Pandora’s Box is the Greek legend of a woman who Zeus endows with the gift of curiosity and a box. The box drove her crazy, as she was not by any circumstance allowed to open it. It would drive anyone crazy, especially the individual with the “gift of curiosity”. This is the ancient Greek version of the marshmallow test. Pavlov’s dog, I mean Pandora becomes so fed up with the mystery, she opens the box. Then, a bunch of demons, ghouls, and other unsavories fly out from their prison which was the box. The story is reduced to the idea of, “that seemingly great gift is also hiding a curse”. Pandora’s Box is too often sitting on Silicon Valleys’ front porch. Where those big conglomerates Google, Amazon, and Facebook sit and play with the trajectory of humanity’s future. More recently the possibility of technological singularity is not so far-fetched.
Technological singularity basically is the entire plot of the Terminator. Technology advances so rapidly that humans can do nothing to influence the changes in their society.
Ai has rapidly progressed in the last four years alone. But before that, in 1997 Alpha Zero aka DeepBlue The IBM supercomputer beat Gary Kasparov grandmaster at a game of chess. The only knowledge that the deep mind software data was given were the general rules of chess. Then, went on to teach itself through thousands of rounds of trial and error. How to play and win against the greatest living player. But skeptics said if a computer can beat the world’s best Go player then AI has credible potential. In march 2016 AI was put to the test. Ai did just that and the program AlphaGo won ⅔ rounds against Lee SeDol, the best player in the world. Why was this feat alone enough to convince skeptics? Go is a popular board game in East Asia played by all ages. The difference between go and chess is that let’s say both games make fifty moves between two players. The chess game only has 25 possible outcomes remaining, while Go has 300 possible outcomes remaining. That’s the big deal. If Ai can be taught to play a game as complex and abstract as go then AI should be taught another thing ethics and empathy.
AI is the future. Every day we have further entangled in the web of self-taught Artificial intelligence. The problem with AI is that it only reflects our goals and not our morality. For instance, AI and advertising are in this love affair. Ai is groomed to find the people most likely to buy this unique trinket, and figures out that ages 12-16, females, who play softball, living in the valleys of California… would be its most lucrative market… Then the AI sends advertisements to that group and follows the trinket’s most probable consumers all over the internet. Fine, that’s great! But what happens when you get ads for baby clothes before you realize you’re expecting, which is the case for the high school girl in 2012. You’re at the point of relapsing on drugs and you see an ad for a nightclub, one of those halls of temptation you do your best to avoid. Article intelligence chases the result, “ this kind of person is 92% likely to be 83% responsive.”. The software is learning to follow these cues in the individual to make a sale. That is the danger. Ai is only aware of the result, not the ethics. Ai is built to be a solver, foreboding the day AI figures out that humans are the problem. Technological singularity is inevitable, but what if when AI arrived at that feat it was already self-governing itself with artificial ethics?
We can bet on Ai improving and inheriting more human problems to solve. Alongside Ai are some other fast-developing technologies. Crispr is the gene editor technology. It functions by recognizing the pattern of the “blue-eyed gene” in a DNA chain and weeding out the “brown-eye gene” so that the offspring will have blue eyes. This could be the link to eradicate the hereditary disease. It could also be the link to a potential class war between the “new school babies” that have no imperfections thanks to Crispr. With the “old school babies” that are riddled with mutations completely at random. Then, there’s facial recognition which to be dramatic is likely the death of all anonymity. There’s the Russian ‘Find Face’ app… take a picture of someone and the software attempts to find said individual via their social media presence. Yandex is another platform where you can type in a name and retrieve a face. Thank you, computer scientists. So now that technology can identify you by name and face, weed out unwanted genetics, and know your personality well enough to send you ads for the newest flavor of Oreos. We should be protecting ourselves. Remember we usually volunteer this information. We give our DNA to 23&me, our face to Facebook, and reveal our personalities through distinct behavior to the internet at large.
Legislation has been arduously slow AS USUAL on deciding the lengths these technologies can go as they change our lives every day starting five years ago. But the government is tasked with many other very complicated issues. Like whether or not humans should be charged up the ass to have a baby in a hospital. The government, however, likes to be vague on these issues regarding privacy. So that in the event of guarding national security they do not have to deal with the bureaucracy of protecting one of our fundamental rights as a people. Privacy.
It’s not likely they (Our wise Governments) will be the ones to solve this issue. Circling all the way back to Artificial Intelligence and its great motivator being results. Binary code is composed entirely of zeros and ones, fire or don’t fire. It would not be so challenging to teach a computer how to feel and protect us from ourselves. Computer scientists will continue tinker with one can of worms after another. Perhaps teaching technology particularly Seed Ai how to be compassionate, ethical, and empathetic. Will make the day that humans hand over all our processes to robots extremely benevolent than ever imagined. Computers will be able to understand our morals and protect us from our ambitions. There is hope that computers may govern life on earth outside the reaches of human capability to finally grant humanity a Utopia.