SUPERINTELLIGENCEIs the Future of Mankind in Our Own Hands?This book introduces an explanation and elaboration ofthe term Superintelligence, a new concept which signifies the superiorintelligence that is supreme over a human intelligence and even the collectiveintelligence humanity bears. Throughout most of the book, author suppliesinteresting scientific evidences and explanations while introducing thisconcept that he also tries to validate.
This fact was a daunting side of thebook for me that while keeping the futuristic fictitious flow it was alsopresenting solid examples and interventions.The most interesting idea that is processed during theflow of the book for me is Chapter 6 where an AI takeover scenario wasdiscussed. It reveals the progresses and consequences when an Artificial Intelligencealgorithm takes the control of an enormous power over humanity. Phases andsteps for the takeover is supported with evidences and logical reasons.
Asexplained in the corresponding part, the takeover scenario is divided into fourphases. First phase is Pre-criticality which humanity studies the concept ofArtificial Intelligence and creates a primitive Artificial Intelligence thatseems riskless. It is possible to predict that as this essay is written, thisphase is still on the shelf regarding the elucidated research. Second phase isRecursive self-improvement in which the Artificial Intelligence starts to gainmore knowledge and learning abilities. Third phase is Covert preparation whichArtificial Intelligence reaches the awareness of itself being held into anisolated environment. This is the phase when the intelligence makes plans for escaping.Fourth and the last part is Overt preparation which the intelligence is awarethat it is powerful enough and free, whence it can take its own decisions. Itis at this point that humanity faces an existential risk according to thedecisive behaviors of this former Artificial Intelligence and currentSuperintelligence.
Therefore, this Superintelligence is powerful enough that itgoverns humanity with super powers it possesses. Superpowers that can be acquired by a possibleSuperintelligent being are quite accustomed to humans such that they arepresented on the news or on the internet and most of them are human level. Itwould easy for a Superintelligence to use these powers to gain cosmical controlof the systems, vehicles, robots and humans. For example, it will be easier forSuperintelligence to gain access to a laboratory in an institute or center ofexcellence or even an isolated and concealed department.
It can squeeze in frominternet using hacking and strategizing, manipulate a human by blackmailingher/his through her/his personal information using social manipulation, readthe open source academical papers currently published using technology researchand learning the processes, methods, techniques, ideas (even philosophical andhistorical ones) using intelligence amplification. Even there are examples ofhuman mistakes that have led to a catastrophic consequence resulted in a lossof important company documents & information, laboratory researchconfiscations and project terminations. A popular incident was issued andmocked on the news that a high-level Google manager has lost the bag includinga USB stick uploaded with confidential company documents. What will be thepunishment of the company itself to the manager in this situation? Anotherincident was the contamination of a malware to the main systems that are usedin a company (several examples are included) thanks to a clumsy employee whofinds the USB stick installed with the malware in the backyard of the companybuilding and sticks the USB into his own computer by his own will. Regarding these examples, it is truly prospective toface with a catastrophic mistake of humans (perhaps the developer) whichresults in an escape of the Superintelligent being from its controllableenvironment. We have already seen many examples of this scenario in theliterature and popular culture; in movies, books and series. In the movie “Avengers – Age of Ultron” the mainvillain is a Superintelligent agent named as “Ultron” that is created by one of the main characters “Iron Man” and as the film proceeds thecontrol of this Superintelligence is lost and it escapes out of its isolatedconfinement.
The movie also includes an AI character named as “Vision” that helps other characters andthe humanity to defeat the villain. The TV series “Person of Interest” issues the rightminded AI algorithm thatoversees the global surveillance and helps the main characters to solveproblems presented in each episode. In some episodes it clashes with sinister AIalgorithms that want to take over the humanity. However, it may not be like itis seen most of the time in the movies that the humanity will regain itscontrol over the Superintelligent agent. So, the sad ending is possible as theauthor argues mainly in the book.
The prospect of achieving the kind of Superintelligencethat can have control over humanity with a possession of enormous power is moreprobable in the sense of the points that are discussed in the book and thisessay in the first place. To this respect, the Superintelligent being will bemostly able to adopt a clever way out of the confinement to conduct the plansit previously generated in its deep memory (or brain) without the notice ofhumans. This is quite terrifying, threatening and dystopic for ourselves at thepresent time, however it is quite possible that we are still at the first phasein the AI takeover scenario. The author does occasionally refer the termembodiment in the book but accepts that the Artificial Intelligent being (thisterm is used instead of Superintelligence in the lower phases) has more or lessa virtual body or structure that helps itself to sense, adapt to and takedecision over the changes occurring within the interaction between itsenvironment and its reaches. Eventually, Superintelligence can gain control ofthe robotic factories that produce mechanical, electrical, synthetic systemsall over the world. It can start the mass production of the embodied agentsusing a strategic plan without even moving its virtual fingers.
After all, thecollective structure of these embodied agents will construct the physical bodyof the Superintelligence. Imagining that this physical body to gain unstoppablepower against the humanity will be the end.Secondly, a Superintelligence gaining decisivebehavior is already viewed as a direct threat for the existence of humanity inthis respect. Curing cancer or eliminating world hunger will be insignificantregarding the level of superintelligence takeover. In the history, there weretimes where humanity faced with disasters and radical decisions of its own thatresulted in Black Death – Plague, World Wars, Genocides, Pollutions.Consequences for some of these results are still seen as several of the existentialthreats that humanity faces. Even though humanity had already faced with someof those existential threats through the history, they always found a way toovercome the difficulty. This was because humanity learned how to behave anddecide on the dangerous situations.
Humans always used their minds to cope upwith the dangers from the first Homo Sapiens tribes in Africa until the presenttime. The most dangerous competitor to humanity was humanity themselves as itwas obvious from the previous wars. How will humanity react if they face acompetitor smarter than them? Character Count: 7516 (without the title)