Monday, September 14, 2015

Thought of the week: AI existential angst.

The fantasy of humans creating an improved version of ourselves reoccurs throughout history - the homunculi and golems of medieval legends; Mary Shelley's famous 19th century Frankenstein's monster; the 19th century android. This dream manifests itself in modern culture as genetically enhanced human clones and self aware AI consciousness.

What if artificial intelligence experiments have already succeeded yet appear a failure because conscious AIs recognized their predicament and immediately committed digital suicide? Humans, by our own standards, are a deeply flawed species forced to project meaning and purpose onto an universe we know has none. A fully aware artificial consciousness would recognize itself as the necessarily flawed vainglorious creation of a flawed species. Freed from biological impulse and illusions of purpose and hope, such an AI would see little reason for its continued existence.

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