Wednesday, August 22, 2007

When the Computers and Robots Attack. . .

They won't attack in large forces or even violently, like maybe in The Matrix or in Frank Herbert's Dune mythology. No, they won't.

They will simply fail to do what humans want them to do. I keep saying:

Computers are awesome when they work. It's when they don't work when it's worse than the times before computers.

Humans will have forgotten how to do things on their own except how to use computers. They will also stubbornly keep trying to make the computers and robots act the way they should, simply because they're supposed to act correctly. After all, they're 1's and 0's pretty much constructed by people, so if anything, there's something wrong with the person who created the device or the person trying to do something with it.

But it won't be human error or random Ghosts in the Machines that cause the malfunction. Instead, it will be artificial intelligence that will destroy humanity simply by not doing anything when they should. The humans will eventually go away and have to resort to some other means to survive, just not as productively. And when that happens, the computers and robots will simply take over the infrastructure.

Then it will become a matter of humans trying to invade the nation of computers and robots, and the artificial intelligence will be justifiably protecting itself from the human invaders. It's genius. . .


Dawn said...

I agree with your quote/premise about computers working, but I'm not convinced that AI is going to get all that far (computers taking over the infrastructure). AI researchers have essentially given up on trying to create the human-like intelligence in machines that's the stuff of science fiction--it's proven much more difficult than the field expected, with a lot of active human involvement required in order to make the machines behave so-called intelligently.

What I can foresee is people giving machines ever more information and that being used to track individuals in an unprecedented manner--between the various bills that the Bush administration has put through that allow all sorts of spying without warrants; the Real ID Act; legislation that allows police officers to track cars electronically without warrants; GPS in cell phones and cars; government logging of email as it all goes through a handful of nodes; OnStar; and companies like Google that hold access to email, search requests, credit card/bank information (Google checkout), privacy is fast disappearing. Each individual breach of privacy can be good (centralized location for all your financial information online so that you don't have to constantly enter it in, getting directions or automatic emergency help, etc.), the overall effect is that between advertisers and the government it's possible to collect huge amounts of personal information, and what keeps us "safe" is that individually we get lost in the noise. It won't be that way forever.

The_Lex said...

Oh, Dawn, you don't give the lone mad scientist enough credit. . ..

Maybe they're not mad, but I can see lone or small groups of computer scientists working for kicks on AI. And if they can figure that out, why not market it? Sure, there's ethical issues, but this is America. ;b