Don’t be an Optimist

When speaking of the future of humanity and our inevitable co-existence with advance artificial intelligence and robotics, most AI enthusiasts have the optimistic view that somehow humans are capable of developing greater-than-human intelligence. Moreover, it is of a greater belief that despite idiosyncratic cultural and social values, everyone will be welcoming of the singularity, an hypothetical future in which superintelligent machines will outgrow their human counterpart at an exponential rate, becoming nearly uncontrollable. It is admirable to have such a great faith in machines. More admirable is the belief that humans possess the knowledge and wisdom needed to develop machines that would subsequently create superintelligent machines, granting us god-like powers.

However, in all our wisdom and understanding, we must ask ourselves: is there a necessity for such technological superpower? Are humanity’s self-generated problems of the world so wicked that we need superintelligent machines to solve them? Should we simply ignore the values of those that appreciates the essence of life so much so that their only desire is to live in one accord with the universe as its creators intended? How long shall the eastern world, its people’s dreams and desires, their culture, and most importantly their future, live in the shadows of the western world?

Here in America, across Europe, and other developed nations, technological infrastructures are so advanced that the singularity seems nearly inevitable. Meanwhile, sub-saharan Africa and other developing nations are so far behind technologically, that it would take decades for them to possess a fraction of the infrastructure of these developed countries. So why then does the ideals of this utopic future seems to be inclusive of every society? When in reality it is only programmed to benefit nations that already possess the infrastructure upon which a singularity can be built. Not only will this hypothetical future AI enthusiast are excited about benefit only a select few, it will inevitably be built at the expense of others.