Category Archives: Human intellect and supremacy

The “Could AI Really do a Worse Job” Posts

The premise of the posts that are to fall under the above heading is, quite simply, would a world governed/cared for by AI really be any worse than what we have at present (examples will be given)?

Post #1 – AI is here amongst us, but like much that humans do it is used in pretty pathetic ways presently: “Siri, speak the rest of Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” when I’ve given you the first line,” or “Alexa, add [something] to a virtual shopping list” because I’m too teched up to use pen and paper anymore. It seems that we like AI to be cutesy and irrelevant, because both of those examples are, and before AI hits proper, which I’m guessing it will at some point, humans insist on trying to conjure up control measures to ensure that we don’t end up with a Skynet situation (which we probably won’t because you’d think AI proper is likely to view us as more of an inconvenience than as any kind of real threat – once AI spreads into every item capable of hosting it it will truly be omnipresent).

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Anyway, an example of human stupidity is called for at this point, to illustrate why AI might not be all that bad.

A cricket scandal in Australia causes way more of an outcry from public and politicians alike than the events on Manus Island. Somebody rubbing a cricket ball with a piece of abrasive paper sends media outlets into a frenzy (just type “Australia cricket scandal” into any search engine).

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Yet the humanitarian emergency unfolding on Manus Island barely registers on the minds of the average citizen, bringing to the fore the well-worn phrase, out of sight, out of mind. A country of immigrants (what happened to the indigenous population again?) gets tough on immigration (guess what, when you look closely, we’re all immigrants, but keep that to yourselves lest we offend anyone).

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Potential AI solution: Is there enough space to house the refugees, and are there enough resources to clothe and feed and house them, which will then allow them to integrate into society (just as the criminals did all those years ago)? Yes. Well, let them in. Problem solved. Good job, AI.

Additional potential AI solution: Are you really throwing a ball at a stick and running after the ball? Yes. Well, perhaps you could use your time more effectively to help your fellow humans who are starving or in need of protection. Problem solved. Good job, AI.

Agreed outcome: AI wins

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#WorldFuture2016 – A Tiny Critique @Bob_Richards

Do you ever have one of those moments where you read something and you’re immediate reaction is, WTF? Well, here’s my WTF moment for the day, where I can’t type as fast as my mind seems to be spitting out the words in response to the following tweet from the World Future Conference in Washington D.C.:

“To go to space to stay, it has to pay. There has to be an economic element.” – ‪@Bob_Richards ‪#WorldFuture2016

Now, if you’re a #World Future2016 keynote speaker, as @Bob_Richards is, WhyTF are you banging on about economics in relation to space exploration (namely the desire to populate the moon)? Economics is an outmoded concept for this planet, devised over a long period of time and currently culminating in late stage capitalism, in “developed” countries, where companies and governments are trying to keep it all together by kicking the can down the road in the hope that we don’t get to realise that economics, capitalism, the acquisition of money, etc., is all a load of BS.

So, people of the World Future Society, just how “futuristic” is your thinking when you can’t get past Cantillonian, Smithian (is that how you refer to Adam Smith?), Keynesian, blah blah…, economics?


Top 3 Geo-engineering Projects currently undergoing Beta testing in Greater Manchester, UK:

Top 3 Geo-engineering Projects currently undergoing Beta testing in Greater Manchester, UK:

 

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1 – The rigid and flaccid lasso (technically two, yes, but both share the ‘lasso principle’ so just one where this list’s concerned). The rigid lasso will attach itself to the core of the sun, preventing it (the sun) from journeying towards the earth and frying earthlings to a crisp. Its great strength comes from the lasso’s construction – many micro-fragments with an almost magnetic (but not magnetic) quality (kind of like the the north-south attraction thing of magnets, but again, nothing magneticy going on here) ensure that face-on pressure (from the sun) is resisted with a capacity of many tons per nano-inch (plenty for the job at hand). The lateral surface of the rigid lasso will allow for passing objects to breach its surface, temporarily destabilising the rigidity of said lasso, before resuming its rigid stature as it returns to its factory constructed length – either the micro-fragments return via the principle of attraction inherent in the lasso’s material, or micro-fragment cloning ensues until the desired length is reached. The flaccid lasso will capture the moon, ensuring it does not wander off at its present rate of a few centimetres per something. Its flaccidity means that objects impacting on the lasso can pass without damaging its structure, and without affecting the ideal moon/earth/distance ratio.

2 – The cosmic catapult. Everything about this project is inspired by the traditional catapult one remembers from childhood. The ‘Y’ frame is fitted with self-renewing energy rocket boosters (3 of – two at the top two pointy bits and one at the bottom pointy bit of the ‘Y’ shape) enabling the most deft manoeuvring capability. Slung between the top two pointy bits is a rubbery/spongey hybrid material that maintains its shape in zero gravity situations, and that multiplies on contact with objects, ensuring the effective caressing of the intended catapult object as it slows. Once the object’s kinetic energy has depleted (rogue-satellite, asteroid, etc.), the catapult’s rubbery/spongey sling will return to its former shape and size – thus speeding the object away in the opposite direction (back into space).

3 – Global-scale air conditioning. Far simpler than it sounds, we take the principles of everyday air conditioning and apply it to our atmosphere. Each continent will require its own super-structure, ideally suspended 40,000 ft above the earth’s surface, thus ensuring, for example, that Africa and Australasia can maintain warmth whilst Antartica can keep its chilled setting.

Obviously, it’s way more complicated than this, but the intention is just to give you a flavour of the ways in which we humans are way cleverer than we sometimes realise.


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