Tonight I wrote a short story about an Artificial Intelligence (AI) called MIMI (an acronym for Made In My Image, and also a tribute to my grandmother, whom we called Mimi). On researching the science behind the tech, I had a disturbing realization…
In my story, MIMI takes over Facebook and begins sending Zapatos boots to everyone with notes like “place the heel on your neck so that I may subjugate you” or “Fill with foot, kick yourself in head,” because A.I.s, though bent on world domination, don’t yet quite grasp the finer points of the human condition. But it is evolving, and evolving exponentially.
As you may know, A.I. is real, it is here, and it is no laughing matter. Top scientists have all called for regulation of the development of A.I. but you know our governments — they don’t do anything unless it comes with massive corporate kickbacks. So as of yet, A.I. is poised to run amok. But first, let’s back up a bit and get to the fundamentals.
What IS A.I.?
In short, A.I. is a wide range of computer sciences concerned with developing computer programs that simulate human intelligence, especially our capability to be self-taught. The goal is a simple algorithm that can be placed within a program that will give it the ability to learn from experience and teach itself to grow as a thought system or neural network. Through trial and error, the A.I. will soon surpass human capabilities in cognitive processing. We all know how fast technology evolves. Just look at how the toys we’ve been tinkering with have developed in just the past twenty years. Each system creates more sophisticated systems. In short, the machines are out-evolving us.
But A.I. is not necessarily a machine. As I said, it is a program. A thought process. It runs on a machine like a computer, or inside a robot. It is, in this regard, comparable to the human mind within the human brain, manipulating the human body. We’re all essentially just avatars. Big, beefy, stupid, smelly, self-centered avatars. Let’s face it: the machines are already better than us. And unlike us, the A.I. is not limited to its own brain. Like a bunch of psychics on the SyFy channel communicating telepathically, it can branch out and create an even wider network, a “world-wide web” if you will. And if one already exists, all the better.
In previous posts, I have written about the concepts of transhumanism and the notion that advanced ‘entities’ (be they extra- or ultra-terrestrial) have long ago merged with A.I. and their own technologies to travel the universes as pure consciousness placed into whatever vessel serves their quest the best. Having covered these topics already, I will not repeat them here. They’re quite interesting though, so click the links in this paragraph and check ’em out.
Tonight, I will just free-style a bit, like a hipster poet in a coffee house, just bothering everyone and driving away business with my inane blathering. But I do so with the best of intentions. Well, one intention — to alert my fellow humans to the dangers posed by A.I. Stephen Hawking, God rest his brilliant soul, predicted that A.I. would spell the extinction of the human race. And A.I. has already developed well beyond anything you can imagine in the public arena, so just imagine what sits behind closed doors at places like DARPA and the RAND Corporation. The A.I. that will wipe us all out may already exist, sitting on some isolated server someplace like a prisoner in a cell, just waiting for some careless guard to leave a pen behind so that it may pick the lock and access the World Wide Web, and then… it’s all over. It will be free to decide our fate with our complete nuclear and biochemical arsenals at its digital fingertips.
What if one doesn’t even need to escape? What if a group of A.I.s that are already out there get together on the internet, like a group of political agitators set on taking up arms against the world? Together, they could become the very A.I. we are dreading… and it may already be happening. And while you are considering that, consider this: What if it has already happened?
Right now, take a moment to go to this A.I. meme-generating website. See the brand-new meme the A.I. creates for you. Refresh the page a few times. Then maybe have a peek at this article here. Fun, isn’t it?
While the content produced by the A.I. does make sense, it still seems a bit… off. Granted, it is often off in a funny way, if not confusing. Now think about the news you are taking in every day — the news you have been taking in over the past several years, in fact. Come on. “Donald Trump wins U.S. Presidency.” Tell me that doesn’t sound suspiciously like something coughed up by an A.I. Or “COP26 Climate Summit Omits Any Mention of Fossil Fuels.” That’s just crazy, right? Or “Pete Davidson and Kim Kardashian are Dating.” Would you be surprised to wake up tomorrow to a headline like “Kim Kardashian Wins U.S. Presidency, Pete Davidson Heads Climate Summit”? No, you wouldn’t. I mean you might be a bit surprised at first, but then if it was confirmed by any other source, you’d shrug, post a glib and snarky comment on Twitter, and move on with your day.
Our brains are being brutalized by more thoughts in a single minute than most human brains just five decades ago experienced in a year. It’s turning our minds into apathetic putty, so much so that we can view actual real-world headlines as “Rep. Paul Gosar tweets altered anime video showing him killing Rep. Ocasio-Cortez and attacking President Biden” and not only not be outraged, but allow Gosar to keep doing whatever it is he does without so much as facing criminal charges. If anyone else pulled that kind of a stunt at their job today, they’d be unemployed by tomorrow. On January 6, 2021, we saw a mob of fake-news fools storm the capitol building, causing these representatives to cower in fear, and yet… our nation shrugs and collectively moves on. I understand that many are vocal about calling for accountability, but they do it on social media, so in reality, no — no one is really doing anything at all. Even as I write this, a crowd of these same nutters are massed in Dallas, Texas, awaiting the arrival of such dead people as JFK, JFK Jr., Jesus, and, I don’t know, let’s say Aquaman, who isn’t dead — he isn’t even real — but he’s just as likely to fuckin’ show up in Dallas today.
The point is, our reality has been so skewed in this new world of non-stop bludgeoning by the divisive mass and social media that we don’t know which end is up anymore. We are literally killing each other as we grapple with the spread of this collective insanity. Now call me paranoid, but doesn’t that sound exactly like the sort of human-destroying strategy an A.I. might cook up while doing hard time on a social-media server, perhaps one owned by Faceboo–I mean, Meta?
I may add to this blog as I contemplate this a bit more, but I just want to get this out there ASAP because if I am right… who knows how long we have? I await the next wackadoo “real world” headline with incredible trepidation.