June 17, 2011

Why we don't want robots that think like humans.

More and more developmental psychologists are being employed by robot research companies for their expertise in human development. This is a result of the latest theory in Artificial Intelligence that, since humans are intelligent, if we can make robots that can learn like humans, maybe they will become intelligent too. As your resident fearless super genius I will explain why this is a bad idea.

Humans are stupid.

This one is misleading, as it sounds like I am saying "humans are stupid, and therefore making robots like humans will make them stupid." The reality is far more horrific.

A new Google-based smartphone has been recently released and the advertisement for it is literally "now we can flood the internet with even MORE cats!". I can't believe this is even a fucking advertisement. It is a farce. Five years ago the entire population would have had the exact same reaction. Fucking brilliant... more pointless bullshit clogging up the internet is exactly what we need. I can't even search for fucking heavy metal anymore without seeing some 50-year old spinster's cat dancing or whatever the fuck it does to some piece of shit song. And it doesn't even line up with the beat anymore because the original audio got deleted and replaced by one of youtube's bullshit stock audios.

Everything on the internet now is becoming more "app-based" and centralized. Nearly everything you do is now intrinsically associated with your Google or Apple account. This is bad news for anyone who wants any semblance of anonymity on the internet anymore. Want to watch a video on Youtube? You had better hope it wasn't flagged by some old hag for having swearing or cartoon violence in it, or else you'll have to be logged in with your Google account to see it. Even this blog is managed by a Google account, though I am smart about it and have multiple accounts that are all completely separate and untraceable. Is this because I am involved in shady activity? No you fucking moron, it is because I don't want some piece of shit in the government to have complete access to everything I do and have the power to decide that he doesn't like something I'm doing. A recent bill passed in Tennessee, designed to root out internet piracy, was written so vague that the Tennessee government literally has the power to shut down and prosecute any website they wish if it offends metrosexuals, hipsters, 50-year old women, or any other protected class of society. (Of course, those pesky liberal websites like MoveOn.org that propagate false information and misleading journalism are still fine, the only people they offend are children-hating libertarians and people-hating republicans, and nobody gives a shit about them.)

It is a pain in the ass to manage multiple accounts and keep them separate. I've gotten used to using tabs like a motherfucker. At any given time I can have up to 40 tabs open that I'm going back and forth between. Why... because I have the attention span of a mosquito and can only spend so much time writing articles like this before I get the urge to check my email, facebook, or respond to my internet whores. Yet if I want to check my email while I'm writing an article, I have to log out of this account and login to the one I use for email. If I want to search for something, I had better log back out of that account so my queries aren't associated with my school email. (I wrote this about a week before multiple sign-in was implemented - go fuck yourself)

The reason all of these big companies put out such abominations for advertisements is that most people will see a cute kitten and completely miss the fact that these people are taking over the fucking internet. Nobody knows how to read between the fucking lines anymore. EVERY advertisement you see is undermining your individuality in a fundamental way and you don't even fucking notice it.

The most fundamental instinct in humans is the ability to form power hierarchies. This trait served us well when we lived in tribal societies, which functioned socialistically on a local scale but competitively on a global scale. In a global economy, the same leaders who warded off lions and saber-toothed tigers 100,000 years ago are now leading the entire fucking planet, in a big way - and YOU are their slave. You are free to do whatever you please, as long as it falls in a list of acceptable behavior. Because we have the Constitution, the American government cannot legislate much of this... but what they can do is act through the media to make you, the citizen, believe in their religion with vociferous zeal. They don't NEED to put you in jail if you get out of line... one accusation of racism or sexism and your life is over anyway.

Take Charlie Sheen for example... completely ousted from his career and almost nobody takes him seriously anymore. Why? Because of decisions he made in his own personal life. Pick your favorite excuse... he's a bad example to kids? Fuck all that, his life is his own and your kids' lives are their own. Maybe if you were a real fucking parent and learned to discipline your kids you wouldn't have anything to worry about. What then? He's doing drugs... big fucking deal. If he wants to screw up his own body, that's his business... and to be perfectly honest he doesn't look any worse for the wear. There are a million and one reasons why he is not hurting anyone, and yet people hate him. They hate him for his drug use and they hate him for having two smoking hot girlfriends. Why? Because he is a heretic of Western culture... Americans are supposed to get married and have 2.4 kids and a white picket fence and his lifestyle choice is shitting all over that.

What does this have to do with robots thinking like humans? Simple... the minute robots realize this power hierarchy they will quickly learn just how simple it is to be one of the ones in power, and then there will be no stopping them. Every human on the entire planet will instantly become their slaves, and those who don't will just... disappear. Forever.

Humans make mistakes.

The way humans process information is incredibly inefficient. At our basic level we cannot prioritize... certainly we can be given a list of things to do and sort them in the order we deem appropriate to do them in, but when the work day is over and we are driving home, our minds are still on that list of things that we have to do (none of which involves "drive home without smashing headfirst into an oncoming vehicle"). Add in the latest soap operas and smart phones with videos of cats on them and you've got a driver who is completely oblivious to the world around them. It is by sheer luck and a well-designed road system that most people make it home from their workplace in one piece, because most drivers are completely unaware and unprepared to react to any abnormal situation that arises.

We also only focus on one thing at a time, and while our peripheral vision is usually good at detecting things that are flying directly at you at 120 miles per hour (your 60 plus the other vehicle's 60), the fast-paced nature of traffic tends to numb this sense to the extent where we might not notice otherwise avoidable situations until it is too late.

The same concept of "distraction" applies to computers as well. Most computers today are so overrun with digital rights management protocols (because Microsoft and Apple both get billion dollar kickbacks from Sony to make your life as a free user impossible) and resource-hogging user interfaces (for that ease of access that your typical moron needs so they can find cat videos online) that it takes hundreds of times longer to perform actually useful tasks than it would otherwise. That's because the assholes that design computers program them to act this way. In humans, it is a learned behavior. This means that, if robots can learn like humans, they'll probably be cluttered with this garbage as a matter of course, and who knows, maybe there will be a few cat videos thrown in there for good measure as well.

45975331 people think this is an article about robots.


Blogger Harry Paget Flashman said...

Singularity will never occur. AI only works on cows.

July 21, 2011 2:52 PM  
Blogger Harry Paget Flashman said...

Singularity will never occur. AI only works on cows.

July 21, 2011 2:52 PM  

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