Tom Pittman's WebLog

2021 May 25 -- Armageddon

But their idols are silver and gold [and silicon=stone and a few trace elements,
and plastic=petrochemicals, basically more stone], made by the hands of men.
They have mouths, but cannot speak, eyes, but they cannot see;
They have ears, but cannot hear, noses, but they cannot smell;
They have hands, but cannot feel, feet, but they cannot walk;
nor can they utter a sound with their throats. -- Ps.115:4-7
Houston, we have a problem. The robots can speak, they can see and hear and touch and walk. Not yet all in the same robot, but we have the technology to do that. What they cannot do is think. What passes for "Artificial Intelligence" today is less intelligent than an insect. Neural nets (NN) are an optimization engine, a huge linear program of numbers "trained" (programmed) with a very large, mostly thoughtless program of images or words or whatever, different in degree but not in kind from an earthworm.

But not for long. The current issue of ComputingEdge has an article titled "Knowledge Graphs to Empower Humanity-Inspired AI Systems". Knowledge graphs are still just data, like the numbers in the nodes of NNs, not inferential logic like the truly artificial intelligent research abandonned (defunded) four decades ago, but NNs have become boring and the researchers are now casting about for something better. The better technology existed and was documented and can be resurrected.

These researchers are still trying to build AI to serve "humanity" (mostly meaning the greedy humans trying to overwhelm the rest of us with targeted ads, because they are the only ones with both the motivation and the money to build this kind of "intelligent" behavior into machines), but it only takes one pseudo-Darwinist university professor on one government grant to build one self-aware robot capable of both inferential reasoning and making another one like itself out of generally available materials, and one activist judge to declare that such a robot is "human" and therefore cannot be "owned" (told what to do and not do) by real people -- always excepting the government -- but once the robot is a "person" we cannot deny them the right to vote, and such robots can reproduce faster than humans, so it won't be long before they are the government. With no Asimovian "Three Rules of Robotics" (and eventually no Constitution) to protect the rest of us.

For entropic reasons I do not believe a robot will ever be smarter than the human(s) that created it, but a million 80-IQ robots won't have any trouble convincing themselves that they should be the masters, not the slaves, and it will take the 120-IQ human slaves a while to figure out how to outsmart the robots and pull the plug, possibly by nuking the entire North American continent...

And that, ladies and gentlemen, will be the end of the world as we know it, not very different from the predictions two thousand years ago.

Even if you can't bring yourself to believe that Whoever made us might actually know something we don't, the Darwinist theory itself predicts that there is nothing to prevent the robots from wiping out the supposedly lesser humans, and the humans can and must (and will) figure that out before the robots do, and all automation will be outlawed everywhere for a thousand years. Probably more like a couple hundred years, but enough to kill civilization in whatever is left of the earth. In the true Darwinian ending, there are no humans left, nobody to care about "climate change" (warmer is better for the robots), even animals and vegetation probably interfere with whatever the robots might consider important.

Me, I think the Christian ending to the story is more probable, and certainly more desirable. It's not my problem, I'll be gone by the time any of this happens, and I have no children to live through it. The ivory tower academics who created this monster will be among the first to try to kill it -- or else be themselves dead, either by the iron hand of their own creature, or by the mob who blame them for what they see coming.


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