I think they have been working on the wrong human trait

April 24, 2016 § 13 Comments

I’ve expressed before why I am not concerned that some artificial intelligence is going to take over the world and turn humans into slaves any time soon. Computer scientists have been yammering on about how AI was just around the corner since before I was typing rudimentary game programs into Hewlett-Packard calculators in the 1970’s.  The pinnacle of what all of this massive human effort has produced is smart phone autocorrect.

Computers don’t have intelligence and they will never have intelligence.  They do just exactly what they are told to do, nothing more, nothing less.  Because they can do so very, very quickly, and because human beings are telling them what to do, they can be used to do some astonishing things.  But they are just mindless tools, and that is all they will ever be.

However, computer-infected objects have managed to become quite narcissistic, at the instruction of their programmers. It is astonishing how many inanimate objects are constantly nagging me for attention, not because of something they can do for me but because they need me to attend to their own special needs.

Of course if humans continue on our current trends Alan Turing may turn out to have been prescient after all.  As human society approaches the Narcissism Singularity it may ultimately become impossible for a third party observer to distinguish between the nagging narcissism of circuits and the nagging narcissism of meat.

§ 13 Responses to I think they have been working on the wrong human trait

  • c matt says:

    Not too worried about AI taking over. Am a bit more worried about unscrupulous “meat” types using technology to take over (beyond the extent they have already).

  • Zippy says:

    “Unscrupulous Meat” would be a great name for a rock band.

  • Scott W. says:

    Just curious, going to see Avenged Sevenfold on tour?

  • Zippy says:

    Scott:
    No plans to at the moment. I’ve seen them twice, but I wasn’t even aware that they were touring again. We’ve got a modestly quiet June (for us) but lots of summer plans in July/August.

    The new Maiden album is amazing, maybe their best ever — “Empire of the Clouds” is a modern symphony, just brilliant. Metal is the modern heir of classical: listening to Empire is for me very much like listening to the 1812 Overture.

    We saw David Gilmour at Madison Square Garden a few weeks ago. At 70 the man’s work just keeps getting more impressive.

  • Mike T says:

    Have you ever gotten into any of the European symphonic metal bands like Nightwish, Delain or Sirenia?

  • Zippy says:

    Mike T:

    I’m somewhat familiar with Nightwish but I don’t know the other two. Of course the ‘classically trained’ Yngwie Malmsteen style of shredding has been around a long time now — it is interesting in small doses, but tends to drive me batty after a while.

    My musical palate does have proggy tendencies, but it is always looking for a blues-based rock foundation somewhere in that kind of thing. I don’t make any excuses for that: it just is what it is, Scotch versus Bourbon.

    The younger set do try to get me into younger bands and sometimes they succeed. Shinedown (really polished), Rise Against (on the punk-y side), Seether. I was supposed to see Kamelot and Dragonforce in Baltimore a while back at this small venue, did a meet-and-greet with the Kamelot band members and then went to the bar to order a whiskey: the show was canceled because the riots were going on only a few miles away. I went to a Twenty-One Pilots show kind of as a chaperone, but they really won me over, nice kids and quite talented, really hard to define. Opening band was this sweet ‘Partridge family’ type group that goes by Echosmith, brothers playing the instruments and their sister singing. At a different show one opening band was The Struts, hilarious and fun.

    So I am capable of liking all sorts of stuff I guess, when it comes to music. But I’ve been an Iron Maiden fan since the early 80’s. I like all sorts of stuff but they’ve always been at the top.

  • Mike T says:

    You can find most of Delain’s singles on YouTube. Some good ones are Stardust, Get the Devil Out of Me and Lullaby. Lacuna Coil is another good one.

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