When it comes to Artificial Intelligence, does it matter if it’s the continuous consciousness of the original, or would the copy be alive anyway? For the better or the worse, the future is arriving faster than we realize. There won’t be a before or after for Artificial Intelligence but a slow transition over a decade or more. As we have seen with Google Glass, it is currently impossible to guess what the final acceptable results will look like. But how much can we trust our future assistants? Will they work for us or for unknown entities? If we do not ask the right questions now, we will get the default application. It will be free but what will the small prints include? “Good morning John, here’s your program for today. Any questions?” Maybe it won’t matter after all: With a good learning algorithm the program will know what we need and should do, better than we could ever guess. The power of statistics will have won the war against the gods and we will have lost our soul.
It is common knowledge that job candidates can already lose up their chances in a crucial way when they think no one’s watching by acting nasty or dismissive to receptionists and wait staff. Once NLPs and other AIs become widespread, it won’t be long before the same politeness litmus test is extended to them. Looking forward to 2050, the future of mankind rests in transitioning to a Type 1 civilization. We are a Type 0, they go extinct. We are about to become demigods. Probably, we will merge with our processing technology and each of us will have his or her own virtual universe to rule over with absolute control over every aspect of it, and millions of planets with countless “life” forms in it which we may control or merge with as well. Just as programmers of video games have absolute control over the worlds they create. Immortals, omniscient and omnipresent, all-powerful over our own universes. And of course, capable of exploring this universe as well, maybe directly contacting its Creating Entity and finding out we are characters in His game.
The last question for us then, will be: Ethics and maturity. Will we be content to own just one universe? Or will power drive us mad and turn us into “universe conquerors”, hacking into others’ universes, based on greed, on the desire for yet more power? Will we be good? Or evil? Or both? Will we be capable of achieving wisdom, insuring a peaceful and harmonious coexistence with all the other demigods, or will we go to war? Or will we all merge into one hyperentity? Or will we one day get tired of godhood and start the ultimate game all over again, turning ourselves into a Universe which will have to evolve for billions of years till it inevitably one day re-create us? Perhaps that is exactly what is happening.
The artificial intelligence robots are artificial intelligence robots, they will do programmed work only. Written in Natural language, semantic analysis, and interactive fiction in the IF Theory Reader, the Transcript on Press, pp 141-148, exhibit that there is no creativity in mechanized work. Mechanized work is very different work from smart work. The only accomplishment here is to perpetuate a characteristics indefinitely in a machine as efficiently as possible by incorporating natural language generation mechanism. If he or she did not learn to be a better person in 50 – 70 years, what makes anyone think that they will learn in 500 – 700 years? The ultimate question here if we go literally digital to conquer death, how will we ever be certain it is really us or just a really clever copy? If we could be digitized, we would still suffer the treachery we have always demonstrated. It could be detrimental to basically create a sentient computer with unlimited and instantaneous recall of the entire sum of human knowledge and the motivations and memories of a human being. Ambition in artificial intelligence would be wise to avoid, but if we create it we must assume the evolution to self-awareness will be achieved in exponential leaps at speeds we are not repaired for without natural language generation.