Sunday, July 5, 2009

AI, the future is now... well, nowish.

I've long argued against the idea that AI and robotics need to achieve human abilities sets before they begin being an economic danger to broad swaths of the human population. Part of my argument is that it doesn't take human inputs to get human level results.

To wit:

This is exactly the sort of solution I'm talking about. To replace a human worker you don't need to build a robot that does everything they do. You can build various robots which together do the things that the worker does. Similarly you don't have to create a program which is capable of doing everything the human can do - to replace a worker, the AI doesn't have to have an opinion on films or understand the differences between being sarcastic vs. being sardonic, it just needs to preform a task, or a series of tasks, essentially as well as a human and do so at a price point that is attractive to its corporation.

Since we're Americans, we can also expect to soon see systems of robots like these employed on battlefields all over the world! Lowering the cost of war in terms of American lives mean the jingoists will want to go to war at the drop of a hat (what else is new?) and it will be harder to convince them when it's time to stop. It also means, as I've said before, that we're going to see a *rise* in terrorism. Terrorist are not vandals. The whole point of sending a machine instead of a soldier is that we don't really care (at least on an emotional/moral level) what happens to the machine, so the terrorists will behave around the machines and then they will target civilians.

Listen, roboticists, you're all very bright and clever, but I don't suppose you'd be so kind as to do a little more work on solar power, eh? Maybe wind?

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