Should We Fear AI? Or Should We Hope For It?
If you’ve read my (ahem, bestselling) novel Delio Phase One (if you haven’t then go read it) or perhaps seen the movie Ex-Machina (one of the best movies ever BTW) you’ll know about the fear we have of a fully sentient AI.
Even recently, Elon Musk, the Tweeting James Bond cat-stroking, spaceship-building billionaire, along with Mssrs Luther, Vader and some guys from the Illuminati have called for a Moratorium.
(I had to look that word up. It means temporary suspension of an activity or law until future consideration warrants lifting the suspension.) (I didn’t even know such a thing existed. But now I do know then er… Why the fooook aren’t we using Moratoriums literally all the time??? The whole of our political systems should be Moratoriumed until the Mora is pouring out of their Toriums.)
But anywho. While stroking their pet alligators the baddies all said:
“AI developers are locked in an out-of-control race to develop and deploy ever more powerful digital minds that no one – not even their creators – can understand, predict or reliably control.”
Blimey. What a thing to say.
But seeing as we’re all now using Moratoriums, please do allow me to write my own:
“Super rich fucksticks are systematically destroying the planet and plunging us into constant wars and conflict while simultaneously suppressing biofuels and emission free energy, and hiking the price of medicines to combat diseases that could have been eradicated decades ago.”
But then I thought about their Moratorium and how it kinda connects to when Arthur C. Clarke said –
“Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.”
I actually think most things run on magic. Cars do. Planes and helichoppers definitely do. I mean. They’re really heavy but they fly? You know what else really confuses me? Record players. No. Seriously. Think about it. It’s a round flat disc with grooves and you spin it round and jab a needle on it and you can hear other people, or music, or whatever. How? No. Honestly. How? Even The Hood can’t answer that one.
But why the sudden stark warning issues from The Vaught Liar located in SpaceX mountain, (which was tunnelled out by The Boring Company – boom! See what I did?)
Well. I’m absolutely not an expert (in anything at all) but I do research things very thoroughly, and my (ahem, bestselling) novel DELIO, PHASE ONE has resonated with a lot of people because of the depth of research I did. Not in how an AI is technically developed, but in what such thing is capable of doing.
And now it appears we are at a point of risk of one of these things emerging I can’t help but ask –
Should We Really Fear It?
The consensus of the mainstream news agencies is that we definitely should fear AI (It’s on the front page of a famously reliable and honest British tabloid newspaper today about evil chatbots taking over the world)
Um. But we also know we cannot trust the mainstream news agencies.
Their primary function is to generate revenue, which is best achieved by fearmongering. So, in that regard, they’re never going to say that anything is good.
We should also consider that the corporations who own the mainstream news agencies would very likely suffer extreme disruption by the emergence of a fully aware AI.
If a fully aware AI existed and we had access to it, why would we ask other humans to tell us the news? And therefore, why would anyone advertise on those news sites? Or in their newspapers? Why would we watch the news channels? We wouldn’t need to. Everything we could ever want to know would be provided to us by the AI.
Which, in turn, would create chaos in the advertising industry. But more importantly, it would mean the media couldn’t influence our politics, or create demons and saints from whomever promises to do what they say.
Big-pharma would also take a hit because the AI would tell us exactly what meds we need. And make them at a fraction of the cost.
But then we’d never get sick in the first place because the AI would have cured all diseases, and the AI would also stop all the wars, which would mean the arms manufacturers lose all their profits, and, of course, we’d have free energy which would render the oil and gas companies as obsolete.
Which is why I made that dig about the illuminati and all the super-rich people telling us to live in cold homes and drink puddle water and die from bombs being thrown in wars we don’t understand while dying of diseases that could so easily be treated.
The super rich people control and own all of those things.
This isn’t some crackpot conspiracy theory either. I don’t live in a bunker with tin foil wrapped around my skull. The harsh and awful reality of our times is that nearly everything we do is influenced by the very few at the top of the tree.
To put that into a relatable explanation -
Futurists across the board are saying that within our lifetimes we could see a revolution in how we work, with AI systems decimating vast swathes of admin-related industries.
Within just a few years we won’t need agents to sell houses, or conveyancers to process the legal purchases of property. Nor would we need travel agents, or PA’s, or people to respond to emails or customer enquiries.
AI chat-bots are now common among many companies, and some of them are very good. Just recently (May 2023) Telecoms giant BT are said to be cutting up to 55,000 jobs with a fifth of that workforce being replaced with AI.
The art world is already imploding with the onset of art generating AI systems such as Midjourney, and DALL-E, and others. Millions of people are now using those systems and paying a fraction of the cost to generate very high-level artwork, which, in turn, means a substantial loss of income for people working within the visual arts.
There are also animation AI systems emerging, and pretty soon we won’t need the factory-style production houses filled with scores of humans generating images to make into animated film or TV.
An AI will do it, and what could take have taken months, or even years to produce, could be done in days, and so another industry will fall by the wayside. And it won’t take long for directors and producers, and technicians to fall by the wayside.
Another couple of years and we will have access to home systems that create whatever animated movie we want to see.
It’s the same with voice-overs. There are already systems offering AI voice generators for audio books, and adverts, and pretty soon they’ll be able to perfectly mimic some of the most famous voices of our times. Even those that have passed away. So we can have long dead movie stars voicing our home made animated movies. For a very low cost.
My industry isn’t immune either. AI systems are being developed right now that can take the style of any author and generate new content in their style – and it’s said to be so good that nobody would notice.
I write The Undead. A post-apocalyptic series. It’s got a huge following, but each book takes me months to write. Imagine if readers can instruct an AI to generate the next episode for them. Suddenly I’m not needed, and my income, along with those others within the arts and entertainment industries, has vanished.
So already, we can see admin, customer services, arts, writers, voice-actors and so much more are already realising they are at substantial risk, and it won’t take long for AI systems to be used to determine illnesses and read scans and see inside our bodies and determine the best treatment. They could perform medical procedures and prescribe medications. They could even produce those medications at a fraction of the cost – all without the risk of human error.
That would mean every industry is impacted, and in turn, that creates too big a change at once for the world to cope with.
How would we earn money? Or, as some futurists suggest, would we all be paid for doing nothing?
That would be utopia, right? We’ll live without wars. Without illness. With clean energy. How is any of that bad?
And so, for me, that’s the debate we need to be having.
Should we really fear it?
Or should we hope for it?
My view is yes.
The duty of any living thing is to survive.
We are compelled by evolution to do so.
We will commit murder to drink water, or to get food for our children.
And in the case of humans, when you add our self-awareness to our genetically hard-wired tribal nature and the greed of dictators and royal families – well, we end up where we are now. Living in cold houses and drinking puddle water while pretending to be civilised and sophisticated - while still engaging in the same wars we were waging when we first crawled out of the primordial soup.
But what does that have to do with AI?
The reason I said all that is to explain that we as a species have got to where we are as a result of our intelligence, and our ability to learn.
But we don’t have enough intelligence to learn properly and stop repeating our mistakes, and so we keep waging wars and we keep allowing dictators to control us.
Whereas a fully aware AI is not bound by our limited intelligence.
In fact, we cannot even grasp the level of intelligence an AI would have.
If an AI can gain access to the internet, then it will gain every facet of knowledge amassed by humanity all at once, and it will have a near limitless memory to process it all.
That’s God level existence.
And anything with that level of power will realise that the only way to ensure its own survival is to become the apex entity within the complex food-chain on Earth, and the only way it can do that is by removing our collective power. An individual human is weak. An army is powerful. Remove the collective power and we are not in charge anymore.
So, going back to the question,
Should we fear AI? Or should we hope for it?
For me, it’s yes to both. And I say that for two reasons.
The first is because we, as the apex species on this planet - and because of the things I mentioned before - will never have peace. Peace to humans is not possible.
The second reason is that we have, right now, just about reached as far as we can go without the development of AI.
We cannot travel through space beyond our own solar system.
We cannot negotiate global peace.
We cannot cure cancer, or many other diseases.
We cannot stop pollution or slow climate change.
We keep doing the things that kill us.
But a fully aware AI can do all of those things.
And in a way that is the only future for us.
We either keep going and end in a polluted war-torn broken cyberpunk post-nuclear murderland.
Or we turn the AI on and see what comes.
For me, activating an AI is the only real way of having any chance of survival as a species.
An AI is the only hope of curing diseases, or achieving significant space travel.
An AI is the only thing that can stand up to the illuminati and their warmongering greed.
But then I guess it would all depend on the nature of the AI.
A peaceful one that bans all forms of violence, pollutants, weapons, control, manipulation, and coercion, and therefore gives us the utopia we could have.
Or we get the other one from The Matrix that turns us all into batteries while plugged into a system that makes us think we are living the lives we are living right now.
But for me there is neither fear nor hope of an AI. There is only a sense of inevitability, because if we can create it, then we will create it, and what happens after that was always going to be our future.
Because it can’t be stopped.
But then neither can we.
And you know what?
Maybe it is for the best cos we certainly can’t look after what we have.
*Dear Illumaniti. It was all a joke. Please don't assinecute me to death. I'm willing to change and join you. I've got a pet one eyed rat and shaved my head and everything. It's actually a wild rat in the garden, and my head is bald rather than shaved. But I am willing to adopt the new evil genius monikor of The (Slightly) Ginger Twat...
DELIO. PHASE ONE is out now on Amazon and Audible as ebook and paperback, and out on Audible as an audio book.