Happy Christmas From Your AI Overlords

Happy Christmas!

Merry Christmas!

Happy Holidays!

Your AI overlords are here!

And they are coming for IT jobs, too.

There are hypothesis by people that creative jobs will survive the AI onslaught and so people should concentrate on these fields.  This is factually incorrect. Music, paintings, ability to determine a factual statement given human created evidence (Google’s AI Drawing Game) show that AI is not only able to be creative, but that it can be inferential on levels equivalent to humans.

However, being able to create art does not make an overload unless you are Hitler.

The first link is in regard to a company that is transforming the daily business activities by basically replacing middle management with an AI ratings system. In essence, it allows employees to rate and critique each other and stores and analyzes this data. This emphasizes the role of people as “cogs” in a machine or a clock. Like in the movie “The Incredibles“.

Bridgewater even reports that one-fifth of its hires cannot handle a year at the company, and those who do survive are often found crying in the bathrooms.

This statement in the article seems to indicate that crying in the bathroom of an employer is a result of AI management. I have seen management make people cry in the workplace – with no AI involvement at all. I have seen management bully people in to working excessive hours with no AI assistance.

I’m not sure I see a difference between a human manager making a person cry at work or an AI manager making a person cry at work.

As far as the creative arts are concerned – well, I think that would be an easy computer algorithm to “assist” artists to make better art. I’m envisioning a “Black Mirror” episode where people’s like rating directly impacted their daily life. Why not set up Facebook pages – and you’ll know if the next piece of art you create is better than the last – by the number of likes you get? Instagram and a little data analysis would work even better.

So, say hello to you AI overlords – they are already here – a bit earlier than expected.

Technology Progresses Even When You Are Not Watching

There was a time when I was avidly into building my own desktop computers. My oldest son and myself built his first desktop computer. It was always exciting to me and I saved a few bucks over say buying a Dell and gave the satisfaction of having built a device that does a huge number of tasks (computers, not just for the internets).

Shortly after we built my oldest son’s computer I stopped really paying attention to computer component parts. At some point I’ll build a computer with my daughters and my younger son – but I suspect those will be tablets with Raspberry Pi motherboards.

Today, my hard drive (1TB) is out of space! It is a bit unreal as we always come in to new high capacity hard drives with the attitude “well I’ll never fill that up” even though we know we said that the last time we had multi-gigabyte hard drives, gigabyte hard drives and look at that snazzy 200MB hard drive on that 286.

So, it is not time to buy a new desktop computer, yet. This one is plenty fast enough to crunch through hundreds of millions of records in my SQL Server database that it just doesn’t make sense.

So, I went to Amazon to find a new larger hard drive.

Sticker Shock! Despite me analyzing data and making predictions sometimes you take a step back for two or three years and find…. wow, 5TB hard drives for $125.

I’ll never fill that up.

It just brings to mind the things I have been predicting about Watson level computing in the home, codops (Computerized Doppelgangers) and when it will be achievable, and the idea that one day there may well be billions more codops on Earth than there are physical humans.

If we want to admit it or not – we are definitely in the part of the curve where advances are coming ever quickly and soon to enter the singularity.

Hopefully, I will live long enough to see it.

Hopefully, humanity doesn’t screw itself up before we get there. Whatever that ‘there’ might be.

Our Batshit Crazy World

Once, I had read long ago about a criticism of a science fiction book that the world didn’t have an even application of technology. One group had certain technology and another group didn’t.

Turns out the world building of the author was more accurate than the world building of the critic. Our present world contains many layers of uneven application of technology.

An airplane crashed and it is indeed a horrible event. All lives were lost in the crash.

The appropriate action is to ground the fleet, inspect the aircraft, understand the cause, rectify the cause, and finally return the fleet to service.

Except that the minds of the people who maintain the aircraft and the crew that help the aircraft operate still have minds – oh several hundred years in the past.

So, they determined that the appropriate action was to sacrifice a black goat.

No really. They killed a goat because they screwed up an aircraft and it crashed and killed people.

I have encountered people here in the US that are not too far off from that mentality. People who won’t read Stephen King books because “demons might come out of the book and infect their mind.” Or people who don’t want their kids to read Harry Potter books because it supports the use of magic.

Now, a number of people in the world made fun of these people – ignoramuses – is what I would call them. Ignorance – we all suffer it in various topics. But you can’t be ignorant about aircraft maintenance and work in aircraft maintenance. That is a life threatening combination.

Worse, though is in the back and forth about the aircraft someone supports the sacrifice of the goat:

Meanwhile, one Twitter user by the name of MisBis spoke for many when she wrote: “There’s nothing wrong in giving Sadqa [sacrificial offering]… Sadqa bari balao se bachata hai [it hedges against many troubles]… stop making it a joke”.

I’m sorry it is a joke. It needs to be joked about. This is another case of “my ignorance is equal to your highly technical knowledge of the operation of aircraft and technology”.

And in this case, I have been as a member of the US Air Force Reserve – 8 years of experience maintaining aircraft. In no place in the Top Secret documents on maintaining the aircraft did it say, “Bribe the gods with a sacrificial goat to ensure safe operation.”

Should We Create Codops

It is likely that we can simulate the human brain and then copy our minds in to computerized versions (codops). The question is: should we?

This is not an argument from the point of view of “Just because we can do something, doesn’t mean we should.” This is blind stupidity.

No. This is an argument that humanity is far short of being moral beings. Even the best of us. Even myself (far from it, I’m sure).

As evidence I would say many of the articles I have written are about humans being inhumane to each other. It seems like an oxymoron inhumane humans. What we really have to do, though is strike out the word inhumane. Everything humans do is by definition human or humane.

What is it to be human? Large swaths of our population abuse other segments of our society. Not only that, but they think it is the right thing to do. Spot a woman walking unattended by a male and you should rape her to teach her that she should not be out alone and to dishonor her.

Elevating one ‘race’ over another – which is now gaining dominance in US politics. This isn’t the exception, it is the rule. South Africa – with around 10% population as white – dominated the other 90% of the population. Because racism. Because white is better than black. Or so they say. Or so they say, ‘Hail Trump!’ during a conference.

So, what is it that people will do – as I earlier projected – that they will have Watson level computing capabilities in the home of the average family in 2037? What exactly are businesses going to do when they commonly have Watson capability computers in the work place – as I predict they will have in just 3 to 4 years?

What will businesses do when they have codops (computerized doppelgangers) in the work place? Will they run them until they don’t feel motivated to run anymore and then delete them and reload the original copy?

As we progress – what will happen when there are more people as codops then there are physical people in the world? How will we treat each other? Will we maintain contracts that state a codop has computing power to last the next year and when they run out of funds they will cease to exist?

Is that right? Is it moral?

It seems that we learn very quickly two sets of rules. One is moral and the other is what we can do and get away with. Hence there is a vast number of people that say, “Rape is wrong.” and there is a large number of people out there who rape. Or say things like “Racism is wrong” and vote for a candidate that clearly has the backing of outwardly racist organizations.

Here is a case in point. This person lived 55 years and was the father of four children. For whatever reason, he then decides to throw acid on all of his kids and his wife. It is like a nightmare sleeper agent from the cold war story. Similarly, you see people that are ‘responsible’ gun owners until one day – a former police officer – shoots and kills a man in a movie theater.

Perhaps we are all monsters hiding until the inappropriate time comes and then they horribly lash out at whoever attracts their ire.

Perhaps, all I am saying is that copying the human brain as a basis for an AI and copying minds of existing humans – might not turn out well. Safety protocols need to be developed. We are getting closer and closer to making an artificial brain.

Perhaps AI is not the only ones in need of the development of the three laws of robotics that Isaac Asimov developed. This recent article talks about creating ethically aligned AI – I find it interesting that we can develop ethically aligned AI, when we ourselves do not appear to be ethically aligned – or even agree what ethically aligned might mean.

Don’t Thank God, Thank AI

There is a lot of strife out there – when things go well medically, people in general like to thank god. When things go bad we always sue the doctor, the hospital, the insurance company or any company even remotely related to the procedures involved.

Now, people might try to sue IBM’s Watson, or Enlitic’s software for diagnosing lung cancer. They will, I suspect, be going after these pieces of AI software less often than they currently go after current malpractice lawsuits. Early detection is the best method for treating lung cancer – and if Enlitic’s software can detect it better than humans can – then more people have a chance at surviving lung cancer.

Maybe, just maybe, we’ll start thanking AI for saving our lives rather than god. At least AI might have more of a personal hand in saving your life. We don’t tend to thank tools for saving us – nor the operators of tools such as ultrasound devices and ultrasound techs. So, I won’t hold my breath, but I’ll be happy if AI or ultrasound tech saves my life.

In the future, it might also be a question if you should thank AI, if it attains intelligence to be treated as a sentient being.

The Future of Everything

I am not an incredible prognosticator, but there are some simple conclusions that can be drawn from technologies being requested for prime time today. In terms of “The Future of Everything” – I mean the future of things.

Recently, the Department of Transportation in the USA is proposing a rule where vehicles and signs be able to transmit and receive messages from each other. This would give vehicles equipped with such technology a sixth sense.

As a motorcyclist I remember reading an article about several of the magazines writers riding out together equipped with communication devices. The lead biker was able to communicate road conditions to the rest of the bikers and prepared for what was ahead the rest of the bikers were able to travel faster than normal.

This is also a kind of sixth sense. (I know it is a misnomer).

It might take decades before all vehicles are equipped with this V2V technology, but as it progresses I think it will aid in the reduction of vehicle caused fatalities. This might combine in some ways with features of autonomous cars. I suspect there will be reductions in car insurance for people that get cars equipped with V2V as it becomes ubiquitous.

There are some potential problems with equipment like this – especially as it begins to be ubiquitous. While the article indicates that it will not track identities it relies on trust between the consumer, the businesses making the technology and the government – that this is a fact.

The same problem with EZ pass and never giving speeding tickets based on EZ pass information. Promises are made by governments and they test the waters by contravening those agreements to see if there is a public outcry. This is bad news.

Agreements between the people, businesses and government cannot be constantly tested if there is going to be trust between the groups.

Lessons Learned in Government – Meaning of Words

I’m going to straight out state something that many people will disagree with – and then I’ll back it up.

The United States of America will never be a racially or sexually equal country.

I say this as a veteran of our armed forces. I say this thinking that the United States of America is probably one of the best countries in the world. No matter what I would like to think about my country – the facts and the symbolism are there. Even if we are the best country in the world there is always room for improvement.

And it all started in the beginning.

The basic problem is that when we started when the Constitution was written we were a divided nation. The whole “United we stand, divided we fall” idea is necessary in the United States of America because we are and always have been divided.

I’m not going to go over the whole Constitution of the United States of America here – just a bit – just the beginning to prove my point.

“We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”

If I read this now – as a member of the 21st century it seems to hold together. However; while some of the signers may have meant it the way I read it now, some most certainly did not.

In 1776 the only people who had the right to vote were white property owners. This requires we amend the Constitution to reflect what they really meant.

“We the White, Male, land owning people of the United States, in Order to form a more….”

This change in scope from decoding word meanings to actual implied meanings is the split in the United States of America in 1776 as well as it is the split in the United States of America in 2016.

In a recent meeting of NPI celebrating Donald’s winning of the office of President of the United States of America, Richard B. Spencer – head of NPI, said:

“America was, until this past generation, a white country”

“designed for ourselves and our posterity.”

“It is our creation, our inheritance, and it belongs to us.”

He isn’t correct – and he is not incorrect. His words are chosen carefully. The word posterity weaves in with the Constitutions preamble I quoted earlier in this article. It matches the change – the literal meaning of the constitutions “We the White, Male, land owning people of the United States,…” that was the de facto of early United States of America’s history.

A lot of things have happened to who votes and who “People” refers to in the Constitution. This document shows the many changes to who a voter was over the history of the United States of America.

This highlights of the document are:

  1. 1870 – African Americans granted citizenship nearly 100 years after our country formed and 101 years before I was born.
  2. 1920 – Women are granted the right to vote
  3. 1924 – Native Americans granted citizenship and the right to vote (but this wasn’t enough)
  4. 1940 – Congress recognizes Native Americans have the right to vote
  5. 1943 – Chinese immigrants have the right to citizenship and vote
  6. 1971 – 18 year-olds are permitted to vote – this is the year I was born

Antonin Scalia who was a Supreme Court Justice in the United States of America indicated that you could not change the meaning of the words in the Constitution to their modern usage. The word people meant something different to the signers of the Constitution than after the hundreds of years of modifications to the voter, i.e. the “People”. That the words don’t mean something different because of the current time or interpretation, they only mean and permit what was voted upon by Congress at that time of the vote. He said people need to vote at the ballot box and have Congress enact laws or amend the Constitution. That there is no law preventing treating women different from men, only that women have the right to vote.

Antonin Scalia wasn’t 100% wrong, either. The problem is words and their meanings.

What do the words “We the People” mean to you? The point is; however, more than just the meaning of words. Do amendments about the vote cover equal treatment or do they just cover the right to vote?

The point is that the United States of America started out – not as a consensus, but as a ruling minority over a majority of other people – people of different religions, different skin colors, different historical origins.

No matter your interpretation of the words, the white supremacists are given power by the historical fact that this country was originally a White, Male, Landed country only. That George Washington owned slaves even after the revolution. Thomas Jefferson owned slaves. People (capital P in the Constitution) owned people.

The Lesson Learned here is that whatever new country that comes in to existence, either by revolution, creating a new home in the vast oceans, or in the depths of space – consensus needs to be created at least once – in the creation of that country. And that consensus needs to be on the definition of the words level for that constitution, that charter, that founding document(s). There can be no ambiguity.

We are quickly coming on an era where “people” whatever it means, may not be the only self-controlled entities on Earth. Our constitution is being stretched to cover all people of biological origin. What will it do to the first codops (computerized doppelgangers), the first AI, or the first cyborg?

What we do to those three categories of people will determine if codops, AI, and Cyborg have to fight biological humans for their rights. The time to be thinking about these formerly science fiction problems is now – before it is too late.

One final note:

Often, when a government is torn in two because the foundation is not built on consensus – you have to not only write and pass a law once, but you have to do it several times in order to say, “Yes, I really mean it this time.” This seems to apply the strongest in terms of rights to vote than on any other topic.