“Preparing for the Future of Artificial Intelligence”- The National Science & Technology Council

Public Intelligence has recently made available to the common domain a 50+ page executive report on artificial intelligence.

This report, authored by members of the National Science and Technology Council, confirms that the advances made in artificial intelligence will continue to be integrated into the current fabric of society. In other words, AI isn’t going away but rather AI is predicted to become smarter and exceedingly ubiquitous.

Some are optimistic in dreaming of the potential outcomes, economic or otherwise, that may be fostered by this newfound digital consciousness:

“AI holds the potential to be a major driver of economic growth and social progress, if industry, civil society, government, and the public work together to support development of the technology with thoughtful attention to its potential and to managing its risks.”

Risks…What risks?

Oh you know, the usual…like “Lethal Autonomous Weapon Systems” akin to the murderous drones out of the movie Oblivion.

Not to mention the AI induced demon of major economic problems. For instance, the report conveys

“that the negative effect of automation will be greatest on lower wage jobs, and that there is a risk that AI driven automation will increase the wage gap between less-educated and more-educated workers, potentially increasing economic inequality.”

So burger-flippers are bound to be eliminated from the contemporary venue of fast-food service and relegated to more…dignified tasks? I sincerely doubt the notion.

The final creation of AI that exceeds human intelligence literally marks the inception of an unprecedented form of consciousness, a subject/object we are still trying to understand. So if we do not yet understand consciousness itself, how then might we predict the ramifications of a novel conscious entity?

Couple with this uncertainty the verifiable certainty that humans ultimately fuck themselves when novel technologies are at their disposal. Look at Nagasaki and Hiroshima. Gander off at biological weapons. We have failed to heed Miyamoto Musashi’s advice that one should strive to know the benefit and detriment in everything. So while we hear of the great opportunities and optimistically extravagant material gains we can make with AI, it is imperative that we stare down the other end of the eyeglass…especially in consideration of this next report recommendation:

“Federal agencies should explore the potential to create DARPA like organizations to support high-risk, high-reward AI research and its application…”

What is DARPA? Nothing more than the Defense and Advanced Research Projects Agency deeply entwined with the Department of Defense (read that again). So yes, it is virtually guaranteed that advancements in AI will pave the way to new methodologies of destruction despite the naysayers and starry-eyed optimists.

Granted, if we don’t do it another country might. I get that. But the fact leaves me feeling we are all waiting for the trigger-pull of the men and women of science behind these developments. Which way will the gun point? At ourselves, or the root of our destructiveness?

(hmmm I like the paradox)

If you have the time, I highly recommend watching the astounding interview of Patrick Wood on the subject of ‘technocracy’. It is, in my best estimation, the direction society is seemingly shifting towards in light of all this AI stuff.

Take care all.


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