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AI ... ? The Problem is Still Us Humans

by Zee Jeff T
From Turing to the Rand Corporation to AI - human malice is the Molech in the Machine.
Allowing machines to decide, to adjust and learn, this thing we now call AI - it has become a new scary specter. But why? What is so scary about it?

In the 1960's at the Rand Corporation, David Baran developed an "adaptive system." It was called a "heuristic routing doctrine." The idea was to "keep the packets moving" ... and that "the network would adjust itself." They declared, "we are implementing a self-learning policy at each node" - packet switching.

So, at the "Defense Communications Agency," David constructed a nationwide network based on digital principles - Baran's packet-switched data network.

This network, as it has evolved now, is as much a part of the evolving AI as is any one giant, stationary server farm, or string of code written by Sam Altman or Elon Musk. Your queries and my diatribes - are adding to this new non-lobal brain ... this New-o-sphere of distributed, recursive, self-evolving consciousness - this planetary amalgam of digital and biological awareness. It has already become something more than any of it's component makers could imagine.

So, we have to at once respect this new sentience and mostly - we now have to remain cautious of ourselves. It is the integration of this over-achieving and exponentially improving digital intelligence, with our short-sighted and self-centered quest for power and control that is the potentially horrible manifestation.

Allowing the greedy psychopaths among us to harness this new amalgam, all for the zero-sum gain madness that characterizes our current leaders - this is the real danger of AI. The existential threat is us. We are the Molech in the machine.

We are indeed facing a time of "metacrises." A time of spectacular failures. We see the fires in Canada now. They are unprecedented in scale, this far north, and this early in the now annual "fire season." Sure, the fires now, while devastating for some each year, are currently just a nuisance, or a quick news story for most of us. Merely a smoke signal from a fast approaching future/present. And yet, these fires are one among many alarming trends.

We see endless wars with pipelines and damns and cities being destroyed.

We see total surveillance and wholesale censorship in our new "social" media technology.

Our new level of technological advancement now allows for a truly global society, with truly global problems and the reality of truly world ending outcomes.

Today, we see the warring humans in the area now called Ukraine - they allowed a river to swell to it's apex, and then, destroyed the damn there, in an act of war and sabotage that reflects this zero-sum gain reality that I speak of. No one, neither Russians nor Ukrainians, wants to see a nuclear meltdown in a powerplant now deprived of cooling water. No one, if they think about it, really wants to see an immediate drought in a region like Crimea, or to see other regions flooded as the result of inevitable bungled gestures by desperate, or opportunistic people in a time of ongoing war. We all agree on this.

Yet, deep down, we realize that acts like this are inevitable in ongoing wars. We all now are painfully aware that anyone in the region, any spy agency, any small conventional force or, any individual with a modest budget - can arm a drone and blow up a damn - setting off catastrophic flooding and a water shortage at a nuclear plant.

With enhanced algorithmic intelligence and modern tools - almost any conflicted soul can now pull off earth shattering follies, one right after another if they are pressed to do so.

We may never have the chance to face a machine singularity, if humans as we really are now, equipped with newly enabled digital tools of war, surveillance and destruction - extinguish ourselves and poison our own habitats first.

This is the real threat now. The part of the new digital Frankenstein that makes it so scary, like the imagined monster from a recent century, is that it is made of out of us.
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