Ignorance Isn’t Bliss’ blog post
Mar 6, 2008
I’ve been waiting years for Alex Jones and the Infowars.com operation to cover some DARPA A.I., and it looks like we’ll still be waiting.
The guest was Noel Sharkey, Professor of Artificial Intelligence and Robotics, University of Sheffield. Evidently, the professor finds the notion of “Battlebots” (like in the TV show Robot Wars, on which he appears) to be mankind’s greatest threat. Well sort of.
Actually the concern over an international robot arms race should be of great concern. To Sharkey its not because it will all lead to runaway development of massive cognitive “Skynet” like systems by multiple nations, but instead because of the ‘threat to humanity’ via some indiscriminate killings by some rabid self-guiding autonomous robot sentries out on whatever battlefield.
We must fear the robots in our faces, not the god-like keeper(s) of our or rather It’s dominion, which would ultimately end up with the potential control of such mobile creatures.
No fear this:
Because Noel Sharkey says:
“…every time killer robots are mentioned people start talking about Terminator and Skynet … and all this kind of stuff thats really fairy-tales … and if it were like that it’d actually be better because what you’ve got here this is like a washing machine. This is a dumb stupid machine and you’re going to give it the decision to kill people?”
[That segment can be stream-played in my new music profile, or the full interview can be found here or here.]
So “with all that he knows about A.I.”, never mind massive parallel self-aware cognitive systems embedded into all levels of infrastructure, its the “big dumb washing machines” we must all pull our hair out over while trampling over each other panicking down the city streets.
But I’ll give credit where its due, and he does have some stats. Surprisingly, I hadn’t ever made a conscious note of this person until this interview, as he definitely is a bonafide AI elitist. But there are scores of others just as expert-grade as he on this subject who believe that “Skynet” is possible with the proper effort. And it turns out that the same places you’ll find that effort you’ll find military official-scientists who also believe.
So Sharkey seemingly leaves us with “can it be done” rather than “are they trying to do it, and do they believe they can succeed”.
And unfortunately to subscribers of Sharkey’s position, the modern consensus amongst his ilk of scientist brethren seems to point towards the latter. But 10 years ago that wasn’t the case. 10 years ago “you’d have had popcorm thrown at you up on the podium” as one AGI-god pioneer has said. You see 50 years ago the computer scientist community found themselves under the impression that “AGI” would be no sweat. Roughly 20-30 years later they collectively fell on their faces in the realization that they had a long shot to go in terms of concept, software and hardware. Since then, until just the past several years, the notion has been met with staunch skepticism from history as a lesson and animosity from self-defeat. Now the trend is shifting without even discussing the DARPA/NASA/Google ‘AGI Trinity’ that’s right out on the surface if you just look for it.
Now I nor hardly anyone can exactly prove a “Skynet” is possible. However its an out and open secret that they’re trying to do it and believe they can rather soon. So whether your view is “its all fairy-tale” or “not if but when” we should all get over worrying about battlebots and look sharply at the systems that promise to change humanity forever, and the institutions with the intent to do it.
None-the-less the interview is still worthwhile listening to. I don’t have time to overtly & directly refute or confirm much of his other statements or attitudes here now, but with past and upcoming posts and works that should be handled inherently with enough to satisfy anyones needs to take my leanings seriously. But let me know if you need any further elaboration here.
Thinking back, there probably wouldn’t “be” an “IIB” were it not for the fact that I found myself seeing a trend that wasn’t being discussed in any real light or with any real substance. It all started with the whole NASA+Google A.I. story that got me all riled up, meanwhile it was a ‘non-issue’. Call me paranoid, but in the vacuum of essentially zero coverage of not only that development but anything to go with it I set out to prove my assumption, and boy did I get more than I bargained for. In the years since, the lack of any sustained mass coverage and all that has effectively forced me to ‘become’ the hardwired intellectual extremist I am today.
Now I assume that most people who will be reading this post will be full aware of my work and revelations in this department (if not see profile, and dig in). In short, not only are ‘they’ (the defense/technology establishment) fully intent on making a “Skynet”, and confident that it can be done in just a few years, they’re making the stuff in the movies look like child’s play. Even in the Terminator movies basically all the system was shown to be inheriting was the offensive nuclear missile systems and later (T3) the robots it’d need to get itself off the ground post-nuclear apocalypse. Minus the worker-bee-bots, the .mil system a would-be Skynet would be inheriting already makes the Hollywood Skynet appear as a lackluster Atari Jaguar trying to compete versus todays XBox 360.
Now as absurd as this would sound to the newcomer to this realm of information unfortunately it isn’t a theory nor even a secret. And that’s why I’m still dumbfounded that Alex Jones -the nations leading ‘alarmist’- to this day hasn’t acknowledged or helped expose this portion of the Establishments ambitions. At least not to the best of my knowledge and I pay attention. I really don’t have time to go in and itemize and linking in all this tech-stuff I’m talking about, I also don’t feel like digging up my couple-few former criticisms ala Jones from my 730+ blog posts. But it can be said this isn’t the first time its been pointed out a certain someones bending over backwards in regards to sidestepping the most profound no-turning-back implication humanity has ever contemplated.
By now some may be fully discomforted with my little ‘rant’ thus far, but seriously: Wired.com has even been covering some of DARPA’s latest cognitive A.I. shenanigans for roughly a year now especially ever since they blogged my iXo video in their Danger Room blog. But its funny that that same video can only be found in the infowars/prisonplanet world in the forums where somebody else posted about it. Yet somehow Zeitgeist got posted on the main site despite it being the staunchest possible contradiction to Alex Jones’ supposed Christian faith, and it being heavily flawed in that regard (can’t knock the cinematography tho.), yet ‘my’ DARPA iXo video is all direct citations/imagery from government websites/documents/etc. Go figure. I’m here to stay now anyways.
As I’d expect others of me, I admire and respect him when he’s right, but I must correct him when he’s wrong and criticize when it takes bending over backwards to be as such.
The Newest Artificial Intelligence Computing Tool: People