There are a bunch of questions next to or adjacent to general artificial intelligence
that have not gotten enough alarm because, in fact, there’s a crowding out of mindshare
I think that we don’t really appreciate
how rare the concept of selection is in the machines and creations that we make
So in general, if I have two cars in the driveway
I don’t worry that if the moon is in the right place in the sky
and the mood is just right that there’ll be a third car at a later point
because in general I have to go to a factory to get a new car
I don’t have a reproductive system built into my sedan.
Now almost all of the other physiological systems
what are there, perhaps 11
have a mirror
So my car has a brain, so it’s got a neurological system
It’s got a skeletal system in its steel, but it lacks a reproductive system.
So you could ask the question
are humans capable of making any machines that are really self-replicative?
And the fact of the matter is that it’s very tough to do at the atomic layer
but there is a command in many computer languages called Spawn
and Spawn can effectively create daughter programs from a running program.
Now as soon as you have the ability to reproduce
you have the possibility that systems of selective pressures can act
because the abstraction of life will be just as easily handled
whether it’s based in our nucleotides, in our A, C, Ts and Gs
无论它是否是基于核苷酸 基于A C T G
or whether it’s based in our bits and our computer programs
So one of the great dangers is that what we will end up doing is creating artificial life
allowing systems of selective pressures to act on it
and finding that we have been evolving computer programs that we may have no easy ability to terminate
even if they’re not fully intelligent
Further if we look to natural selection and sexual selection in the biological world
we find some very strange systems
plants or animals with no mature brain to speak of effectively outsmart species
which do have a brain by hijacking the victim species’ brain to serve the non-thinking species
没有大脑的物种劫持受害物种的大脑 使其为自己服务 这样它们确实就有了大脑
So, for example, I’m very partial to the mirror orchid
于是 比如说 我特别喜欢蜂兰
which is an orchid whose bottom petal typically resembles the female of a pollinator species
And because the male in that pollinator species detects a sexual possibility
the flower does not need to give up costly and energetic nectar in order to attract the pollinator
And so if the plant can fool the pollinator
to attempt to mate with this pseudo-female in the form of its bottom petal
it can effectively reproduce
without having to offer a treat or a gift to the pollinator but, in fact, parasitizes its energy
Now how is it able to do this?
Because if a pollinator is fooled then that plant is rewarded.
So the plant is actually using the brain of the pollinator species
let’s say a wasp or a bee
to improve the wax replica, if you will, which it uses to seduce the males
来改善“蜡像” 如果你愿意那样说的话 用它来引诱雄性传粉者
That which is being fooled is the more neurologically advanced of the two species.
And so what I’ve talked about, somewhat controversially, is what I call artificial out-telligence
where instead of actually having an artificially intelligent species
you can imagine a dumb computer program that uses the reward
through let’s say genetic algorithms and selection within a computer framework
to increasingly parasitize, using better and better lures,
fully intelligent humans
And in the case of artificial intelligence, I don’t think we’re there yet.
But in the case of artificial out-telligence
I can’t find anything that’s missing from the equation.
So we have self-modifying code.
You have Bitcoin so you could have a reward structure and blockchains
And there’s nothing that I see that keeps us from creating
Now that’s such a strange and quixotic possibility.
In this framework I don’t see an existential risk
so that my friends who worry about machine intelligence being a terminal invention for the human species
probably don’t need to be worried
But I think there’s a lot of exotica around artificial intelligence which hasn’t been explored
and I think which is much closer to fruition.
Perhaps that’s good.
Maybe it’s a warning shot so that we’re going to find that just as we woke up to Bitcoin as digital gold
也许这是一个警告 所以我们将会发现 正如我们意识到比特币可以用作数字黄金
we may wake up to a precursor to artificial general intelligence
which alerts us to the fact that we should probably be devoting more energy
into this absolutely crazy-sounding future problem which no humans have ever encountered