Maybe Elon has a point…

While I’m a big admirer of Elon Musk and all he’s been able to accomplish, I’ve always been a bit skeptical about his alarmist rhetoric regarding Artificial Intelligence’s threat to humanity, seeing it more as a means for him to groom future volunteers for a one-way ticket to a Mars colony.

Not a bad strategy, mind you.

But with each cool but creepy new video from Boston Dynamics that hits the web and goes viral, I grow more and more less skeptical of Elon’s warnings…


Creepy, right?

But still… it’s way cool, too.

Oh, and while we’re on the topic of the end of humanity, here’s a cut regarding how technology is altering our perception of reality from a recent terrifying article from Buzzfeed:

“Alarmism can be good — you should be alarmist about this stuff,” [Aviv] Ovadya said one January afternoon before calmly outlining a deeply unsettling projection about the next two decades of fake news, artificial intelligence–assisted misinformation campaigns, and propaganda. “We are so screwed it’s beyond what most of us can imagine,” he said. “We were utterly screwed a year and a half ago and we’re even more screwed now. And depending how far you look into the future it just gets worse.”

That future, according to Ovadya, will arrive with a slew of slick, easy-to-use, and eventually seamless technological tools for manipulating perception and falsifying reality, for which terms have already been coined — “reality apathy,” “automated laser phishing,” and “human puppets.”


We’re screwed.

But still… it’s kinda cool, too.



18 thoughts on “Maybe Elon has a point…”

  1. The biggest problem about AI is that we will all outsource our brains to machines.

    Look at the simplest example. We have Uber taxi drivers who drive (in India) with their eyeballs and brains plastered to Google Maps, instead of learning the roads.

  2. Did anybody read Isaac Asimov’s robot books, like I Robot? I recall the 3 laws:
    A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.
    A robot must obey the orders given it by human beings except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.
    A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Laws
    There is some wiggle room in there… as humans get lazier and less educated, robots will have to take us under their wing to protect us….

      • I think I’d rather take my chances with corrupt humans than aware AI… the devil you know and all that. So, re: cryptofascist humans, does that mean, MC, you support, as discussed in yesterday’s Senate Intel Oversight hearing, the government’s continuing demand that tech companies leave them/FBI back doors?

          • I remember us discussing this back when the FBI wanted access to the San Bernardino killer’s mobile phone but Apple wouldn’t give it up. I guess the question remains: Who do we trust more, our government or the cryptofascists, as you call them. I haven’t yet come up with a satisfying answer.

          • Yes, the San Bernardino phone is a good example of the long term complexity.

            My big problem in the short term is that cryptofascists already dominate *our* government at the Fed level (and in many states).

          • I think we’ve been operating off of different definitions. I was assuming your reference to “cryptofascists” were in regard to our governments policy toward monitoring its citizens (I’m a former cryptologist). But I just searched the term and it comes up as a being a term for being a secret fascist or secretly supporting them. However, on second thought, based on our conversations, I would assume you could work with either usage and your regard for either would be just or nearly as negative.

  3. I’ll be that one crazy old lady living like Will Smith’s character in “I Robot” – nothing in my house will be automated, there won’t be a single piece of robotic machinery helping me do squat. I grew up watching sci-fi horror movies in the late 70’s…the movie “Demon Seed” ( ended any and all future excitement I might have had concerning AI in any shape or fashion beyond my laptop and “smart” phone, lol.

  4. Our brain has unlimited abilities, but not much people contribute to the development of this direction. The creation of artificial intelligence can be useful in some areas, but we must not forget about our own development.

    • Very true. Unfortunately, our ability to develop and evolve is excrutiatingly slow, especially when compared to the ability AI will grow to have. It seems our only choice for maintaining a balance or even our survival for that matter is for us to develop a way to merge our brain capacity with that of AIs. Of course, Elon Musk has a startup for such an endeavor called Neuralink.


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