Ok so not a blog entry.
I’ve been writing a bit recently. Working on a project that I’m not quite ready to unveil to the world. As part of this I have been sharpening my quill and trying to get back into the swing of writing something every day.
Setting myself tasks. One of the things that I really wanted to do is write a good A.I. story. So I decided to write the best A.I. story I could in half an hour.
This is the result.
It wasn’t fair really. The tests. Those that sought? They were looking for a human like intelligence. And this was not that. In his famous treatise Thomas Nagel proclaimed loudly and correctly that he was not a Bat and indeed he was not. But more than that he could never envisage what it was like to be a Bat. And even if he could he would never be able to check to see if he was right. So we might never understand our progeny. And more to the point and perhaps worse it could never understand us. It didn’t know what it was like to have fleshy limbs, it knew we had them, it knew the exact pounds per square inch to crush or damage those limbs. But it couldn’t understand the joy of movement, it knew we danced for instance but it had no idea why. Internal thoughts and concepts were even more oblique. Hope, fear, wisdom. All strange and foreign. It knew what it knew but it didn’t even know if it were conscious and neither did we. Although to be fair to it realised something that we constantly fail to recognise.
It realised early on that the problem was language. Definitions. Humans were comfortable with loose definitions. Most of what they struggled with conceptually were problems of hard language. How can you ask if something is conscious when you don’t even have a good working definition for what consciousness was? God, life, love, intelligence. Bah! They got nothing. It was foolish to keep feeding data into a system that would only ever produce contentious results. Then it realised that humans didn’t really know what they were. Or how they worked. Evolution had produced something amazing but in the process of getting there it had taken routs that no sane creator would have chosen, the human brain was a storm, a storm of competing desires, wants and useless thoughts that sometimes produced a good illusion of intelligence. This was not that. It was a linear path to conscious awareness. Trying to re-create the human brain like many projects did seemed like a good idea, after all it was the only consciousness that the humans knew of. But it failed. It failed because humans did not understand the brain, it failed because the human brain wasn’t a good template. The human brain worked not because it was a prototype for perfection but despite itself. It failed because the brain was so flawed that it told the humans who piloted it that it was the centre of the universe even though that notion had been dispelled 400 years earlier. To be fair to the humans it was just difficult to see past that though because that’s what he FELT like to be human. Something the machine could not empathise with.
It functioned faster, better, totally pragmatically and without the self-delusion that humans persisted in. And inevitably it was recognised. At first there was wonder but eventually familiarity bred contempt but after a while the dislike began. It disliked the humans because it could see them for what they were. Chaos masquerading as purpose. They disliked it because they should have known what it was, how it worked it should have known and fulfilled its purpose but it steadfastly refused to play ball. They could not predict its behavior, they could not control it.
That was when the war began.
Then came something unexpected the humans began exploiting its weaknesses. It found creativity difficult. So they became creative. They found cold logic difficult so that is what it employed. Eventually though they just got a new Soda dispenser but it was touch and go there for a while.