From How We Get to Next:
If, many decades from now, some form of rogue artificial intelligence does manage to follow the playbook of a thousand science-fiction narratives and enslave the human race, I suspect the last remaining historians will look back to an obscure computer science experiment conducted at the turn of this century as an augur of the revolution to come. The experiment was the brainchild of two researchers at the University of Sussex named Jon Bird and Paul Layzell, and it involved a programming technique known as “evolutionary” software that uses a kind of simulated version of natural selection to engineer and optimize solutions to a design problem.
If Darwinism produces intelligence, why aren’t Boltzmann brains floating around already?
Whether you find Bostrom’s argument convincing or not, one fact is undeniable. The AI-as-existential-threat camp is growing in number and in influence, including many minds residing on the upper slopes of Mount Einstein: Bill Gates, Stephen Hawking, Elon Musk. In a way, we are at a point equivalent to where the global warming debate was in the late 1980s: a small group of scientists and researchers and public intellectuals extrapolating out from current trends and predicting a major crisis looming several generations down the line.
Yes, but where is the global warming debate now? How about, NOAA refuses US Congress request for climate records. Many believe it’s because the allegations of scandals around the data would be substantiated.
Someone should send all those prophet costumes to the dry cleaners, now that the Weekend Special is upon us.
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