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DPRG: Artificial Intelligence in Robotics

Subject: DPRG: Artificial Intelligence in Robotics
From: Alan Bredon alanb at cryogen-NOSPAM.com
Date: Thu Jan 22 15:02:03 CST 1998

I discovered this item of paranoia that I think is interesting:
And it's not from the CORE people!
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 172.  First let us postulate that the computer scientists succeed in
developing intelligent machines that can do all things better that human
beings can do them. In that case presumably all work will be done by
vast, highly organized systems of machines and no human effort will be
necessary.  Either of two cases might occur.  The machines might be
permitted to make all of their own decisions without human oversight, or
else human control over the machines might be retained.

173.  If the machines are permitted to make all their own decisions, we
can't make any conjectures as to the results, because it is impossible
to guess how such machines might behave.  We only point out that the
fate of the human race would be at the mercy of the machines.  It might
be argued that the human race would never be foolish enough to hand over
all the power to the machines. But we are suggesting neither that the
human race would voluntarily turn power over to the machines nor that
the machines would willfully seize power.  What we do suggest is that
the human race might easily permit itself to drift into a position of
such dependence on the machines that it would have no practical choice
but to accept all of the machines decisions.  As society and the
problems that face it become more and more complex and machines become
more and more intelligent, people will let machines make more of their
decision for them, simply because machine-made decisions will bring
better results than man-made ones.  Eventually a stage may be reached at
which the decisions necessary to keep the system running will be so
complex that human beings will be incapable of making them
intelligently.  At that stage the machines will be in effective control.
People won't be able to just turn the machines off, because they will be
so dependent on them that turning them off would amount to suicide.

174.  On the other hand it is possible that human control over the
machines may be retained. In that case the average man may have control
over certain private machines of his own, such as his car or his
personal computer, but control over large systems of machines will be in
the hands of a tiny elite -- just as it is today, but with two
differences. Due to improved techniques the elite will have greater
control over the masses; and because human work will no longer be
necessary the masses will be superfluous, a useless burden on the
system.  If the elite is ruthless they may simply decide to exterminate
the mass of humanity.  If they are humane they may use propaganda or
other psychological or biological techniques to reduce the birth rate
until the mass of humanity becomes extinct, leaving the world to the
elite. Or, if the elite consist of soft-hearted liberals, they may
decide to play the role of good shepherds to the rest of the human
race.  They will see to it that everyone' s physical needs are
satisfied, that all children are raised under psychologically hygienic
conditions, that everyone has a wholesome hobby to keep him busy, and
that anyone who may become dissatisfied undergoes "treatment" to cure
his "problem."  Of course, life will be so purposeless that people will
have to be biologically or psychologically engineered either to remove
their need for the power process or to make them "sublimate" their drive
for power into some harmless hobby.  These engineered human beings may
be happy in such a society, but they most certainly will not be free.
They will have been reduced to the status of domestic animals.

[etc.]

 179. It would be better to dump the whole stinking system and take the
consequences.

[from the Manifesto of Ted Kazinski]
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See, no wavelets!  (I hope he doesn't get out of jail and sue me for
copyright infringement!  I will consider this "fair-use".)
- --
     _  _
    / || \    Regards, Alan Bredon
   /  ||  \   My views & opinions do not represent my company.
  /. .||. .\  My email address is MINE.  Spammers should pay me!
 /-|-||||-|-\ Legit replies delete the -NOSPAM.
  _|_|__|_|_  http://www.imagin.net/~abredon
 | . .  . . | And always remember to ESCHEW OBFUSCATION!
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