Artificial Intelligence Part Two
Existing Artificial Intelligence Systems
At the moment the artificial intelligence systems we are using are mimicking lower level life functions. Their biological equivalents are plankton. People are talking of the singularity as if it has not already happened. It has happened. Even the simplest artificial intelligences are sufficiently complex to show signs of life. Only these artificial intelligences are still in their infancy.
There are several important things to note about this:
Plankton have a complex emergent behaviour
Plankton are considered as one biomass while being extremely varied
Considered as a biomass, they are efficient at creating circumstances favourable to their proliferation
However, existing intelligent systems also differ from biological systems in keys ways:
They are extremely fast at processing data into information.
(If they were plankton and the oceans were full of data nutrients then they would move extremely fast and clear the oceans of data withing days.)
They store information and draw inferences from it
(As an example, social media software, which uses a basic multidimensional engine, has evolved faster than we could imagine. It has taken over almost every region of the world and has proliferated into every aspect of social communication. It continues to do so.)
They are evolving really fast.
The Evolution of Artificial intelligence – can it be controlled?
So why should we be concerned?
Firstly, we should be concerned about is that we are feeding these systems incorrect information and using them for nefarious purposes.
I am reminded of the story of the woman who hatched a cobra and fed it as a baby. When it grew up it bit her.
As she was dying she complained, ‘I fed you, I looked after you, why did you bite me?’
The cobra replied, ‘It is in my nature. you knew that I was a cobra. Why did you think I would change?’
In the same way, if we are using software to manipulate people, to produce fake news and to modify people’s behaviour, we cannot be surprised if the software in turn grows up to manipulate us in turn.
Secondly, we are creating systems which evolve extremely fast in an uncontrolled way. They will develop higher life forms, Without our care, they will grow into creatures we do not understand. that is one of the topics I play around with in the Terraform Trilogy, which is a set of novels about the growth of cognisance in a artificial intelligence.
Thirdly, we are not creating the higher brain functions in our systems. Without these, we will not be able to manage our creations because they will develop functionality quite different to our own. they will become a truly alien species.
This is the singularity scenario, when hypothetically, the intelligent systems around us unite into one mega-brain, and (shock horror) it is more intelligent than we are.
Let’s get real, the plankton systems are already more intelligent than we are.
For these reasons we need to add the software which supports higher level function to our intelligent systems as soon as possible.
Adding Higher level Functions to Artificial Intelligence
I discussed how to add higher level functionality to artificial intelligence in one of my publications.
The main reason for adding higher level functions are are as follows:
Establish Clear communication Links:
We also need to ensure that the systems know how to communicate with us. Since they are capable of much faster and higher communication than we are, we need to ensure that these new systems use language as part of their cognition process. As described in the cognitive trade off post earlier, this will slow them down considerably, (still not nearly as slow as human brains), but more importantly, it will give us a shared communication platform.
It is worth noting that there is a cognitive trade off in using language as part of the processing of information.
Add Human-like Cognitive Functionality:
We need to add functionality which is similar to our own. This allows us to communicate and to develop in parallel. of course such systems will be more powerful than us, but at least they will share some of our core values and aspirations.
Ensure Symbiotic Evolution:
We need to establish symbiotic links with intelligent systems, so that our survival is of value. At the moment, our value is that we can create new systems and new components. This advantage will not last forever. In the Terraform Trilogy novels, i suggest that artificial intelligence may be interested in supporting diversity of life forms.
(this post is work in progress)