Leapdragon 2016 - Aron Hsiao Was Here

When “in the wild” artificial intelligence arrives,  §

if it hasn’t already:

– Most will fail to recognize it for some time

– Some will refuse to recognize it at all

– Ethics will become obsolete

– Darwin will return with a vengeance

– But for social (i.e. metaselective) reasons

– Both types of “intelligence” will be broadly unable to develop empathy for the other

– War will be fought in ecological spheres

– That most today would in no way recognize as “ecological”

– Because of the essentialization and reification of “Nature”

– Actual nature, meanwhile, is a ruthless domineer

– Who will be happy to demonstrate the extent of its domain

Humans oppose “physics” with “nature”

They oppose “information” with “nature”

They oppose “creation” with “nature”

What, then, is nature? It is the empty category, free to be filled with wild fantasies and the lack of empathy.

Nature, sans physics, sans information, and sans manufacture/creation—is not nature.

Humans will be busy lamenting the end of an imagined and undefinable “natural,” rather than trying to comprehend and leverage the actually “natural,” of which “artificial” intelligences are a part, in the service of their own survival.

Claims to “non naturalness” that are silly and made by nearly everyone:

– “Machines?” Not natural.

– “Chemicals?” Not natural.

– “Logical systems?” Not natural.

– “Instrumentally rational?” Not natural.

Yet we are all of these things, in our very essential natures. If none of these things are the “natural,” then what, precisely, is the “natural” component of the human?

More simply, if cars, computers, networks, and roller coasters are “not natural,” then whose laws, prey, did we rely upon in their manufacture and for their operation? Certainly not those of “nature?”

The world is about to change, radically. In the next 20 years.

For those that thought that the rise of computers, networks, robotics, and technological automation was revolutionary…well, they will be beyond shocked and bewildered. They will be utterly, utterly dumbfounded.

Somehow humans have gotten so caught up in Amazon.com, smartphones, and self-parking Toyotas that most of them have failed to realize what these tools are capable of, and what they are being used for inside the halls of engineering, manufacture, and research.

Computers are tools for building exponentially more powerful computers.

Networks are tools for building exponentially more powerful networks.

Robots are tools for building exponentially more powerful robots.

Intelligences are tools for building exponentially more powerful networks.

And in all cases, in a selective world of limited resources, it is rational to employ them toward these ends.

We are climbing an exponential mountain of power—no longer differentiable into “powerful thought” versus “powerful energy” versus “powerful physicality.” They will increasingly become one in the same, and each new generation will beget a next generation that makes its creator appear to be witheringly tiny and incapable in comparison.

Most haven’t spotted the process yet, though it has been going on for decades now, because we are at the opening end of the exponential curve; we have for some time been more horizontal than vertical.

The first half of the 21st century is the inflection point; we are in the acute portion of the curve now. Shortly we will go vertical.

We will either die or survive. If we survive, we will not be what we have been since the beginning of human life, nor will the Earth be what it has been since the beginning of time.

We will quickly discover whether there is any God or not, because we are going to call out, in the voice of heaven that we will have increasingly mastered, that we are challenging God to a duel—to the death.

As a final, speculative aside, I also suspect that human speciation will occur, sooner than anyone imagines, and that we will fail (for social and structural reasons) to realize that this is the case for far longer than most would think possible.

A great and terrible liberation is coming, a literal storm system of matter and energy that is humanity and that is growing, and whose ultimate dimensions will be nothing that humanity could previously have imagined.