AI Plus

If you’ve read much Asimov, you know he was way out ahead of the pack on the implications of AI for human society. Read the Caves of Steel series or the short story collection I, Robot. He foresaw a “C/Fe” culture that would have problems, sure, but would benefit everyone.

He was more optimistic than the creators of Battlestar Galactica or the Terminator franchise.

Star Trek gave us commander Data, who inexplicably wanted to be human, and was a tremendous asset to his biological team mates.

Now me, when I see smart robots, I immediately go to “countermeasures” because I know it won’t be “AI-by-itself,” a wide-eyed new consciousness who embraces the common good in a way that still preserves individual freedom. No, it’s gonna be “AI-plus.”

Right now AI is created by governments and big business; super-entities that often result in depressing history. And the AI they create will be “AI + Capitalism” or some kind of “AI + militarism” or “AI + Law Enforcement.” And, while humans treat other humans in rotten ways, at least human attention wanders, and we have to sleep sometime. Humans have the ability, if not always the proclivity, to have empathy with other humans.