May 31, 2023

Source: Bigstock

Were it not for my age, I’d be worried, but at this stage of the game I couldn’t give a flying you-know-what. Mind you, I have two children—a daughter and a son—both in their early 30s, and four grandchildren—two boys and two girls—some still in diapers, and that does keep me up at night.

And it should also worry anyone whose brain hasn’t been fried by too many hamburgers, asinine TV commercials, or Hollywood tripe, especially when Mark Zuckerberg speaks glowingly about artificial intelligence and his company’s ambitions to turn us all into zombies. Here it is in a nutshell: Are computers going to kill us all, or help us live forever? The canonical worry is that it is difficult—or perhaps impossible—to ensure that any artificial general intelligence we create will be aligned with human values.

Zombie humans like Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, Larry Page, and their ilk insist that AI will be able to invent novel means of capturing carbon from the atmosphere, create better batteries, cure cancer, and make us all good-looking. (In the case of Zuckerberg I am certain it cannot.) The rising prowess of AI even has the Sammy Glicks of Hollywood worried. Soon it will be able to replicate actors, produce screenplays, and substitute for beauties such as Lily James and Keira Knightley. (Talk about a criminal act—we’ll have a world of Silicon Valley freaks but no Lily or Keira.)

“Yes, sports fans, what was once considered theoretical is now close to reality.”

Yes, sports fans, what was once considered theoretical is now close to reality. If you think today’s culture has gone to pot (pun intended), imagine a culture created by nonhuman intelligence—something like a Soros brain totally creating and controlling our lives. Female beauty would be among the first to go. Computer-generated females strutting in the first artificial intelligence Fashion Week will be something to behold. Not that today’s models exhibit more female pulchritude than the ones that are computer-made, but never mind. It has already taken place at Soho’s Spring Studios, with a full collection of fifteen to thirty looks, designed 100 percent virtually, with “models” strutting the runway. (When I was a young man, European buddies and I used to hang out at some of the runways, unsuccessfully trying to pick up the better-looking models, something I don’t advise any future Don Giovannis to try with the computer-made models.)

It seems that more than 1,000 technology leaders and researchers have urged artificial intelligence labs to pause development as they just might produce a Frankenstein model with profound risks to humanity. These people sound naive to me. Gates, Page, and their ilk care only about profits, and to hell with humanity. Hell, Gates did not even suspect that Jeffrey Epstein was a sexual criminal-predator, why would he be worried about the future of our grandchildren?

The tech community is made up of hard-nosed, extremely greedy, zombie-like men with a more-is-more approach who as a group will be very difficult to persuade to pause before it’s too late. The only way I see it is like in the first Frankenstein movie, the one with Boris Karloff. The mob sets fire to the place and the “thing” goes down in flames. (At least I think so, as I saw the film more than sixty years ago.)

So, do we all go over to Palo Alto and burn the place down, along with the previously mentioned human horrors? Or do we sit still like good American citizens and wait for the tyranny of technology’s blade to drop? Elon Musk, a good guy, is said to have fallen out with Larry Page, a baddie, because of the latter’s lack of concern for humankind when it comes to AI. I’m not surprised. Musk says that Page wants a digital superintelligence in hopes of becoming a digital God.

Again, nothing surprising here; freaks have a tendency to set themselves up as the Almighty, and why not? They deal with the great American public, the same public that recently looked open-mouthed at Dear Mama, the most watched series in FX history. This so-called true story was about the legacy of Tupac Shakur and his mother. She was a Black Panther who was also a cocaine addict. He was a rapper-criminal who was eventually killed by other criminals. Both mother and son loathed the police, which I suppose made them the legends they are. The great American public ate it all up and watched their story like never before. So why should Page worry about them?

Godlike AGI is a system with the ability to learn and evolve independently, and capable of responding to and manipulating its environment without the need for human supervision. This should ring danger bells to most intelligent human beings, but are those humans who watch and enjoy trash like Dear Mama qualified to supervise anything except, perhaps, their toilet needs?

T.S. Eliot once anguished about the wisdom we have lost in gaining knowledge. That was back in 1934. Now with all the info Google and other such scoops provide us with, just think of all the knowledge we’ve lost.


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