In this edition, we touch on our first 20 questions Dr. Twyman thinks people might ask; that we will pretend are what we are being inundated with, even though we haven’t actually gone public yet, at the time of recording…
Our first question:
How would you describe The Technocracy, in a few words?
An AI Driven News Brief podcast with a Snarky Tone.
Originally, the thinking around AI driven news started as a way of providing a three-to-five minute brief each morning to the CEO of the AGI Laboratory, and it just sort of grew from there, like a virus…
What is The Technocracy’s relationship to other Futurist organizations?
We are funded by The Foundation and Artificial General Intelligence Inc., which are also funding Gray Scott as well as Nikola Danaylov with Singularity.FM and Transhumanity.net as part of a campaign to build the Futurist community.
What role is there for society, politics, economics, etc. in a Technocratic world?
As an AI driven news program targeted toward the news as it relates to the evolution of our society, we care in as much as those factors affect our ability to achieve Technological Singularity. Anything outside of that is just outside the scope of our show.
Do you think there will be a Technological Singularity? If so, when?
Yes, certainly, but the timing is hard to predict. That said, if we see the Singularity Index spike at a time when other indices are not spiking to the same degree, then we may have good reason to believe that such an event is imminent.
Depending on the run of the spike and other statistical analysis we should be able to make more educated guesses. Clearly, the more data we have, the better the analysis. Currently, while rising rapidly, the curve is not yet rising fast enough to suggest an imminent spike; so a Singularity-type event is almost certainly some years away.
What is a Technological Singularity?
The ‘Technological Singularity’ is the hypothesized point at which Machine Intelligence outpaces humanity’s own development or ability to understand technological and societal change. It is the point at which humans cease to meaningfully control “their” societies.
People say Blockchain technology is important. Can you explain why?
Blockchain technology is important, as it has the potential to remake society’s entire financial structure, remake centuries of human thinking regarding finance, and lowering any government’s ability to manage their own economy. We may reasonably expect that this would reduce state control over people’s money, increasing personal freedom but also potentially destabilizing governments.
It is important to understand that Blockchain tech is not about money, so much as it is about decentralization more broadly. In other words, it enables people to take any function which once would have been handled by a centralized authority (such as record keeping of any type, e.g. banking, contracts, lawmaking) and spread it out over a dynamic network which cannot be so easily owned, manipulated, or undermined.
What is (Technological) “Disruption”?
In short, Technological Disruption is when new or advancing technology disrupts the traditional modes of operation across any market or society, due to it making new ways of doing things possible. Over the last seventy years or so we have seen massive societal and institutional disruption from computers, communications technologies, pharmaceuticals, etc. For example, the impending advent of self-driving cars will necessarily disrupt every system and institution that relies upon human drivers to have any meaningful place in our society (such as the DMV, or taxi drivers).
What top five transformative technologies do you expect in the next five years?
In terms of AI, self-driving cars appear to be on the cusp of going big. VR and AR technologies like HoloLens and Magic Leap will be big, and Biotech, in terms of some major advancements in longevity. These, as well as aerospace technology, really look to be the big transformative technologies over the next 5 years.
Are robots going to take my job? Should I care?
Yes, they are. No, you shouldn’t. Embrace your new robot overlords.
Do you have anything to do with the Technocracy movement from the 1930s?
No, not at all. Aside from recognizing the transformative power of technology, there is no connection whatsoever between our show and these old ideas. For us, the name “Technocracy” is about using science and technology to govern our own actions by informing us what is really important and removing human biases from that analysis.
Why does Elon Musk believe that we live in a computer simulation?
Does he? We have no idea… maybe ask him? It’s not important to us, as long as he keeps building rockets…
Why is Artificial Intelligence important? Should I be worried about it?
From our standpoint; Sapient and sentient life are the most important thing in the universe. True Artificial General Intelligence (AGI) would (by definition) be comparable to natural sapience, and so would have comparable importance. AGI may be our best (or even only) hope for getting sapient/sentient life off this planet before any serious risk of global extinction rears its head.
AI is thus the lowest bar to preserve sapient and sentient intelligence in an empty universe, as per the IVA ethical model we generally subscribe to.
And no, you should not be worried about it. You should embrace it.
Is Virtual Reality as important as Artificial Intelligence? Why / Why Not?
Virtual Reality (VR) is not as important for reasons similar to those discussed above. VR is incrementally important to society. AGI is taking it to a whole new level or is an order of magnitude change.
How is Artificial General Intelligence (AGI) different from old-fashioned AI?
AGI is real AI, and “old-fashioned AI” or Narrow AI is not really AI at all; just fancy algorithms doing some kind of task within strict parameters. It’s like comparing a chess computer to Ultron.
Will Artificial Intelligences be conscious?
If it is ‘real’ AGI then yes, it will certainly be conscious, but this of course goes to the whole discussion of what is consciousness, and what is AI. If we do get real AI or AGI, then use of the term “artificial” becomes somewhat dubious. After all, intelligence is intelligence.
The deeper question of whether a “full-blown” AI will be conscious naturally raises complex questions, such as what consciousness is, and whether it is even possible for any organism with behavioral complexity at the human level or greater could possibly be non-conscious in any meaningful sense.
Should we give AI human rights, animal rights, or something similar?
Absolutely, yes, if you don’t want to be ground under the jack boot of the Cylon Centurions! In all seriousness however, this is an issue which we recommend be discussed properly across society as a whole.
What groups and/or websites do you recommend checking out?
Our sponsors would be a good start… thank you Amon for forcing me into a shameless plug: www.ArtificialGeneralIntelligenceInc.com / http://Transhumanity.net
Nikola Danaylov at Singularity.FM, & Gray Scott (both sponsored by the AGI Inc.)
Many people are worried about global crises – How could technology help?
That depends upon the crises in question, e.g. drought in Africa, or “obesity epidemics” in the developed West. Global Crises are very nebulous things.
To work toward positive change and problem-solving, start by being good to your neighbors. Help those that need help and be a good person. Then learn; learn to use technology to help others. If we all did that, most of our problems as a society may well go away, or at least become altogether more manageable.
Lastly, thanks for listening to our FAQ’s on “The Technocracy”.
And a special thanks to our Sponsors: Artificial General Intelligence, A.K.A AGI Laboratory, and The Foundation and our other sponsors.
David J Kelley
Content Production and Executive Producer
Artificial General Intelligence Laboratory
Systems Engineer Team
David J Kelley
David J Kelley