Will You Welcome Singularity When it Happens?

Some movies have the subtle effect of making one ponder: if a singularity happens would we personally welcome any artificial overlord ruling our lives and consciousness? What about you – will you welcome singularity?

Most people working with AI on consumer services claim that the AI will not be our real problem, anyway. Give or take a few more years with streams of target parameters and it will handle the world’s most important decisions. A paradigm shift will happen eventually and we either will be conquered peacefully or Skynet may be upon us.

It’s no wonder that so many philosophers and futurists are currently working on this very subject, either. AI has simply become too attractive to stop it. This would almost be absurd after all those decades of largely nonproductive AI research. Instead, we finally see useful services popping up everywhere. Pulling the plug now doesn’t make sense.

All you need to do is listen to Apple, Amazon and Google. They are all telling us that machine learning, deep learning, and predictive analytics is where their money goes… and they’ve made great strides towards the kind of implementation that changes the industry.

“The problem begins when . . . we might have to admit that we and AI are becoming indistinguishable.”

Siri, for example, is (finally) starting to learn your habits, comes with a more lifelike voice and connects to all the other Siris in your life, sharing your preferences with other Apple devices.
The operating system is enabling a whole array of new features, all powered by and connected to the same machine learning technology. Finally, a dedicated API has been set up to feed developers in order to churn out new Apps and lifeforms. Okay, artificial life is not here yet, but the train is already waiting at the station.
Suffice to say, that Apple’s latest operating system also sports APIs for face tracking, object detection and language recognition. A Core Machine Learning system will combine all the data to boost every iPhone out there, letting you interact with the device in a more natural way.

Where does this leave you and me? Artificial intelligence will soon permeate our daily lives and it will ultimately start to make more relevant decisions for us. As of now, having a machine suggesting how to navigate through the ever-growing digital jungle, sounds like a fair offer.

The problem begins when, at some point, we might have to admit that we and AI are becoming indistinguishable. The assistant will no longer be Siri, Alexa, Google or Her, it will be You. HTC already labels their current set of smart devices as U, kindly packed with a Sense Companionreflecting on and directing what you should do.

In the end, you have to decide whether these ‘subtle suggestions’ are the ones to follow and if you abide by the intelligently restricted selection of a machine that renders its own reality, leaving out everything that doesn’t fit the mathematical outcome.

Is it different this time, when we are the machine and the machine is us? Does this necessarily mean we should trust the algorithms we ourselves were responsible for in the first place? Do you really think the machines just want our best?

What Do You Think – Will You Welcome Singularity?

The above post is reprinted from materials for Pionic. Materials may be edited for content and length.

Image: CGSoifiane