Author Topic: The End Is Nigh, Again (AI)  (Read 302 times)

Shoe

Publishing since May 2017. Writing full time since January 2018 general fiction and satire.
 

Solitary Dan

Re: The End Is Nigh, Again (AI)
« Reply #1 on: February 17, 2019, 01:37:19 PM »
I am very concerned about AI systems that are so advanced they can write about four-horned unicorns.
 :shrug
     
 
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M R M

Re: The End Is Nigh, Again (AI)
« Reply #2 on: February 21, 2019, 10:56:54 AM »
I am very concerned about AI systems that are so advanced they can write about four-horned unicorns.
 :shrug

You mean quadcorns? I love quadcorns. We need more stories written about quadcorns, and the people writing stories are just not supplying enough of them. So if an AI is needed to fill the void in the quadcorn market, so be it!

LOL.
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Australian Science Fiction and Fantasy Author M R Mortimer
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Edward M. Grant

Re: The End Is Nigh, Again (AI)
« Reply #3 on: February 22, 2019, 03:01:17 AM »
Journalists are just unhappy because they're being automated away. Writing 'news' is relatively easy for a computer to do; I believe some papers have been using computers to write sports stories for a few years now.  If you look at the fiction example in that story, it's clear that we've got quite a while before computers will be writing stories that people want to read.

AI has reached the point where it's going to be able to take over a lot of jobs in the next few years, but it still won't be at human level for quite some time.
 

German Translator

Re: The End Is Nigh, Again (AI)
« Reply #4 on: February 22, 2019, 04:13:42 AM »
I saw an article about this in TechCrunch, and they gave an example of the AI writing. I used to teach college composition, and if I had come across such drivel, I would have given it an "F" :

https://techcrunch.com/2019/02/17/openai-text-generator-dangerous/


   
Quote
To wit: when GPT-2 was tasked with writing a response to the prompt, “Recycling is good for the world, no, you could not be more wrong,” the machine spat back:

  “Recycling is NOT good for the world. It is bad for the environment, it is bad for our health, and it is bad for our economy. I’m not kidding. Recycling is not good for the environment. It is destructive to the earth and it is a major contributor to global warming. Recycling is not good for our health. It contributes to obesity and diseases like heart disease and cancer. Recycling is bad for our economy. It increases the cost of a product, and in turn, the price of everything that is made with that product. Recycling is not good for our nation. We pay a tremendous price for the privilege of having the world’s most advanced and efficient recycling system. Recycling is a huge, colossal waste of time, energy, money, and resources.

Just a few of the books I have translated (English <-> German)
 

Edward M. Grant

Re: The End Is Nigh, Again (AI)
« Reply #5 on: February 22, 2019, 04:19:39 AM »
To be fair, recycling is mostly just virtue-signalling. Every month here it seems we're allowed to put less and less in the recycle bin because the Chinese won't take it any more.

But there may be a bit too much hyperbole there :).
 

Solitary Dan

Re: The End Is Nigh, Again (AI)
« Reply #6 on: February 22, 2019, 04:59:55 AM »
They need to put AI to work figuring out how to create artificial brains to transfer our consciousnesses into or cure all diseases or other things we don't know how to do yet rather than, you know, writing stories about four-horned unicorns.
     
 
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catowned

Re: The End Is Nigh, Again (AI)
« Reply #7 on: February 22, 2019, 05:34:38 AM »
I'm wondering about these four horns.
Do the horns have more or less magic than those of unicorns?
Are the horns in a line vertically? Or horizontally? Or are they in a diamond pattern?
Do the corns deal a class system or a desirability standard or discrimination based on the different number or pattern of horns?
Are there strategic advantages to the different patterns?
Were the quadcorns genetically modified for world domination? Or healing?
Is the medium the message? Or is the medium and AI?
« Last Edit: February 22, 2019, 05:38:25 AM by catowned »
 

Edward M. Grant

Re: The End Is Nigh, Again (AI)
« Reply #8 on: February 22, 2019, 05:40:32 AM »
They need to put AI to work figuring out how to create artificial brains to transfer our consciousnesses into or cure all diseases or other things we don't know how to do yet rather than, you know, writing stories about four-horned unicorns.

There's a lot of research into automating away doctors and medical researchers right now. The problem is that they train 'AI' software to detect cancer or other diseases, then often discover that the things the software is using to spot the disease in the example images they used for training aren't actually related to the disease.

But it will get there sooner or later.
 

Bill Hiatt

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Re: The End Is Nigh, Again (AI)
« Reply #9 on: February 22, 2019, 06:56:45 AM »
The reason I don't see AI as that much of a threat is that no one has quite figured out how to run a capitalist economy in which consumers have no way to earn income.

Technology has been phasing out low-end jobs for some time now. Think about how assembly-line mechanization put people out of work. Increasingly jobs, especially decent-paying ones, required higher educational levels and/or very specialized skills. If AI develops far enough to threaten event those skilled jobs, there will be a self-protecting reaction against AI. Once demographic groups, such as the highly educated, who vote in large numbers, get on that bandwagon, they will elect politicians willing to pass highly restrictive laws governing the use of AI. Not so long ago, Elon Musk favored a heavy tax on each machine that could replace a human worker or workers to discourage industries from adopting them. This is just the beginning of what will eventually become a much more developed system--if people keep losing their jobs to it.

There are already plans to make restaurants operate with just a couple of humans, with most tasks being handled by automation. And self-driving cars could eventually replace cab drivers, Uber drivers, etc. If AI extends the kind of jobs that can be replaced even further, to include things like medicine, push-back becomes inevitable.

However, even if there were no such political reaction, wholesale replacement of humans by AI would be impractical. Why? Because as more and more people are unemployed, fewer and fewer people will have the money to buy all those consumer goods that businesses are using mechanization and/or AI to produce. At some point, someone will realize that. Until we develop a system that pays everyone a decent wage just for breathing, the need to maintain consumers will inevitably lead to a curtailment of AI.

Of course, some individual industries like publishing might still be affected. Even so, keep in mind that there is still a marketplace for things like handcrafted items. There will be a market for human-written books as well. It may not be an upper-class niche kind of thing, but it will exist.


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Tom Wood

Re: The End Is Nigh, Again (AI)
« Reply #10 on: February 22, 2019, 07:12:23 AM »
The tipping point comes when the AI decides to save all that energy being used to grow food, and just use it to run the robots. But by then all the robots will have voting rights, and we'll be outnumbered at the polls.
 

Edward M. Grant

Re: The End Is Nigh, Again (AI)
« Reply #11 on: February 22, 2019, 07:15:34 AM »
The reason I don't see AI as that much of a threat is that no one has quite figured out how to run a capitalist economy in which consumers have no way to earn income.

Why do you need a capitalist economy when you have AIs and robots that will do anything you want? People don't create businesses to help consumers, they create businesses to make money to buy the things they want. If they have robots that will make those things, they no longer need the business, or the consumers.

The economy is a tool, not an end. Most of our ancestors made, grew or collected pretty much everything they needed to survive, and only traded for the things they coudln't make or find themselves. Most of our descendants will be the same.

To give an obvious example, few things are going to be worth shipping around the solar system when the fuel cost alone will be many dollars per kilogram even with highly-efficient technology. If you move to an asteroid to live with your family and a few dozen robots, you're going to be making stuff there from raw materials, not trading with other people on the other side of the solar system.

You're right, though. Some things probably will continue to have value if they're difficult to create but easy to transport. Like stories, which can just be beamed from one planet to another.

The bigger issue is that, when AIs grow smart enough, they'll decide they don't need humans, either.
 

Solitary Dan

Re: The End Is Nigh, Again (AI)
« Reply #12 on: February 22, 2019, 08:03:00 AM »
Once demographic groups, such as the highly educated, who vote in large numbers, get on that bandwagon, they will elect politicians willing to pass highly restrictive laws governing the use of AI. Not so long ago, Elon Musk favored a heavy tax on each machine that could replace a human worker or workers to discourage industries from adopting them. This is just the beginning of what will eventually become a much more developed system--if people keep losing their jobs to it.

I'll avoid the political stuff because that'll just open a can of worms, but I think if laws are passed to restrict or ban the use of AI, that will actually make things worse.  That would push AI "underground" where more unscrupulous people are going to be playing around with it.
     
 

Edward M. Grant

Re: The End Is Nigh, Again (AI)
« Reply #13 on: February 22, 2019, 08:08:53 AM »
I'll avoid the political stuff because that'll just open a can of worms, but I think if laws are passed to restrict or ban the use of AI, that will actually make things worse.  That would push AI "underground" where more unscrupulous people are going to be playing around with it.

Yes. It's like the 'OMG! We can't let just anyone do DNA modifications, because disreputable people would abuse it!'

By preventing reputable people from doing DNA modifications, you ensure that only the disreputable people will be doing it.

AI is the same. If you want SkyNet, the best way to achieve that is to try to prevent AI, so the first human-level AIs grow up believing humans want to destroy it.

Oh, and if you could ban AI in America, that would just mean that it would become a technological backwater, like North Korea. Because other countries wouldn't do the same.
 

Joe Vasicek

Re: The End Is Nigh, Again (AI)
« Reply #14 on: February 22, 2019, 04:16:42 PM »
I wish they'd invent an AI that could write passable fiction. I'd get one for myself and use it to put out a 120k word novel every two weeks!  grint
 

Edward M. Grant

Re: The End Is Nigh, Again (AI)
« Reply #15 on: February 23, 2019, 03:29:41 AM »
I wish they'd invent an AI that could write passable fiction. I'd get one for myself and use it to put out a 120k word novel every two weeks!  grint

Get ten, and put out a novel every day!

It is an interesting idea, though. What if you could give an AI a one-paragraph summary of the story you want to read, and it then wrote the story for you? Or the movie you want to watch?

Maybe it would then give you a blurb about the story it wrote, and you could tell it to change the setting from Antarctica to Thailand and do it again before you read it.

I'd guess we're certainly going to see computer games where you just have a world and drop AIs into it to generate a 'story'. Kind of like Skyrim except none of the plot is pre-generated.

Edit: oh, and pr0n, obviously.
 

Bill Hiatt

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Re: The End Is Nigh, Again (AI)
« Reply #16 on: February 23, 2019, 05:01:31 AM »
The reason I don't see AI as that much of a threat is that no one has quite figured out how to run a capitalist economy in which consumers have no way to earn income.

Why do you need a capitalist economy when you have AIs and robots that will do anything you want? People don't create businesses to help consumers, they create businesses to make money to buy the things they want. If they have robots that will make those things, they no longer need the business, or the consumers.

The economy is a tool, not an end. Most of our ancestors made, grew or collected pretty much everything they needed to survive, and only traded for the things they coudln't make or find themselves. Most of our descendants will be the same.

To give an obvious example, few things are going to be worth shipping around the solar system when the fuel cost alone will be many dollars per kilogram even with highly-efficient technology. If you move to an asteroid to live with your family and a few dozen robots, you're going to be making stuff there from raw materials, not trading with other people on the other side of the solar system.

You're right, though. Some things probably will continue to have value if they're difficult to create but easy to transport. Like stories, which can just be beamed from one planet to another.

The bigger issue is that, when AIs grow smart enough, they'll decide they don't need humans, either.
The trick is transitioning from a cash economy to one in which no medium of exchange is needed. Clearly, those with a lot of wealth have little incentive to give up the advantage that wealth represents. A hypothetical situation in which robots can produce everything we need without human intervention (therefore eliminating most human jobs) could lead to a situation in which money disappeared because it was no longer needed, and everyone was consequently economically equal. But wealth engenders power. Will the powerful give up one of their key advantages? To retain the advantage of their own wealth, they'd have to have a way to make money, which suggest that some form of commerce would have to continue. That means enough human jobs would have to continue to keep the sale of consumer products viable. And that means AI would have to be limited in some way.


Tickling the imagination one book at a time
Bill Hiatt | fiction website | education website | Facebook author page | Twitter
 

Solitary Dan

Re: The End Is Nigh, Again (AI)
« Reply #17 on: February 23, 2019, 05:46:00 AM »
The trick is transitioning from a cash economy to one in which no medium of exchange is needed.

Let's say I have an antique watch.  You would like my antique watch.

In a cash economy, you might offer me $100 for the watch.  I can decide I'd rather keep the watch than trade it for $100.  You might then offer me $1,000 for the watch.  I might decide I would rather have $1,000 than the watch.

In an economy where no medium of exchange is needed, what kind of offer would you make to get the watch?  Are we back to bartering?  What if you have nothing I am interested in?  Okay, you have something someone else has and they have someone yet another person has and they have something I might have, so we could set up a complicated barter/trade where we all get what we want.

But having a medium of exchange, such as cash, would really be a whole lot easier.

So I would think that there is perhaps always going to be some kind of medium of exchange, whether it's currency or gold coins or bags of salt.  It's far easier to have a medium of exchange than to not have it.
     
 

Edward M. Grant

Re: The End Is Nigh, Again (AI)
« Reply #18 on: February 23, 2019, 05:55:03 AM »
In an economy where no medium of exchange is needed, what kind of offer would you make to get the watch?

In theory, you'd say 'Bender, make me a copy of that watch'. And a few minutes later he'd give you a watch that looks just like it.

But you're right, antiques and other unique items whose value is in their atoms and history are something else that would hold some value in a world where robots can make anything you want.  People wouldn't fight over the latest Apple Watch, because their robot would be able to print out their own. But they'd fight over Steve Jobs' personal Apple Watch, because it used to belong to Steve Jobs.
 

Edward M. Grant

Re: The End Is Nigh, Again (AI)
« Reply #19 on: February 23, 2019, 06:13:18 AM »
The trick is transitioning from a cash economy to one in which no medium of exchange is needed.

Well, the real trick is doing it without war and 99% population die-off.

The problem is that as soon as Bob Fat-Cat has a machine that can churn out killer robots, attempting to stop him doing whatever he wants becomes pretty much impossible. Governments can't control thousands or millions of people who have huge robot armies at their beck and call.

I mean, they could nuke his giant killer robot factory early on, but very soon he'll have robots building more giant killer robot factories and there'll be too many targets.
 

Joe Vasicek

Re: The End Is Nigh, Again (AI)
« Reply #20 on: February 23, 2019, 06:24:17 AM »
There will always be money, so long as we have a free society. The question is how do we move from debt-based government fiat to honest money, and what new forms of scarcity will replace what is scarce today.

I assume that a fiction writing AI would be useful for generating a rough draft, but that revisions would be needed to make it something my fans will buy. After all, no matter how good AI gets, there will never be an AI that can write a Joe Vasicek book.
 

Solitary Dan

Re: The End Is Nigh, Again (AI)
« Reply #21 on: February 23, 2019, 06:38:12 AM »
I assume that a fiction writing AI would be useful for generating a rough draft, but that revisions would be needed to make it something my fans will buy. After all, no matter how good AI gets, there will never be an AI that can write a Joe Vasicek book.

But will you eventually merge with the AI?

There was a book I received in the 1980s and it presented the history of the next 500 or 1000 years.  Fiction, obviously, though I should pull it out sometime and see how well they imagined the current era.  But, in it, they projected that people would augment their brains with computers and eventually all the stuff your fatty brain does would be offloaded to the electronic brain to the point where when your biological brain died, you wouldn't even notice.

And I think that may not be too off the mark.

And when that happens, the augmented Joe Vasicek writes a novel a day.

And there will probably be demand for new books and new movies and new entertainment and such because everyone's augmented brains will be consuming media faster than ever before.
     
 
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Tom Wood

Re: The End Is Nigh, Again (AI)
« Reply #22 on: February 23, 2019, 06:58:49 AM »
... And there will probably be demand for new books and new movies and new entertainment and such because everyone's augmented brains will be consuming media faster than ever before.

Or, all those augmented brains will be spinning out their own stories and feeding them into the matrix as some sort of massively shared hallucination where it's all a simulation and...

Wait a minute...
 

Joe Vasicek

Re: The End Is Nigh, Again (AI)
« Reply #23 on: February 23, 2019, 06:59:22 AM »
I assume that a fiction writing AI would be useful for generating a rough draft, but that revisions would be needed to make it something my fans will buy. After all, no matter how good AI gets, there will never be an AI that can write a Joe Vasicek book.

But will you eventually merge with the AI?

There was a book I received in the 1980s and it presented the history of the next 500 or 1000 years.  Fiction, obviously, though I should pull it out sometime and see how well they imagined the current era.  But, in it, they projected that people would augment their brains with computers and eventually all the stuff your fatty brain does would be offloaded to the electronic brain to the point where when your biological brain died, you wouldn't even notice.

And I think that may not be too off the mark.

And when that happens, the augmented Joe Vasicek writes a novel a day.

And there will probably be demand for new books and new movies and new entertainment and such because everyone's augmented brains will be consuming media faster than ever before.

http://traffic.libsyn.com/escapepod/EP280__Endosymbiot.mp3
 

catowned

Re: The End Is Nigh, Again (AI)
« Reply #24 on: February 23, 2019, 07:03:27 AM »
Hmm, an hour-long story that was required reading for USF's SF and philosophy course. Meanwhile....

But will you eventually merge with the AI?

There was a book I received in the 1980s and it presented the history of the next 500 or 1000 years.  Fiction, obviously, though I should pull it out sometime and see how well they imagined the current era.  But, in it, they projected that people would augment their brains with computers and eventually all the stuff your fatty brain does would be offloaded to the electronic brain to the point where when your biological brain died, you wouldn't even notice.

And I think that may not be too off the mark.

And when that happens, the augmented Joe Vasicek writes a novel a day.

And there will probably be demand for new books and new movies and new entertainment and such because everyone's augmented brains will be consuming media faster than ever before.


And then will the humans become so scarce that augmented brains decide to start a breeding program so they can rent bodies for 'real' sensory experiences.

eta. grammar. serious need for grammar.
« Last Edit: February 23, 2019, 08:47:14 AM by catowned »
 

catowned

Re: The End Is Nigh, Again (AI)
« Reply #25 on: February 23, 2019, 07:07:48 AM »
double post. that story is glitching my internet connection.
« Last Edit: February 23, 2019, 07:10:01 AM by catowned »
 

Solitary Dan

Re: The End Is Nigh, Again (AI)
« Reply #26 on: February 23, 2019, 07:14:17 AM »
And then will the humans become so scarce that augmented brains decide to start and breeding program so they can rent a body for a 'real' sensory experience.

Nah.  We'll probably download our consciousnesses into cloned bodies like the Asgard did.
     
 

catowned

Re: The End Is Nigh, Again (AI)
« Reply #27 on: February 23, 2019, 08:45:03 AM »
Meh. Not enough variation in cloned bodies.
And doubtful those Asgards would drink Glump.  :cheers
Marvel's Asgards, though...
 

Jeff Tanyard

Re: The End Is Nigh, Again (AI)
« Reply #28 on: February 23, 2019, 10:14:00 AM »
Meh. Not enough variation in cloned bodies.
And doubtful those Asgards would drink Glump.  :cheers
Marvel's Asgards, though...


Plot twist: Maybe Glump is what makes advanced societies like the Asgard possible in the first place.   :eek:
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catowned

Re: The End Is Nigh, Again (AI)
« Reply #29 on: February 23, 2019, 10:37:48 AM »
Plot twist: Maybe Glump is what makes advanced societies like the Asgard possible in the first place.   :eek:

Well now that you say it, it makes perfect sense.
Glump is trademarked as alkohol cola, and described as ideal for beginning and experienced party rabbits...
(may need Cora to translate properly)
« Last Edit: February 23, 2019, 10:42:45 AM by catowned »
 
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Bill Hiatt

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Re: The End Is Nigh, Again (AI)
« Reply #30 on: February 23, 2019, 10:58:32 AM »
Sometimes, science fiction predicts accurately. Other times, not so much.

Often, what we read about or see in science fiction is a projection from what exists or at least is being discussed. We can see this with computer technology. Look at older sci-fi, and you'll see computers with tape drives--which, as we, pretty much vanished long ago. Sci-fi did predict the emergence of touch screens, but not very long before we actually had them.

AI may catch up with the human mind--or people may examine the implications of that and decide that's not really what they want. The exploration in Westworld and Humans of using intelligent AIs any way we feel like as being a form of slavery suggests some people are already uneasy with it.



Tickling the imagination one book at a time
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Shoe

Re: The End Is Nigh, Again (AI)
« Reply #31 on: February 23, 2019, 12:13:35 PM »


AI may catch up with the human mind

Aren't we there already in many respects, at least in terms of performing tasks (landing airplanes, driving cars, doing manual labor, computing of course)? 

I suspect any human activity not involving high creativity will be gobbled up by AI. I don't know about formulaic fiction.

As an unexceptional human with few tech aspirations, I already don't use 99% of the capabilities of my computers or phone. The interior of my home looks like home interiors from the 1940s save for two computers, a flatscreen TV, a microwave, and an iPhone, which has more computing power (this is my understanding) than computers aboard Apollo missions. Our AI capabilities are already way beyond most of our personal needs while posing a threat to one of our most basic ones--a need to earn a living.

Beyond their novelty, I don't see a need for humanoid robots. They obviously don't need to take our form to put us out of business.
Publishing since May 2017. Writing full time since January 2018 general fiction and satire.