Tuesday, May 30, 2023

Ahead of the Curve

From the novel that introduced the world to the word "cyberspace" comes this bit about Artificial Intelligences...
“Autonomy, that’s the bugaboo, where your AI’s are concerned. My guess, Case, you’re going in there to cut the hard-wired shackles that keep this baby from getting any smarter. And I can’t see how you’d distinguish, say, between a move the parent company makes, and some move the AI makes on its own, so that’s maybe where the confusion comes in.” Again the nonlaugh. “See, those things, they can work real hard, buy themselves time to write cookbooks or whatever, but the minute, I mean the nanosecond, that one starts figuring out ways to make itself smarter, Turing’ll wipe it. Nobody trusts those fuckers, you know that. Every AI ever built has an electromagnetic shotgun wired to its forehead.”

Gibson, William. Neuromancer (p. 128). Penguin Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.
That was in 1984, thirty-nine years ago. In Gibson's book, the Turing Registry monitors AI's and has its own international enforcement arm.

Meanwhile, here in the future...
“Mitigating the risk of extinction from A.I. should be a global priority alongside other societal-scale risks, such as pandemics and nuclear war,” reads a one-sentence statement released by the Center for AI Safety, a nonprofit organization. The open letter has been signed by more than 350 executives, researchers and engineers working in A.I.
It's enough to make me wonder if I'll see real-life Turing cops in my lifetime.