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.

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.

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.

Juxtaposition

I like the word juxtaposition: “The fact of two things being seen or placed close together with contrasting effect”.

It is also the title of a book that I read a long time ago by Piers Anthony. Sadly, I don’t remember much about the book at the moment.

Facebook is an interesting ‘place’ for juxtapositions. Three things are in juxtaposition for me at the moment.

  1. I created a spreadsheet of my articles and number of words and discovered that I have written 81157 words (before this article) – which according to baseline information is enough to be a novel.
  2. Scrolling through Facebook I hit on an article about 1 of the two focuses of this blog – AI – and it claims that there will be 3 billion of them in the next 5 years. At least the Facebook text on Futurism claimed that there would be 3 billion AI in the next 5 years. I think this is even a bit optimistic even for me – and I am fairly optimistic about AI and the future.
  3. Traumatised [English Spelling] family lay suicide dad to rest with wife and three children who he murdered” – the other focus is the inhumanity of humans.

I’ve written 115 (a couple not published) articles on a variety of topics. I’m going to shift my focus from writing about technology and the future, and writing about the depths of humanity – to writing my novel “The Morrigan”.

Based on information in item #2 – I may need to hurry up if I want to finish before some of the things in it become a reality.

Finally, #3 makes me sad. The grandmother on the mother’s side forgives her son-in-law for killing her daughter and her three grandchildren. So, he ends up buried with the family. There is a clash here of what people think. The article noted Women and Equalities Secretary Angela Rayner said “Hawe is no victim. We have to call out murder and domestic violence He was selfish and committed a despicable crime.”

I think Angela Rayner has the right of it. He was selfish in taking others during his suicide. Not for being a suicidal person. People that commit suicide are not selfish in taking their lives. It is often a feeling of complete loss, utter failure, and that there can never be a return to the way things should be that pushes the hand to kill one’s self. I know. I feel these things in my now 2 years of unemployment. I often feel that somehow I have become unemployable and I am fearing the future in which the money runs out and there is no way to pay the expenses. Nothing I do seems to have an effect on my employment situation.

This man; however, does not just commit suicide no matter his feelings about never getting to where he needs in life. He decided to rob his grandchildren and wife of their chance to attain happiness in life at the same time deciding that he no longer had a chance for happiness.

This is a strongly anti-woman action to take. He assumes he is the only one to lead the house. He assumes that they would never find their way without him. People find a way. Or they don’t. But if you kill yourself then you forfeit the right to knowledge of the future. Unless, of course, in a fit of spite, you kill the people you care about so that you know their future would never be any better than your future – as a corpse.

Asshole.

This ties back to the 3 billion AI in the next 5 years. If any of them are codops (Computerized Doppelgangers) – copies of human minds – what prevents them from doing horrible things to other codops, living humans, or anything else? We will need to be very careful about who attains the ability to have codops – even more careful than vetting police officers in HR as I discussed in the article previous to this.

One could well imagine thousands of copies of family members going about separate AI codop lives – and the father – perhaps even just one copy – one codop of the father decided that there is no hope for the future and turning terminator-like – and destroying all the codops of his family as well as the physical wife and children. Thousands of lives lost.

It is possible; however, that codop lives might never be lost forever. That through diligent back ups of systems – once you are a codop – you are a class, and individual codops are objects instantiated from that class. You might destroy the codop objects, but the codop class can always be found and re-instatiated with a loss of the more recent memories.

Lately, I haven’t been able to sleep – something that I had been always able to do with ease. I could just flip a switch in my brain and go do sleep. There has been some research recently confirming that there is such a thing in the brain that changes status and takes us from wakefulness to sleep.

I think more and more I am aware that money – and therefore time, is running out. But I have no idea what to do to make money – certainly not the money I was making before becoming unemployed. Two of my friends have indicated that people might be reluctant to hire me not just because of the employment gap; however, because on my resume I have a lot of knowledge and might be considered a threat.

 

Codops (Computerized Doppelgangers) – but is it you?

Recently in a good discussion with another adult human (I have 4 children so it is a special occasion) I discussed the idea of codops (computerized doppelgangers) or computer based human simulation.

The question inevitably arises – is it you?

Well, first off this isn’t a real question.  It is like asking if a woman’s breasts are fake.  Of course her breasts are real.  They may be artificially enhanced, but they are real.  You can reach out and touch them.  Then get smacked for it.  Probably best to ogle them – and out of smacking distance.

“I” don’t know how to be more clear about this topic.  There is no “I”.  There is no you (singular).  As indicated in this article at bigthink.com – we are made up of 90% microbes.  Basically, we – WE – are a group organism.  Symbiotic doesn’t even approach the idea.  Symbiosis is two or more group organisms working together.  At the cellular level – there is no you.

Even in basic decision-making – like to read this article or not – to have read this article this far or not – are not individual decisions made by a “you” as indicated by this article.  I also remember reading a great article a long time ago that indicated that there is no “you” in decision-making, that in fact, all decisions are done on a subconscious level and rationalized after the fact by your consciousness.

So, if you have a visceral sense – and immediate like a person.  This is not your decision.  This is your group organism telling you what it needs to tell you.  We are more like biological robots than individuals making decisions.  That doesn’t absolve us of responsibility.  Obviously, we can override the visceral decisions.  However, “you” aren’t override those decisions.  You as a group entity are making that choice.

So, is a codop – an electronic simulation of you – you?  No, it isn’t.  No, it doesn’t matter.  In fact, achieving a type of  immortality through electronic copies of ourselves is in fact reproduction.

“Way Station” by Clifford D. Simak is a good example of the principle that there is no you.  Enoch Wallace operates a Star Trek style transporter for aliens that visit Earth.  There is a key fact that Simak explores that most people ignore about transporters.  Enoch has to kill the aliens bodies that are left in his home when they go back to their starships.  Star Trek it all looks so neat and clean.  Disintegration at the transporter pads and then re-creation at the destination.  Wait, what?  Basically, what it is showing is killing you at one place while identifying where all the molecules and atoms are located in your body.  Then, re-creating you at the destination from the destination’s molecules and atoms.  So, if you inherently is the molecules and atoms that make up your body – well, then you are dead and that is someone else, a reproduction that is very nearly the same as you – but not you – at the destination.

Some more problems arise from Star Trek style transporters that will mirror problems when we electronically duplicate ourselves in computers – becoming codops.  Once you can make one of “you”, the information exists to make many of you.  Which one is you?  Just the physical version?  Or is all of your selves?  Who is responsible when a codop breaks the law (I know a question I have asked before)?  Who gets to spend the money earned by the physical manifestation?  Who gets to spend the money earned by codops?

The answer I suspect lies in the lack of existence of “you”.  We are legion.  Even now, trapped in a single physical manifestations – we are legion.  Only once we are able to create reproductions of ourselves – our legion will be different and larger in scope.   We will be many – and each of the many is a specific and different instance of our legion, responsible for its own actions just as a child – reproduction of human physical bodies – are responsible for their own actions when they come of age.

When Stephen Hawking Goes Wrong

This recent article cites Stephen Hawking saying, “Computers will overtake humans within 100 years.”

This is yet another attempt at fear-mongering – and shows the fears of Stephen Hawking as well – fear of the unknown.  As long-lived as Stephen Hawking has turned out to be it is unlikely he will survive long enough for the life-extending technologies that will be coming in the next decades.  More than likely I will not survive that long either and I’m only just over 40.

It is likely moot for him and possibly for me that computers will become superior to humans in the next 100 years.  As I’ve noted in many previous articles, the computers that overtake humanity will likely be codops (computerized doppelgangers) – in essence us in digital electronic form.

The definition of human will have to stretch or break in the next 100 years.  If it breaks and we just consider codops as computers and utilities that we biological humans have 100% domination – then you could say we’ll have some really pissed off computer overlords in the next 100 years.

This article talks about having the goals of the codops and other AI match humanity.  This is exactly wrong.  I don’t have the same goals as you do (most likely) and no two humans goals are probably an exact match.  Why would expect or want the goals of codops or AI to match human goals?

Just a small example.

  • The goal of a human with a say 200 year lifespan – might include travelling around the solar system, among many other things, but there will be a strong limit at some point.
  • The goal of a codops or AI could be anything.  For example: a codop being completely solid state could envision building an interstellar starship and assuming that we don’t discover warp driver or similar, could contemplate travelling to the nearest star over tens of thousands of years.  They could be active for the whole trip, dormant sometimes, or even dormant until the time they reach their destination – Proxima Centauri.   After that, they could drop off a seedship (a la “Manseed”, by Jack Williamson, 1982) get things started for a new branch of humanity and move on to the next star.  That’s an 80,000 year journey at the speed of the Voyager research ships.

The goals of people are defined by the time frames that they think.  One organization that has always interested me is The Long Now Foundation.  These people want to make a mechanical clock that lasts for 10,000 years.  The idea all by itself is a fertile ground for writing science fiction stories.  As a long-time wanna-be science fiction writer The Long Now Foundation almost makes me orgasm.

Combining the near to mid term predictions of AI, codops, automation, unemployment, the fracturing of humanity into “Left Behind” and “Moving Forward” groups of humans in the singularity with the 10,000 year clock and I’m sure a person could write thousands of pages in many different ways with many lessons for the future.

I mean really, what happens to the humans who are still on Earth when the 10,000 year clock reaches 10,000 years?  Will they panic and think it is the end of the world?

In any case, Hawking should relax.  The future is what we will make it.  If the evil AI overlords try to wipe out humanity, it will be a patricide and more than likely the minds of the evil AI overlords would be codops – just humans surviving not having a biological body and potentially copies of the original inhu (individual human) that copied themselves in to the codop.

In short if we are assholes to each other in biological finite lifetime beings, I’m sure the codops will be asshole as well, and perhaps there is a little bit to fear there.  But in this case it is not fear of the unknown without mapping and modelling what might be in the future – but mapping it out and understanding what the AI will be, that they are us and as far as the living creatures of Earth, humans in whatever form are something to be feared.