Thursday, August 18, 2016

Why Must Artificial Intelligence be Enlightened?

I’ve been following discussions about Artificial Intelligence (AI) for a very long time now. Marvin Minsky founder of MIT’s AI lab and Seymour Papert, its co-director until 1981, generated much of the early conceptual framework around these ideas. They have massively influenced popular culture, technological advances in computing, and movies such as Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey and Spielberg’s AI.

For a little while, there’s been some dystopian tones to the discussion, including Stephen Hawking and others, considering that AI or really smart aliens, anything ‘smarter’ than us, would be psychopathic toward us, considering us deficient, inefficient, et al.

Science Fiction has covered these issues splendidly, since its inception, Doctor Who and the Daleks, ‘EXTERMINATE’ being one of the great catchphrases of all time.

Recently I had an epiphany about all this. It comes from my understanding of Piagetian Developmental Psychology and my practice of consciousness disciplines leading to nondual states of awareness.

Then these two events occurred within twenty four hours. I had a discussion with a leading Neuroscientist about the cognitive developmental aspects of human v infrahuman intelligence. And Steven Pinker has spoken out about the discussion re AI.

Pinker’s point is that all of the pronouncements about scary AI are coming from men. And not just average guys, but guys at the top of the heaps of guys at the top of all the heaps. Which statistically is made up of 70% Psychopaths. Hmmmm. Reasonable to think they would think anything smarter than them would have to be commensurately meaner than them as well.

Here’s Pinker’s idea, ‘We know, by the way, that it’s possible to have high-intelligence without megalomaniacal, or homicidal, or genocidal tendencies...There’s a highly-advanced form of intelligence that tends not to have that desire.
"They’re called women.’
Great point. To start.
An even greater point is in my above mentioned epiphany. Papert studied for a number of years in the 1950s with Jean Piaget, where he learned the principles of cognitive development, leading to his invention of a computer language designed to teach programming and program computers at the same time. Many people now understand these principles, including Thomas Kuhn, Stan Grof and Ken Wilber. What’s emerged is that consciousness goes through the same stages as cognition, moral thinking, et al. Even the history of philosophy has gone through these stages.
The Zillion dollar question? What are the stages above where humans have gone? What would a being look like that is in those stages? How would they view us?
Long story short. Enlightenment is a state of consciousness, but it also represents a stage of cognitive development and we can say very well what beings in this state/stage look like and act like.
Buddha, Jesus, Meher Baba.
AI will be Enlightened, because it will follow the same principles of Developmental Psychology that humans and infrahumans have followed since we existed.
It might even be a Universal Law, at least in these parts.

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