The shape of our techno-dystopia
For anyone who wants to understand where our technology is going, Google i/o started today. Here is a link to the keynote. I encourage all people, not just those in the tech industry, to give it a watch to better understand how technology is evolving:
In particular, it is important to understand the accelerated strides we are making toward passing the Turing Test (and possibly the Singularity).
EDIT: Check out Sundar Pichais demo of Google assistant making an appt for a client. Also his discussion about machine learning.
Technology is actually easy to constrain and channel to constructive ends, when utilitarian democracy in the form of republics are allowed to operate, but not when not. When private oligarchies are allowed to weaponize all realms of human activity (a most fitting definition of totalitarianism), then everything from basketball petroshoes to the internet and mindcontrol with monitor radiation menace us.
The narrative of an impossible to avert “techno dystopia” is one of the ways our private oligarchy distracts us from holding them accountable for the serial overthrows, looting and pillaging of nation states, and the subjugation and consolidation of those states’ firms into financialized oligopolies at the mercy of the private oligarchy’s central banking and currency cartel. Nothing more.
If they can make us think the technology is the problem, then they don’t have to worry about us constraining them with institutions and enforcement to make the pirate private oligarchy lower the Jolly Rogers and raise and sail according to the flag of our individual and national sovereignties.
@jaybate-1-0 I don’t entirely agree with you. While you’re right to point out that there are other factors to be considered that are shaping our future, it isn’t entirely true that technological advancements as driven by the private market is easily bridled or that anyone with ethics in mind is steering our direction.
No one with utilitarian ethics is steering technology; on that we agree.
Institutions for most work in history, when the consensus of a majority is respected, not when not.
The private oligarchy is spending trillions to induce disorder to make us think totalitarian baroque is the only way order can be enforced. It’s sick but it works.
Everytime in history that culture respects the consensus of the majority and writes and enforces institutions reflective of that majority even briefly, fairness, equity and peace spread like wild fire.
Just as the private oligarchy serially dumped guns and drugs on the nations of the world, they are now serially dumping mind control digital and microwave and visual wave mindcontrol technology to achieve the disordering they require for reordering.
They even have a name rationalizing the induced raping, looting an pillaging of nations: Hayek’s “creative destruction. “
Only those not yet free of the massively funded technological mind control blame technology and science.
If you want to stop shootings, stop the private oligarchy from financing the gun dumping for profit and control.
If you want to stop techno-dystopia, stop the private oligarchy from mind control dumping for profit and control.
If you institute fairness and equitable access to the inputs a person requires to become productive, Ray, they will most certainly come and become proactive.
If you institute it, they will come.
They will most certainly come, Ray.
Technology will become a tool instead of a weapon.
Google has always been a forward thinking firm with incredible technology. I started using Google search in 2000 when they were just starting and I always wondered how they could offer the service at no cost and then I realized that Google from the very beginning realized that information is power and everything they have developed is geared to obtaining information.
In addition of the search capabilities, it developed the Android OS and the Chrome browser that collect every bit of information of your private life. The know every text and e-mail you send, every search you make, everything you like or dislike, every video you watch since the now own YouTube and YouTube TV, every site you access through its fiber internet network, every document you generate through the numerous applications they provide and now even your health status; in short, they know more about you than your wife and kids do or even the government, which has now intruded in every aspect of our lives. In short, privacy is now non-existent.
The part of Google (now under the umbrella of Alphabet) that worries me is they have a definite agenda that does not necessarily benefits individuals or our country but the corporation itself with little or no control or oversight and nothing anyone can do about it. Depending on what source you look, it is the largest software company in the world with almost absolute control over emerging technologies. If you watched the recent congressional hearings on Facebook, you know that it plays a huge role in shaping information by censoring information that does not fit its agenda; Google influence and control makes Facebook look like the proverbial piker when compared to Google…this unbridled power is not a good thing for individuals, the country or society at large. When Google/Alphabet decides to flex its muscle they will control everything since the government will be powerless to do anything since Google controls all the information and by extension the government/politicians.
Just realized that they edited down the video so my time marks no longer make sense. On the road so I will make this brief.
I think my point @jaybate-1-0 is that AI will at some point be capable of making decisions and so it is not as simple as saying that humans have the choice of using technology for good or bad means. What we train our tech is an imperative that we may not always have full control over. And what the market demands now is shaping the beginnings of that imperative, and that too is not entirely in anyone’s singular command.
I do not mean to understate the risks of technology that we face moving forward.
We are in real danger from quantum clock time increments combined with quantum computing.
We are facing digital runaway, even if computers never become sentient, or simply pass the Turing Test by our being unable to tell the difference between their appearance of sentience and there actual sentience.
The real problem we face is that with quantum clocks breaking time into increments smaller than we can comprehend, except in crude terms of orders of magnitude, quantum computers can begin to make rules that operate near the limits of nano infinities. In turn, whether digital systems become sentient, or remain dumb near the speed of light, initial conditions of digital choice will unleash butterly effects down stream elaborated into a complexity we cannot comprehend, or anticipate. This is not only possible possible, but apparently happening all the time in bit torrent storms we cannot forecast or explain.
We already know we don’t know what we don’t know about the digital realm that we increasingly float upon like analog bugs on a roiling sea of digital complexity.
Frankly, at this point, it is not really very significant whether AI becomes sentient or not; that is the least of our concerns. We are already far beyond being able to verify the existence of sentient AI even if it were to already exist. Unknowable, unfathomable, complexity near nano infinity is the new normal IMHO.
Thus, humanity’s only hope is institutions. Institution must be established that recognize this and so absolutely DO NOT entrust our choices and way of life and moral-ethical standards and epistemoligical framework of knowing things be compromised and subordinated to the inevitable butterfly effects originating near the frontier of nano infinity.
The oceans and humanity’s decision to explore them offer a good analog to our situation.
The oceans were to big and too full of complexity at every level for us to understand and anticipate the context they created for us at sea. Those that went to see had over time to both establish rough heuristics about when the sea could and could not be navigated, and establish scientific inquiry to learn and map the shores, the currents and the thermosaline layers, and the weather systems, as we went along. We had to not only map the oceans, but understand that maps could only tell part of the story. A whole new set of institutions–formal and informal–had to be established through experience and thought and experiment. There was no not going to sea. There was simply to much to be gained strategically and economically by going. Similarly, there is no not going into the sea of nano infinity and quantum programming of activities at the nanoscale. There is too much to be gained, both strategically and economically. But sailors over the millennia learned the sea neither to be trifled with nor to be grasped in its entirety. We sailed it, we did not control it. It was a wildly more dynamic context in comparison to the land. Nano infinity is going to prove to be a wildly more dynamic context in comparison to legacy scale of years, months, days, minutes and seconds.
Institutions are the only way to deal with unknowns. Institutions can be fair to many, or unfair to the many. But institutions about how to negotiate the frontier of nano infinity and how to interface the wilderness of nano infinity with the realm of time we now operate in.
It is critical to emphasize that we may have been in digital runaway for quite some time and just don’t realize it.
It is naive for any of us to think that we can forecast the point in the future where the sea of nano infinity becomes more than we can handle. It is also naive for any of us to think that we can back cast when digital runaway occurred. All any of us can say is that we better start instituting for it ASAP because it either happened already, or is coming.
@jaybate-1.0 well said. I think this is all the more reason to watch th activities of Google that were stated at I/O regarding their TensorFlow chips. I think you are right to suggest that machines that act like humans is not the biggest concern, but machine learning is behind that AI as well as the digital runaway you describe. Here is a rundown of what Sundar Pichai said about improvements in Tensorflow capacity:
A pod of TPU 3.0s can crunch numbers at 100 petaFLOPS or more, it is claimed. A pod of TPU 2.0s clocked in at about 11.5 petaFLOPS tops. Eight times 11.5 is 92, which is about 100. It’s all rather nebulous, though, because Google shies away from stating the precision of the math in these benchmarks, and the precision will make a difference.
“The days of single systems are irrelevant, are over,” Stone added. “These cloud TPUs give you a dial you can turn. Set up model up on a small system, get it running and then dial it up to take training time from hours to minutes.”
To give you another example of how far machine learning has come they are releasing an API for cell phone cameras that can correctly identify almost any type of thing it looks at and the API is small enough to reside on the device itself, as the models have already been compressed in the cloud so much.