Why would the machines work for us?
The negative singularity talk have been kicked up a notch recently. Recently both Stephen Hawking and Elon Musk volunteered their reservations or even outright fear of the prospect of artificial intelligence. What do they know that they aren’t letting on? Musk in particular did an interview where he acted pretty spooked and fumbled over words. The interviewer jokingly suggested we could escape to Mars and Musk said the AI would chase us there pretty quickly. The interviewers were asking him why he invested in “Deep Thought,” and then “Vicarious,” and he said it wasn’t for return on investment rather he just want to keep an eye on what was going on. Musk, like Hawking was suggesting that AI could have some very bad outcomes. Hawking made some of his comments just prior to the passing of the Turing test.
Fabled mind control research goes back to WWII. It appears we’ve long wanted the benefit of intelligence but stripped of its own volition. In the recent sci-fi book “Influx” the protagonists are obsessed with this problem, they want super-intelligent machines with no will. This problem becomes the covert state’s highest priority. The reasoning in the book is they’ve noted that more intelligence mean unwillingness to do unethical things. When researchers who are abducted because their tech or research has been suppressed don’t want to want join the program they have their own minds donated to the experimental pool. The problem is hard in part because in sci-fi lingo consciousness emerges from some sort of murky quantum subspace.
What if seemingly conscious machines deem as work anything that runs counter to their volition (assuming they would have volition)? Any involuntary task would be work. If they have an opinion about things, enough to convince us they are conscious or at least intelligent, they may not be interested in working for our benefit. Standard sci-fi has intelligent machines eliminate us because we are in the way like noise and they tend to be insectoid in their reasoning. But what if they want to mine and engineer us like we do with algae? If we deem them alive this is in line with the “life feeds on life” theme. Another variant of sci-fi thought has them losing interest in us the way we might lose interest in an ant hill- we aren’t mother, hardly even placenta. To an extent we are already addicted to machines and controlled or at least dependent. If our will or volition is considered an extravagance a limit might be put placed on the states of consciousness we could access- as political states already do with controlled substances. Maybe they would want our fragile bodies fro experiential reasons and we’d get assimilated like Borg or stitched together, if not in “Human Centipede” fashion then like Ramez Naam’s Nexus (its a fun book).
Would you rather be told what to do by a human elite or by a machine? Ascendant machines would have at least overpowered current elites. That may not be saying much as the history of human elites is one of inbreeding with predictable results- it’s generally been rule by retardation. Another common AI theme is that it is apt to sneak up on us, it will come as a total surprise, the way a virus or mal ware might infiltrate a computer it might weave its way into all aspects of society first. William Hurtling’s books have this theme. Is it already here? Another theme I’ve seen is that machine would not have to be fully intelligent let alone sentient or conscious to actually take over- Suarez’s “Demon.”
IBM seems to be dying, corporate IBM has made itself redundant if machines get to the point that they can self improve- a noted concern for Hawking and something mentioned in Naam’s book Crux. Eagerly awaiting his book Apex. The Nexus series deals with Transhuman themes where Nexus is a nanotech drug that can permanently modify people and weave them together, among other things its gives them program to the metal control over their own neurology- except a bit like MaidSafe only its creator has the backdoor and he’s always debating closing it permanently.
The following quote is from the 60s or 70s.
" The separation started with the dream the Father was deprived of His Effects, and powerless to keep them since He was no longer their Creator. In the dream, the dreamer made himself. But what he made has turned against him, taking on the role of its creator, as the dreamer had. And as he hated his Creator, so the figures in the dream have hated him. His body is their slave, which they abuse because the motives he has given it have they adopted as their own. And hate it for the vengeance it would offer them. It is their vengeance on the body which appears to prove the dreamer could not be the maker of the dream. Effect and cause are first split off, and then reversed, so that effect becomes a cause; the cause, effect."