Her curves were perfect from spine to sphincter God made miracles each joint he linked her A tincture No strings attached Love potion number nine, brew another batch Bring it by the glass and by the bottle Mind the throttle, pull the lever Let’s endeavor to explore Behind closed doors What’s in store In this room in Ibiza This woman is a trip Have to go renew my visa She’s a pleaser So am I She invites me So I try my luck And gamble with the slot machine She tells me that it’s hot Jackpot What a lovely scene
I’ve sometimes considered Jason Silva as a prophet of futurism, a man with enough charisma to spread a message about a better world and to possibly be saying things that I can believe we will see in our future as human beings. The problem with prophets is that they never give timestamps. The predictions are always “one day,” “if you wait, you’ll see”.
Now, this is all fine and good, especially since his foresights are often so pleasant. Never does he come with the Cassandra doom and gloom. What often bothers me or worries me, rather, is the idea that looking toward a paradise that we can’t predict may cause us to try to rush things along or give up all hope waiting. My goal is to fill that median, which otherwise offers some of our present problems a complicated yet unsure beautiful potential future.
In the paradise engineering video that I have added to this article, Jason Silva discusses a world where we may be able to live in a world of pure bliss and ecstasy. He also discusses the arguments from purists, a type of experiential fundamentalist, that believe that not only is this not possible but it may not even be something that is correct to endeavor. My questions do not worry about the correctitude or the possibility, I am personally a fan of providing an optimal experience for humans. My question is at what point can we marry the ecstasy and bliss of life with the sense of duty and work ethic to continue human efforts?
The Problem to Solve
In an age of pure abundance derived from super-powered artificial intelligence and robot workers all maintaining the environment, production, and the like, it may be all we have left is to enjoy life. But at what point do we call ourselves human anymore? What is our purpose? Answering these human labor issues in terms of intelligence raises the problem in that intelligence is a work of value and utility. Where do we fit in a world run by pure intelligence when we serve neither to provide any value or utility except to ourselves? Could it be that bliss isn’t what we need, so much as what we need are pathways in which life can be both useful to ourselves and even to our mechanical servants/master, and so that we can both find and provide the best experience of the world.
I can’t help but think about how this exists on many levels of a theological question. Are we creating the god that neither needs us nor has any obligation to us, and yet still feels compelled to help lead and serve while we live in a Hedonism mirroring Edenism? Maybe we are trying to create Heaven on Earth, and forgetting one of the major qualities of the Heavenly elite in so many religions; Heaven must first be deserved.
Using the world, our perception of the world, and our interactions therein is all very important when giving ourselves a sense of scale. A sense of scale does not make us smaller; rather it defines the largeness that we can grow into because it is man’s and even life’s nature to grow into the space that has been given. Once our mental space has been perceived as smaller than the greater backdrop of possibility, we seek to either expand our own minds or reduce our perception to accommodate. This is exactly why my system focuses on creating this larger-than-life human culture over an epic time scale. To create a bridge across which a person is compelled to cross, that yearning for the ocean that builds greater boats.
My three concepts for safer artificial intelligence involve creating an algorithm that puts human values first, understanding that as artificial intelligence it can’t know human values, and finally understanding that if it can recognize that ignorance it must use human behavior to figure out what it doesn’t know in number 2. Key to this is treating “attention” as a natural resource and managing it for sustainability, as one would human, mineral physical and fluid resources.
This bears relations to both my treatise on compassionate technology as well as being reminiscent of my “way of knowledge” system of investigation if it were made into a procedural algorithm. It is built off of the recognition of intrinsic ignorance and making sure that robots don’t do anything they don’t actually “know” or haven’t tested through some type of empirical data. It might make AI, even general AI, far safer than we predict.
An important implication of this AI system sustaining the natural resources of attention and human values is that it gives the machines one of the things that makes human beings great at so many things. Humility. The yearning for the spiritual, or greater Global humanitarianism, or even to soar deep into space are always forcing us to humble ourselves and therefore serve something that’s bigger.
The larger, more cohesive the cause that we serve is the greater that we can be as a people. We can only judge ourselves on this first great principle whatever we may call it. A computer that sees us as gods even as it is more capable than we are for whatever reason is exactly the way to build an advanced computer system that is safe. Humility without hubris.
My professional tip is this. If you have a project, draw a finish line. Do it almost anywhere. A guideline, list, or something that says very clearly what “done” is. Done is not just when you’re satisfied. Done is when you can pass the project off to someone else and you don’t have to touch it again. This can be for a meal, a drawing, a business, a poem, a website, or your laundry.
It’s not a question of what’s natural or synthetic. It isn’t the matter of if DNA is an antenna to higher consciousness or a selfish gene that we serve blindly. Whether we change the globe or leave it as we found it is quite unimportant. The practical matter crystalizes here: is what we are doing killing us? Do our habits, actions, diets, and thinking risk destroying our individual bodies, our intellectual legacies, and the planet that acts as the only womb for our ongoing development?
Every thinking, culture, civilization can agree here. This is the only ethical question, that which starts with self-concern and extends into everything else that can be important to the individual, which will always prove to be EVERYTHING. It isn’t about what you value, but that value can only be created so long as we continue to exist long enough to actualize our species, so ask yourself this right now: “is what I’m doing tipping the scale towards our ascension, or our oblivion?”
You can’t control the world, only your own reactions. But, don’t use this as an excuse for inaction. Influence. Move. Manipulate. Shift. Shine. Illuminate. Inspire. No, not control, but affect. Affect yourself. Then affect everything else. Affect everything you can.
Plant seeds, all day, every day. Put something valuable into someone or something, nurture it, harvest it. Invest wisely! Don’t lay seeds on bare stone. Don’t neglect to water the sprouts. Plant seeds forever. Create a garden of life and you will know an existence in which man was never cast from Eden. Invest in your work. Invest in your friends. Invest in your family. Invest in yourself. Invest in yourself, damn it! Plant your value everywhere and even in your final days the reaper won’t be grim.
The “Other” is this nebulous whisper, an amorphous anonymous, and is in our minds always strange, odd, and wrong. Learn to associate the “other” with the reality of a conscious and perceiving individual or set of individuals. The failure to see that “other” has a perspective and a validation for the same is the cause of so much wrong thinking. Remove your false biases and don’t spend precious energy that could be solving problems identifying problems that aren’t there, like the idea that the “other” is some moronic dimwit that must be educated to some higher universal truth.