no matter how smart they get,”

“In many cases and certainly whenever it comes to the application of force,” Carter says, “There will never be true autonomy because they’ll be human beings in the loop.”

Never say “Never.” Unfortunately, not everyone is on board with that policy!

Recently, Kalashnikov Group, the fabled Russian weapons maker, made this ominous claim: “In the imminent future, the Group will unveil a range of products based on neural networks.”

There’s a widespread fear that the Russian military will give neural-net Terminator-like robot soldiers the freedom . . . to shoot and destroy . . . at will.

“Artificial intelligence is the future, not only for Russia
but for all humankind . . .
Whoever becomes the leader
in this sphere, will become
the ruler of the world.”
Quote - Vladimir Putin

But remember — Unintended consequences have a pesky way of sabotaging our noblest plans.

Something to think about

The Terminator Conundrum

  • If a nation resists giving lethal superhuman terminators complete autonomy, it risks putting itself at a severe tactical disadvantage.
  • But, if it does give the terminator complete autonomy, it provokes other nations to do the same with potentially catastrophic results.
  • To make matters even more harrowing, AI technology, unlike say nuclear technology, is widely available to every Tom, Dick, and Harry on the planet, including terrorists.
You can’t create a monster then whine when it stomps a few buildings. 
—- Yeardley Smith

Excerpts from The End of Life as We Know It: Ominous News from the Frontier of Science, by Michael Guillen.

See also “Dinosaurs never saw extinction event coming: Mass extinction 2.0, Jobs

see also “Transhuman = (Human + Machine) Integration, the 4th Industrial Revolution

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