Are we becoming the AI we should be afraid of?

This is a re-post of the second part of 9 Minds for the Future, positing “synthesizing horizon-mindedness” as the locus driving the expansion and success of our species.

Recently, John Battelle posted an essay asking: Is AI The Worst Mistake In Human History?

“One of the most intriguing public discussions to emerge over the past year is humanity’s wrestling match with the threat and promise of artificial intelligence. AI has long lurked in our collective consciousness — negatively so, if we’re to take Hollywood movie plots as our guide — but its recent and very real advances are driving critical conversations about the future not only of our economy, but of humanity’s very existence.

In May 2014, the world received a wakeup call from famed physicist Stephen Hawking. Together with three respected AI researchers, the world’s most renowned scientist warned that the commercially-driven creation of intelligent machines could be “potentially our worst mistake in history.” Comparing the impact of AI on humanity to the arrival of “a superior alien species,” Hawking and his co-authors found humanity’s current state of preparedness deeply wanting. “Although we are facing potentially the best or worst thing ever to happen to humanity,” they wrote, “little serious research is devoted to these issues outside small nonprofit institutes.” ”

The fundamental question is asked by Max Tegmark, a founder of the Future of Life Institute:

“It’s a race between the growing power of the technology, and the growing wisdom we need to manage it…Right now, almost all the resources tend to go into growing the power of the tech.” Who determines what is “good”? We are just now grappling with the very real possibility that we might create a force more powerful than ourselves. Now is the time to ask ourselves — how do we get ready?

I read this shortly reading about the Brexit Leave campaign; post-referendum. The “leaders” are backpedaling. They opened Pandora’s box. They’ve unleashed the dragon. But had NO plan. As a species we do this regularly. We avoid loss by avoiding thinking about it until the threat is upon us. We prevaricate. We fiddle, as Rome burns.

What is our plan?

And for me:

> Are we becoming the AI we should be afraid of?

> Is Horizon Mind and Horizon Intelligence …both singularly personal and the collective intelligence of our species?

David Huer


This is a concept for how Horizon Intelligence develops . . .


When our children are born, they look out upon a strange and scary place.

All thinking is internal . . .

david huer-reframing space-update-001crop

The questing mind moves out from that internal space

Learning to involve sensory feedback: a mother’s breast milk, being singed, standing and falling, toy-making and using and breaking. Shitting and stinking, and eating boogers, and saying “No!”.

A sensory (feeling-seeing-scenting-tasting-thinking) feedback loop . . .

david huer-reframing space-update-002crop

But then, the questing human mind extends that feedback loop.

And here are the interesting questions . . .

Does the questing mind extend that feedback beyond others (mum, dad, sibling, grandma, the family dog) to wider horizons? Seeking to frame the horizon as a future that can be re-framed, changed, to whatever we want it to be;

This “horizon re-framing mind” — this Horizon Intelligence–perhaps it is the vista-seeking mind that makes our species gain the bigger perspective?

 

david huer-reframing space-update-003crop

And perhaps, it is Horizon Intelligence that synthesizes all of the other intelligences into one? Making the sum of the parts that which makes us aware? That makes us planners and doers of our own destiny? [see: 9 Minds… for the proposed list]

 

david huer-reframing space-update-004crop

And if so, is it this intrinsic quality of thinking-being-contemplating-doingness that Information Technology kills? The “thrumming guitar pluck”, the quiet humming golden thread–that IT muffles and snuffs out?  The missing quality that we cannot replicate?

david huer-reframing space-update-005crop

Are we losing our Horizon Intelligence?

And if we are, are we becoming the Artificial Intelligence we should be afraid of?

— David Huer



Images:
All other images and artwork: © 2015 David Huer. Photo is of Sombrio Beach on the west coast of Vancouver Island.

Blue Day Bio

Daniel Tammet’s Born on a Blue Day is remarkably apt for me.

When thinking about something interesting, I become the questions . . .

Like Mr. Tammet, I see numbers as shapes, colours and textures and solve complex challenges by thinking them through.

I was thinking about spatial geometry/maths and patterns by age 3, and corrected my father on a tax math problem at age 5, but this was unwise, and learned to hide my skills, escaping into thought experiments, developing a terrible shyness and severe stutter at the same time. Complex problems were fun but I could not relate them to anything being taught in grade school , and could not sufficiently explain; repeatedly failing traditional arithmetic, maths and science testing, and physed practices – anything involving procedural memory.

But a complex cloud problem? Easy. Before industrial design school, I went back to adult high school to refresh my skills. In physics class, my test marks were not good, but the teacher (PhD physics) locked my paper on nuclear equations in the school safe; and in chemistry class, I figured out an unusual way to solve a hydrolysis problem, scoring 97% on the paper. In machine shop class, I created an “impossible to make” 7-sided part using what I call “anticipated angular liquid permutations ” [My terms are “Globular Liquid Cloudspace Thinking“ (“cloudspace” or “cloud” or “globular” or “liquid” — using this decades before “cloud” or “liquid computing” became fashionable terms) but you could call it “Cognitive CNC” or “Fluid Web Linkages”].

Fluid Web Linkages
See: http://davehuer.com/solving-wicked-problems/

Thomas A. Metzinger‘s “nemocentric” theory (‘the ‘view from nowhere’) is the best analog for my processing, thus far; although it ought to be extended to ”the view from everywhere and nowhere”. In large measure, my day is similar to the view of Inuit sculptors who see their work to be freeing an animal (or object or being) already inside the soapstone.

The animal must know how far it must go to allow itself to become free, and simultaneously must be aware of the uncut stone brushing against its skin. My term for the awareness of this membrane is ‘locating “the place of both sensing and noticing” ‘– “a glowing membrane of liquid data points” that is constantly in flux. My description of where I imaginatively solve problems as has evolved from:

  • ‘the inside of a dyson sphere’ (or particle accelerator) (late 1980’s), to …
  • nested inside a neural parliament > nested inside a landscape’ (early 1990s), to …
  • ‘a multi-nested set of interfluid bright soft electric blue and pale yellow network webs spanning data particle fog networks’ (2014).

When evaluating, I’m simultaneously testing a combination of experiments  against an incredibly dense meaning library: the blue is the primary bus and the yellow are the feeder nets. To learn webcoding, I had to go further, inventing “cloudboxing” to locate webcode to study and learn exactly what it is: (see Project #5: http://davehuer.com/solving-wicked-problems/). This (for me) solves an ancient locationing problem: where to locate procedural challenges and processes to study them. This is different from the ‘”fluid web linkage” cloud challenges I usually think about. Together they combine to produce “flow challenges” – the cloudflow of fluid thinking and the cloudboxed stopping off places of reflection; the calm eddies along the shore.

david huer flow challenges

 

Learning to use River Eyes

David paddling Pillow Rock on the Upper Gauley

David paddling Pillow Rock on the Upper Gauley

We all do this to varying degrees. And in this, we may have what Mihály Csíkszentmihályi  calls “flow” – in whitewater kayaking, what paddlers call “river eyes”. We become the questions, and the answers, and the clues, and the discarded ideas. We become the torrent and the freshet; the ice floes and the lazy placid days; the hydraulics and the logjams and the storks hunting in the shallows. A paddling accident, I believe, happens when we distinguish ourselves as distinct from the river. When we re-tune to the river, accept our place in the ecosystem,, we become the experience.

Paddling the Upper Gauley’s Class V’s became for me a perfect day, with Pillow Rock rapid/Room of Doom being the Ah-ha, high-point experience. Only years’ later did I come to know that every second of that day was Ah-ha, too. Iron Ring. Sweet’s Falls…The day, a perfect moment.

Think about this when studying problems.

We humans best solve problems when we become the challenge to comprehend the challenge.

On that day, I became the river.

When we take time to become the dots, we connect the dots.

We become the flow.

With flow perspective, where might you go?


Corporate Image: Karma by Jackson Kayaks: http://jacksonkayak.com/blog/kayak/karma/

9 Minds for the Future

5-minds-for-the-future2Howard Gardner misses 4 mindful intelligences when he talks about the 5 Minds for the Future that he believes are “the specific cognitive abilities that will be sought and cultivated by leaders in the years ahead”.

Mr. Gardner’s list:

The Disciplinary Mind (DM): the mastery of major schools of thought, including science, mathematics, and history, and of at least one professional craft.

The Synthesizing Mind (SM): the ability to integrate ideas from different disciplines or spheres into a coherent whole and to communicate that integration to others.

The Creating Mind (CM): the capacity to uncover and clarify new problems, questions, and phenomena.

The Respectful Mind (RM): awareness of and appreciation for differences among human beings and human groups.

The Ethical Mind (EM): fulfillment of one’s responsibilities as a worker and as a citizen.

Los_Angeles_Pollution-cropped

Photo by DAVID ILIFF. License: CC-BY-SA 3.0

But this is a scientific model of the world: an idealized model of a civilized world of thinkers atop the hierarchy of civilization. It is not the world we live in. Not the world our children face:

A warming world, with melting ice caps, ice-free polar seas, and an interrupted tropic-arctic ocean heat conveyor belt. A world of sea-level rise, and drowned cities, and desperate populations. A world of rising starvation and denuded oceans. And refugees and internment camps. This is the world that every one of our grandchildren face. A world needing additional forms of Mindfulness if we are to succeed in restoring the biosphere.  Here are four to add to the mix:

KanjisenkiThe Warrior Mind (WM): combining strategic, tactical and artistic sensibilities. Miyamoto Musashi is the archetype. And my personal example is a US Marine. A man whose best friend died on the battlefield. A man who honoured that friend by not forgetting, and instead helping to set up a foundation for wounded warriors in his memory. This is a mind that frames its actions with honour. We need this mind.

The Profiting Mind (PM): looking for ways to earn profit in all its forms (financial, triple bottom line, personal). We need minds like this, too. To re-frame capitalism so it works for every species that inhabits the Earth.

The Earth Mind (EaM):  awareness of and appreciation for differences among different species of the earth, human and non-human, and the interrelatedness of all species in the biosphere we call home. We need this mind, too. Because this mind recognizes that all of us are one connected system that is failing because we have brought the ecosystem out of balance.

And the Horizon Mind (HM): The capacity to not just imagine the future, but to re-frame that future to make it better, and figure out the way from here to there. We need this mind to see where we could go, and to cut away every old way of thinking that got us into the hole we are now.


At times, I wonder if a Horizon Mind–and Horizon Intelligence–synthesizes all of the others? And whether Horizon Intelligence is both singularly personal and the collective intelligence of our species?

And whether Horizon Intelligence develops like this . . .?


When our children are born, they look out upon a strange and scary place.

All thinking is internal . . .

david huer-reframing space-update-001crop

The questing mind moves out from that internal space

Learning to involve sensory feedback: a mother’s breast milk, being singed, standing and falling, toy-making and using and breaking. Shitting and stinking, and eating boogers, and saying “No!”.

A sensory (feeling-seeing-scenting-tasting-thinking) feedback loop . . .

david huer-reframing space-update-002crop

But then, the questing human mind extends that feedback loop.

And here are the interesting questions . . .

Does the questing mind extend that feedback beyond others (mum, dad, sibling, grandma, the family dog) to wider horizons? Seeking to frame the horizon as a future that can be re-framed, changed, to whatever we want it to be;

This “horizon re-framing mind” — this Horizon Intelligence–perhaps it is the vista-seeking mind that makes our species gain the bigger perspective?

 

david huer-reframing space-update-003crop

And perhaps, it is Horizon Intelligence that synthesizes all of the other intelligences into one? Making the sum of the parts that which makes us aware? That makes us planners and doers of our own destiny?

 

david huer-reframing space-update-004crop

And if so, is it this intrinsic quality of thinking-being-contemplating-doingness that Information Technology kills? The “thrumming guitar pluck”, the quiet humming golden thread–that IT muffles and snuffs out?  The missing quality that we cannot replicate?

david huer-reframing space-update-005crop

Are we losing our Horizon Intelligence?

And if we are, are we becoming the Artificial Intelligence we should be afraid of?

— David Huer



Images:

5 Minds for the Future: Book Cover via Amazon Books:
Calligraphy by Miyamoto Musashi. Public Domain: Mr. Granger
Los_Angeles_Pollution: Photo by DAVID ILIFF. License: CC-BY-SA 3.0
All other images and artwork: © 2015 David Huer. Photo is of Sombrio Beach on the west coast of Vancouver Island.