Sunday, 12 September 2010

Revenge of the nerds: Should we listen to futurists or are they leading us towards ‘nerdocalypse’?

I've a confession to make: I nearly found this amusing ("I amuse you? I make you laugh?.." etc). And then I realized that the world is being conducted by, and for the benefit of, people such as the founder of PayPal. There may be other, altogether more interesting things than "the singularity" happening (and if the singularity happens, it will only happen for a small number of people - the ones who sponsored it), but they will never be looked at, for whatever reason.

Revenge of the nerds: Should we listen to futurists or are they leading us towards ‘nerdocalypse’?

Anyway, if you really want a philosophical discussion about what human evolution and AI is likely to look like, then it will have happened long before you realize it. Also, the idea of controlling AI strikes me as bizarre, but I can't quite put my finger on why, yet. Are we able to create something that can teach itself, or learn at an accelerated rate (and is that what we mean by AI, anyway?)? Would we even allow ourselves to create something that was more intelligent than us; and if we did create something more intelligent, would we acknowledge its existence, or would we just stifle it, for fear of what it would achieve, and would we not be terrified of being left behind? And if we create something that's ten times more intelligent (definition, please), than us, should we really assume that it's going to adopt the same model that we have (those who are in charge at the moment had better hope not).

I don't know: put 100 geeks in a room, and all one gets is self-aggrandizing bullshit - the world does not revolve around a couple of hundred moneyed individuals, you pricks. Evolution is about adapting to the shit one is faced with. The idea that one avoids the shit, by design, is the very antithesis of evolution, but it is the model that the founder of PayPal (for example), is following. And what happens when a piece of shit finds its way into one's perfect world? Ummm: the aroma!

I think I know why these monkeys want a super-human intelligence: it's so that they can feed it shit information, and have it construct solutions to the shitty problems that their own behaviour has created. In short, you want something superior to you that you can treat as a slave. Well, I hope it bites you on the arse, you lazy, duplicitous fuckers.

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