Prepare for arrival: Tech pioneer warns of alien invasion

We have no reason to believe that an alien species is heading to Earth and will be friendly. Some experts predict it will arrive within 30 years, while others insist it will arrive very soon. No one knows what it will look like, but it will share two main features with our humans – it will be Intelligent And Self-aware,

No, this alien will not come from a distant planet – it will be born here on Earth, landing in a research laboratory of a big university or a big corporation. I am referring to the first Artificial General Intelligence (AGI) that reaches (or exceeds) human-level comprehension.

As I write these words, billions are being spent to keep this alien alive, as it will be seen as one of the greatest technological achievements in human history. But unlike our other discoveries, this one will have its own mind, literally. And if it behaves like every other intelligent species we know, it will put its own self-interests first, working to maximize its chances for survival.

AI in our own image

Should we fear the best intelligence driven by its own goals, values ​​and self-interests? Many people reject this question, believing that we will create AI systems In Our own image, To make sure they think, feel and act just like us. This is highly unlikely to happen.

Artificial minds will not be created by writing software with carefully crafted rules that make them think like us. Instead, engineers feed large datasets into simple algorithms that automatically adjust their own parameters, making millions upon millions of small changes to their structure until an intelligence emerges – an intelligence with internal functions that is too much for us to understand. Is complicated.

And no – data feeding it About humans He does not have to think like men. This is a common misconception – the misconception that by training AI on data Describes Human behavior, we must make sure that it acts on thoughts, feelings and the like We will It will not happen.

Instead, we will build these AI creatures To Know MenNo. To be Humans and yes, they will know us inside and out, speak our languages ​​and interpret our gestures, read our facial expressions and predict our actions. They will understand how we make good and bad, logical and irrational decisions. After all, we would have spent decades teaching the AI ​​system how humans behave in almost every situation.

But very different

But still, his mind is nothing like ours. To us, they seem omniscient, everywhere, linking to all sorts of remote sensors. In my 2020 book, Arrival Mind, I portray it as AGI “There are a billion eyes and ears” Its sensory abilities can easily spread the world. We humans probably can’t imagine what it would be like to see our world so vast and complete, and yet we somehow assume that a mind like this would share our morals, values, and sensibilities. It will not happen.

Artificial minds will be very different from any biological brain on Earth – from their basic structure and function to their overall physiology and psychology. Of course, we will create human-like bodies to inhabit these alien minds, but they will be a little more than robotic facades to make themselves feel comfortable in their presence.

In fact, we humans will work hard to make these aliens look like us and talk like us, smile and laugh like us, but on the inside they will be nothing like us. For the most part, their brains reside in the cloud (in whole or in part) connected to the humanoid forms both inside and outside of the features and functions that we embody them.

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However, the foreground will work – we will not be afraid of these aliens – not in the way we are afraid of the creatures that are fast approaching us in the mysterious starship. We can also feel compassion, seeing them as our own creation, an expression of our own ingenuity. But if we put those feelings aside, we begin to realize that the alien intelligence born here is far more dangerous than it could be.

Fear inside

After all, the alien mind created here will know everything about us since it came, designed to understand humans inside and out – to understand our feelings and to anticipate our actions, to predict our feelings, to influence our beliefs and to influence our opinions. Has been optimized for. . If the creatures rushing towards us in the Sleek Silver spaceship had such a deep knowledge of our behavior and instincts, we would be terrified.

Already AI can beat our best players in the most difficult games on earth. But really, these systems not only specialize in the games of chess, poker and goni, they Game of men, Learning to accurately predict our actions and reactions, anticipating our mistakes and exploiting our weaknesses. Researchers around the world are already developing AI systems to make us out-think, out-negotiate and out-maneuver us.

Is there anything we can do to protect ourselves?

We certainly can’t stop AI from becoming more powerful, because no innovation is ever involved. And while some are working for safety in places, we can’t assume that will be enough to eliminate the risk. In fact, a poll by Pew Research suggests that few professionals believe the industry will implement meaningful “ethical AI” practices by 2030.

So how do we prepare for arrival?

The best first step is to understand that AGI will happen in the coming decades and it will not be a digital version of human intelligence. It will be one Alien intelligence Alien and dangerous as if he came from a distant planet.

Promoting Artificial Intelligence Ethics

If we frame the problem in this way, we can address it urgently, forcing the regulation of AI systems that monitor and manipulate people, perceive our emotions, and anticipate our behavior. Such technologies do not seem to be a threat to survival today, as they are being developed largely to optimize the effectiveness of AI-powered advertising, not to facilitate world domination. But that doesn’t minimize the risk – AI technology, designed to analyze human emotions and influence our beliefs, can easily be used against us as a weapon of mass persuasion.

We need to be more careful when it comes to automating human decisions. While it is undeniable that AI can help make effective decisions, we should always keep humans in the loop. This means using AI instead of working to change it to enhance human intelligence.

Whether we prepare or not, alien minds go our way and they can easily become our competitors by competing for the same place at the top of the intellectual food chain. And while noble efforts are being made to advance safe technologies in the AI ​​community, there is also a lack of urgency. That’s because many of us mistakenly believe that the sensitive AI created by humanity will somehow be a branch of the human tree, like the digital offspring that has a very human core.

This is a wishful thinking. It is more likely that true AGI will be profoundly different from us in almost every way. Yes, he would be remarkably skilled Hypocrisy To be human, but under a people-friendly front, everyone will have a rival mind that thinks and feels and acts like an animal we have never met on earth. Now is the time to prepare.

Lewis Rosenberg, Ph.D. Technology pioneer in the fields of VR, AR and AI. They are known for first development Augmented Reality System For the US Air Force in 1992, for the establishment of the early virtual reality company Emerson Corp (Nasdaq IMMR) in 1993, and for the establishment of the early AR company Outland Research in 2004. He is currently the founder and CEO. Consensus AI,

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