Author Topic: Rise of the Machines  (Read 4692 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Her3tiK

  • Suffers in Sanity
  • The Beast
  • *****
  • Posts: 1940
  • Gender: Male
  • Learn to Swim
    • HeretiK Productions
Rise of the Machines
« on: August 25, 2013, 07:43:33 pm »
Relating to a conversation in R&P (Democracy is overrated), would it really be such a bad thing for machines to be in control? Every time machines encroach on jobs people once did, such as vehicle manufacture, people complain that "They took er jerbs!!!", which generally leads to robots putting us all out of work. Why is this such a bad thing?

Think about it, people who work fast food get shit pay because it's a shit job that requires very little skill to do. It is easily something you could build and program machines to do for you; unless there's some secret to running a fry cooker that requires a human touch (besides spitting on the fries), I don't see why we shouldn't give a machine that job. Similarly, janitorial work, while somewhat more difficult, does not require any great degree of skill in most cases. The machinery required for some of the jobs might be more complex (cleaning the exterior windows of skyscrapers, for example), but hardly something you need a serious education to accomplish.

And what's so bad about machines taking all the jobs? Let's say machines have taken over all the work on the planet, from running fast food joints to governing states/nations/the world, and we no longer have to do anything to get by. Machines can be outfitted to optimize their tasks in way that organic life simply can not, which would improve complex necessities like food production and distribution to benefit everyone. Manufacturing would become more efficient and, as said in the other thread, if machines also control the distribution methods and amounts, resources would be sent where they're needed most and/or would have the most overall benefit.

I could keep going, but I have to be somewhere right now (cousin turned 13 last week), so I'm afraid I need to cut the OP a little short. I will get back to this when there's time and/or enough interest to keep the discussion going.
Her3tik, you have groupies.
Ego: +5

There are a number of ways, though my favourite is simply to take them by surprise. They're just walking down the street, minding their own business when suddenly, WHACK! Penis to the face.

Offline SimSim

  • Lover of Good Beer and Bad Movies
  • The Beast
  • *****
  • Posts: 816
  • Gender: Male
  • I have a cunning plan
Re: Rise of the Machines
« Reply #1 on: August 25, 2013, 08:29:24 pm »
How would people get money?

Online Sleepy

  • Fuck Yes Sunshine In a Bag
  • The Beast
  • *****
  • Posts: 4594
  • Gender: Female
  • Danger zone
Re: Rise of the Machines
« Reply #2 on: August 25, 2013, 08:37:25 pm »
Someone has to make those machines and choose how we should be governed. There's still bias.
Guys, this is getting creepy. Can we talk about cannibalism instead?

If a clown eats salmon on Tuesday, how much does a triangle weigh on Jupiter? Ask Mr. Wiggins for 10% off of your next dry cleaning bill. -Hades

Offline Damen

  • That's COMMODORE SPLATMASTER Damen, Briber of Mods
  • The Beast
  • *****
  • Posts: 1800
  • Gender: Male
  • The Dark Sex God
    • John Damen's Photography
Re: Rise of the Machines
« Reply #3 on: August 25, 2013, 08:52:57 pm »
It would require moving away from a currency based economy, at the very least. Possibly moving away from an economic system period. There just wouldn't be enough jobs going around to be able to employ enough people to allow a workable economic system. As for what would people do? I think it would be less a matter of "where do you want to work" and more a matter of "what do you want to do?"
"Fear my .45"

"If the liberties of the American people are ever destroyed, they will fall by the hands of the clergy" ~ Marquis De Lafayette

'Till Next Time,
~John Damen

Offline Flying Mint Bunny!

  • Zoot be praised and to His Chosen victory
  • The Beast
  • *****
  • Posts: 873
Re: Rise of the Machines
« Reply #4 on: August 25, 2013, 09:48:06 pm »
It sort of reminds me of this sci-fi book I read once where they could just make everything with machines. Most people didn't work, but they still had their basic needs covered plus a bit extra on top. The people with jobs, like scientists, received extra for doing the jobs machines couldn't handle.

Offline Sigmaleph

  • Ungodlike
  • Administrator
  • The Beast
  • *****
  • Posts: 3529
    • sigmaleph on tumblr
Re: Rise of the Machines
« Reply #5 on: August 25, 2013, 10:03:24 pm »
A lot of what follows is entirely speculative, by its nature. It does reflect views of some people who make it their business to consider these things.


The fundamental problem here is, past a certain point, a machine needs something on the level of human intelligence to do the sort of jobs humans do. Particularly things like managing resource distribution. This is what is generally called strong AI, or AGI (Artificial General Intelligence). And once you build AGI, the world has changed on a very deep level.

The 'hard takeoff' argument says, basically, that once you build human-level artificial intelligence, it will very quickly turn itself a superhuman intelligence. This is by no means settled science or an uncontroversial position, but it does have some credence. The basic thesis is that, we're human-intelligent, and our brains are ad-hoc kludges thrown together by evolution, and yet we somehow managed to create AI (in this scenario). The AI is human-intelligent, running on computer hardware (Faster and with better memory than brains), and has access to its own source code, which means a good way for that AI to achieve its goals is to improve on that to create a second-generation AI that is even smarter but has the same goals, which creates a third-generation AI, and so on and so forth until the low-hanging fruit of cognitive improvement is exhausted. There is an extensive body of arguments for and against this view I have no hope of summarising, so instead I suggest you take a look at the Hanson-Yudkowsky AI-Foom Debate. Eliezer Yudkowsky argues for hard takeoff, Robin Hanson against.

Now, if you consider the superintelligence scenario (whether we got there via hard takeoff or not), then it ceases to be a question of whether we let the machines control us. A superintelligence doesn't need your permission to determine your life; it's smarter than you, thinks faster than you and will achieve its goals regardless of you. If we are lucky (and successfully built it that way), the AI's goals are to make the world better for humans. If not, we're fucked. Not necessarily because it will have an explicit goal to kill all humans, but most likely as a side-effect of it doing whatever it wants. 'The AI does not hate you, nor does it love you, but you are made out of atoms which it can use for something else.' Creating AGI in such a way that it doesn't fuck us over (Friendly AI) is a hard problem, fundamentally harder than AGI itself, and also one we have to solve before we implement AGI. You see how that might be a challenge.


So, my position here is: if we do have a machine that can in fact run a government, it won't need our permission to do so. If we solve Friendly AI, then it will do whatever it can to make the world a better place, which is great. If not, we most likely all die soon afterwards.
Σא

Offline Lithp

  • Official FSTDT Spokesman
  • The Beast
  • *****
  • Posts: 1339
Re: Rise of the Machines
« Reply #6 on: August 25, 2013, 11:24:18 pm »
Yeah, I was basically thinking that an AI would probably fuck you over. It's not like I'm saying, "Machines are evil," it's just that intelligence as we know it is inherently self-serving. Machines might not even know they're killing us until we're already extinct. Self-fulfilling prophecy might come into play, too.

Offline Her3tiK

  • Suffers in Sanity
  • The Beast
  • *****
  • Posts: 1940
  • Gender: Male
  • Learn to Swim
    • HeretiK Productions
Re: Rise of the Machines
« Reply #7 on: August 25, 2013, 11:34:12 pm »
How would people get money?
In this situation, if we assume that all resource production and distribution is taken care of by an automated party, there would be no need for currency. The closest thing I think such a world would come to would be levels of need, such as shortages and general crises. For example, if a hurricane ripped up New Orleans again, assuming the city was deemed worth rebuilding (an AI construct with this much intelligence and control may not deem it such), there is the possibility that the necessary resources will come at the expense of others. Not necessarily to the point that said others suffer needlessly, but it may be difficult to come by certain commodities.
Otherwise, the general idea here is that, short of maintaining the machines (which may not be necessary if they can maintain each other) and scientific advancement (also of dubious necessity in this scenario), people would generally be free to do whatever they so desire with their time. No need to worry about paying rent or putting food on their table.

Someone has to make those machines and choose how we should be governed. There's still bias.
Potentially. However, assuming the overall imperative in the AI programming is to limit needless human suffering, regardless of region or (previous) economic status, I don't think it will be a huge issue.

A lot of what follows is entirely speculative, by its nature. It does reflect views of some people who make it their business to consider these things.


The fundamental problem here is, past a certain point, a machine needs something on the level of human intelligence to do the sort of jobs humans do. Particularly things like managing resource distribution. This is what is generally called strong AI, or AGI (Artificial General Intelligence). And once you build AGI, the world has changed on a very deep level.

The 'hard takeoff' argument says, basically, that once you build human-level artificial intelligence, it will very quickly turn itself a superhuman intelligence. This is by no means settled science or an uncontroversial position, but it does have some credence. The basic thesis is that, we're human-intelligent, and our brains are ad-hoc kludges thrown together by evolution, and yet we somehow managed to create AI (in this scenario). The AI is human-intelligent, running on computer hardware (Faster and with better memory than brains), and has access to its own source code, which means a good way for that AI to achieve its goals is to improve on that to create a second-generation AI that is even smarter but has the same goals, which creates a third-generation AI, and so on and so forth until the low-hanging fruit of cognitive improvement is exhausted. There is an extensive body of arguments for and against this view I have no hope of summarising, so instead I suggest you take a look at the Hanson-Yudkowsky AI-Foom Debate. Eliezer Yudkowsky argues for hard takeoff, Robin Hanson against.

Now, if you consider the superintelligence scenario (whether we got there via hard takeoff or not), then it ceases to be a question of whether we let the machines control us. A superintelligence doesn't need your permission to determine your life; it's smarter than you, thinks faster than you and will achieve its goals regardless of you. If we are lucky (and successfully built it that way), the AI's goals are to make the world better for humans. If not, we're fucked. Not necessarily because it will have an explicit goal to kill all humans, but most likely as a side-effect of it doing whatever it wants. 'The AI does not hate you, nor does it love you, but you are made out of atoms which it can use for something else.' Creating AGI in such a way that it doesn't fuck us over (Friendly AI) is a hard problem, fundamentally harder than AGI itself, and also one we have to solve before we implement AGI. You see how that might be a challenge.


So, my position here is: if we do have a machine that can in fact run a government, it won't need our permission to do so. If we solve Friendly AI, then it will do whatever it can to make the world a better place, which is great. If not, we most likely all die soon afterwards.
Using humans as additional resources for whatever the end goal is could certainly become an issue. I would think, though, that it would be possible to program safeguards against this. As I said in my response to SimSim, I wholly expect a resource distribution system based on need to hurt some people some of the time, particularly when disaster relief is involved. There would obviously be an initial downgrade to the standard of living in many western nations as 3rd and 2nd world countries are brought up to par with the developed world, and its entirely possible that many of the things we enjoy never fully return after this has occurred. Certainly, if part of the AI's imperative is to mitigate, and eventually reverse, climate change, we will be in for a rough time as the transition is made and environmental cleanup/stabilization is enacted. Places like Las Vegas, which require huge resource imports to remain viable, may simply be slated for abandonment, along with other monuments to human decadence (not saying that this decadence is an inherently bad thing, but that it may need to be curtailed for a time.

As to the essay/debate thing you posted, I'm afraid I won't be able to get to it for a couple days, maybe not even this week, but I would love to get back to this conversation once I've had the time to go through it and see what the arguments are.
Her3tik, you have groupies.
Ego: +5

There are a number of ways, though my favourite is simply to take them by surprise. They're just walking down the street, minding their own business when suddenly, WHACK! Penis to the face.

Offline Monzach

  • Neonate
  • *
  • Posts: 30
Re: Rise of the Machines
« Reply #8 on: August 26, 2013, 11:09:47 am »
I, personally, would not like to live in the world of the (very funny) roleplaying game "Paranoia".

Though that's not meant to be a criticism on Friend Computer.

Offline ironbite

  • Overlord of all that is good in Iacon City
  • Kakarot
  • ******
  • Posts: 10287
  • Gender: Male
  • Your True God
Re: Rise of the Machines
« Reply #9 on: August 26, 2013, 02:37:44 pm »
Good because if it was....

Offline niam2023

  • The Beast
  • *****
  • Posts: 3726
  • Gender: Male
  • The Forum Chad
Re: Rise of the Machines
« Reply #10 on: August 26, 2013, 02:54:59 pm »
I don't feel like living in such a squalid society. I actually like the current way things work, it benefits me, so of course I don't want to transfer to a system where people get things based on need as governed by machines.


Living Life, Lifting, Waiting for Summer

Offline Sigmaleph

  • Ungodlike
  • Administrator
  • The Beast
  • *****
  • Posts: 3529
    • sigmaleph on tumblr
Re: Rise of the Machines
« Reply #11 on: August 26, 2013, 05:11:49 pm »
Using humans as additional resources for whatever the end goal is could certainly become an issue. I would think, though, that it would be possible to program safeguards against this.
This seems improbable; the general view is that you can't do Friendliness through patchwork. Either you got it perfectly right, so the AI won't hurt humans because it values our wellbeing and so on, or you got it wrong and then it doesn't matter what safeguards you put in, you're fucked. The AI is smarter than you, it will think of things you can't. Tell it not to kill, and it will make us die indirectly (because we are a nuisance, and it's easier to do whatever it wants if it doesn't have to expend resources on us). Tell it to keep us alive, and we end up trapped in capsules so that we don't hurt ourselves. And so on and so forth.


Quote
As I said in my response to SimSim, I wholly expect a resource distribution system based on need to hurt some people some of the time, particularly when disaster relief is involved. There would obviously be an initial downgrade to the standard of living in many western nations as 3rd and 2nd world countries are brought up to par with the developed world, and its entirely possible that many of the things we enjoy never fully return after this has occurred. Certainly, if part of the AI's imperative is to mitigate, and eventually reverse, climate change, we will be in for a rough time as the transition is made and environmental cleanup/stabilization is enacted. Places like Las Vegas, which require huge resource imports to remain viable, may simply be slated for abandonment, along with other monuments to human decadence (not saying that this decadence is an inherently bad thing, but that it may need to be curtailed for a time.

I don't actually expect that to be much of a problem. The current system is nowhere near optimised for resource generation and distribution; if we are at the point where we can have most jobs done by machines, we'll probably have enough to make the whole world go towards modern first-world standards. Far more than that in the superintelligence scenario.

Quote
As to the essay/debate thing you posted, I'm afraid I won't be able to get to it for a couple days, maybe not even this week, but I would love to get back to this conversation once I've had the time to go through it and see what the arguments are.

I should warn you, if you want to read the whole thing: It's long (as in ~50 blog posts), and Yudkowsky in particular tends to refer a lot to his previous writings, which in turn refer to previous writings, and so on. Also, a fair bit of the debate goes down to the meta level and turns into a debate about how to even begin to think about the question and such.

If you find you can't stomach the whole thing, you can probably get the gist of the arguments either side uses from the prologue and the conclusion, admittedly with much lost detail.
Σא

Offline R. U. Sirius

  • He Who Must Be Smooched By Cute FSTDT Forumgirls
  • The Beast
  • *****
  • Posts: 2896
  • Gender: Male
  • Just look at me. Who could distrust this face?
Re: Rise of the Machines
« Reply #12 on: August 26, 2013, 05:49:27 pm »
For an excellent exploration of this issue as regards to an emergent AI as opposed to a deliberately-designed one, I'd like to point everyone to Robert J. Sawyer's "WWW Trilogy": http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Literature/WWWTrilogy?from=Main.WWWTrilogy

tl;dr:
(click to show/hide)
http://www.gofundme.com/kw5o78
My GoFundMe campaign. Donations are greatly appreciated.

http://imgur.com/user/RUSirius1/submitted
My Imgur account. Upvotes always appreciated

If you look at it logically, cannibalism has great potential to simultaneously solve our overpopulation and food shortage problems.

Offline Cerim Treascair

  • My Love Is Lunar
  • The Beast
  • *****
  • Posts: 3092
  • Gender: Male
  • Get me my arbalest... explosive bolts, please.
Re: Rise of the Machines
« Reply #13 on: August 26, 2013, 08:15:09 pm »
interestingly, one of my best friends is discussing a post-scarcity world vis a vis General AI development, among other things.
There is light and darkness in the world, to be sure.  However, there's no harm to be had in walking in the shade or shadows.

Formerly Priestling

"I don't give a fuck about race...I'm white, I'm American, but that shit don't matter.  I'm human."

Offline Cataclysm

  • The Beast
  • *****
  • Posts: 2458
Re: Rise of the Machines
« Reply #14 on: August 26, 2013, 08:42:38 pm »
If artificial intelligence is invented, then I'd imagine that it would be used for brain prosthetics, which would make humanity more rational, instead of requiring a machine


Relating to a conversation in R&P (Democracy is overrated), would it really be such a bad thing for machines to be in control? Every time machines encroach on jobs people once did, such as vehicle manufacture, people complain that "They took er jerbs!!!", which generally leads to robots putting us all out of work. Why is this such a bad thing?

Lol.

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=80D7RRquPww" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=80D7RRquPww</a>

I'd be more sympathetic if people here didn't act like they knew what they were saying when they were saying something very much wrong.

Quote
Commenter Brendan Rizzo is an American (still living there) who really, really hates America. He used to make posts defending his country from anti-American attacks but got fed up with it all.