Sunday, September 8, 2019

AI, all of us, and me

Stephen Hawking warned about the potential dangers of Artificial Intelligence. There's been a lot of discussion about whether it's a potential boon to us or a looming threat. The Terminator movies showed one imagined nightmare scenario wherein it took the advanced AI, once hooked up, immediately becomes self-aware, decides that humans are a security threat and must be eliminated. That idea was introduced in 1984. In 1970, Colusses, the Forbin Project had a similar theme but in it the computer just took total control of the world to insure peace. It was unstoppable but didn't want to control people other than keep them safe.

As I see it, humanity is committing suicide and seems to have little inclination to stop. Three solutions come to mind. One - humanity wakes up, or enough people become dedicated to the survival of the species and put the good of all before what they want. Two - the military is service oriented. In the US they have a strong tradition of defering to civilian control. But a global military takeover might work. People would not be happy with that. The third is letting AI come up with a serious plan to reduce greenhouse gasses and implement it. It or its human handlers would have to have authority. But maybe it could come up with a solution that is the most acceptable to all the people who don't want to give things up.

But what involves my imagination the most when I think of AI is not all that stuff about saving or destroying humanity. I've long had a dream of AI fixing up all my music to make it better presented. I have over a thousand recordings of songs, mainly ones with me playing the guitar and recording them just to get them down quickly. Some of them are produced with other musicians or more carefully. I call it the mediocre, the bad, and the terrible. But then I think, AI someday will be able to produce the songs in ways that bring out their potential. And today I was thinking about how all the stuff I have digitized is more than what I could organize or get through. There's just tons of work left to do in so many areas - Suzuki lectures etc, interviews, stuff I've written, emails, names, addresses. I told Katrinka that if AI can do that within my lifetime, it will likely come at a time when all that is left behind as is with no desire to do more or concern with what comes of it. It's still a good ride though. 

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