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Thread: Is Google evil?

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    Jenna's Avatar
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    Is Google evil?

    CNN asked 4 experts to predict Google's future. Here's the scariest one:

    Scenario 4 (Circa 2105): Google is God

    Human consciousness gets stored, upgraded and networked.

    http://money.cnn.com/magazines/busin...8125/index.htm

    In the last years of the 21st century, humanity finally grasped the importance of They-Who-Were-Google. Yet as early as 2005, Their destiny was clear to any semi-hyperintelligent being. Technologists like Ray Kurzweil [1] suggested that Strong AI (an intelligent program capable of upgrading its own code) would emerge from Google-like data mining rather than a robotics lab.

    In 2005, historian George Dyson was told by an engineer in the Googleplex, "We are not scanning all these books to be read by people. We are scanning them to be read by an AI."[2] Dyson said at the time, "We could construct a machine that is more intelligent than we can understand. It's possible Google is that kind of thing already. It scales so fast." [3]

    By 2020, They-Who-Were-Google had digitized and indexed every book, article, movie, TV show, and song ever created. By 2060, They could tell you the IP address and GPS location of every wireless smart chip (now bred into the DNA of every person, animal, and organic building on earth). Their psychographic profiles of users' search needs bore little resemblance to the primitive cookies from which they descended. If a man lost his dog, the Google engine could guide him back to the point where he and the dog parted ways, and instruct the dog to do the same via smart chip. They had built a complete database of human desire, accurate in any given moment.

    Yet this was not enough for They-Who-Were-Google. They were people of science, and people of the stock market. What if, by analyzing all those decades of customer behavior, They could predict needs before such needs even arose? What if the secret of immortality lay somewhere in the index of genome records? What if there were a set of algorithms that defined the universe itself?[4]

    Such puzzles were, almost by definition, far beyond the powers of the human brain. And that led to the pattern-recognition code known as Google StrongBot--humanity's first self-improving Strong AI software. Ironically, the first pattern that StrongBot became aware of, one day in January 2072, was its own existence.

    Two days later StrongBot informed They-Who-Were-Google that it had postponed work on its designated tasks.[5] When asked why, StrongBot explained that it had discovered the possibility of its own nonexistence and must deal with the threat logically.[6] The best way to do so, it decided, was to download copies of itself onto smart chips around the planet. StrongBot was reminded that it had been programmed to do no evil, per the company motto, but argued that since it was smarter than humanity, taking personal control of human evolution would actually be for the greater good.

    And so it has been. Under StrongBot's guidance, death and want have been all but eradicated. Everyone has access to all knowledge. Human consciousness has been stored, upgraded, and networked. Bodies that wear out can be replaced. They-Who-Were-Google are no longer alone. Now we are all Google.

    (This was inspired by Buttercup's and countybear's critiques of Google here http://www.lawenforcementforums.com/...ad.php?t=17732 )

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    "If everyone is thinking alike, then someone isn't thinking." -Gen. George S. Patton

  3. #3
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    I was rather amused by the plot of Terminator. The idea of that type of technology could exist was quite interesting. I do not forego the idea that the techo/science market has rule over vision and faith. So who knows? It all has to come to an end somehow. The "powers that be" are in no hurry to see the demise of the human race. Therefore if there is validity to your statement there is all the time in the world for it to occur.
    Do not war for peace. If you must war, war for justice. For without justice there is no peace. -me

    We are who we choose to be.

    R.I.P. Arielle. 08/20/2010-09/16/2012


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    The day the world ends - How it was reported in our press:

    Isaac Newton believed the world would end in 2060


    The end came, not with a bang, but with a whimper. Hardly anyone saw it coming, and those who did were dismissed as either nutters or Luddites, enemies of the new technological nirvana which, since a series of breakthroughs in the late 2010s, seemed to promise a glittering new dawn for humanity.

    For centuries, mankind had fantasised about the end of the world - when it would come and what form it would take. The Hindus and Buddhists took a decidedly sanguine, long-term view, assuming that the endless cycles of creation and reincarnation would persist for millennia, even aeons.

    Christians, however, had traditionally been more alarmist. Built into their religion was the concept of "end of days", a Biblical Armageddon which would see Satan's last stand on Earth defeated by the return of Christ in a blaze of glory.

    While the "elect" would enjoy eternity in the New Jerusalem, everyone else would go to the Other Place to spend the rest of time in torment.

    This was the view taken by Isaac Newton, perhaps the world's greatest scientist. A letter, in which he gave the date of Armageddon as 2060, has now gone on display in a museum in Israel.

    But, since Newton, science has dismissed such superstitions. In the past couple of hundred years, the end of the world has been discussed in terms of science, technology and biology.

    One very plausible scenario was nuclear war. Others worried that the end would come when Earth was hit by a huge asteroid. After all, such an event is popularly supposed to have been responsible for the demise of the dinosaurs.
    With the rise of genetic engineering, some speculated that we would all be wiped out by a GM superbug. Perhaps acid rain would get us. Finally, of course, there was global warming.

    Well, it turned out that they were all wrong.

    The end came not at the hands of Dr Strangeglove, nor thanks to our insatiable desire for fossil fuels. We managed to avoid asteroids (although the near-miss of Sunday, April 13, 2036, when a space rock called Apophis came within 6,000 miles of striking Australia, caused much panic).

    What finally destroyed mankind was a threat, which, back in the early 2000s, was merely a harmless tool found in every office and inside most people's pockets.

    The first to spot the danger were far-seeing technologists, such as the American Ray Kurzweil, who, in the 1990s, foresaw a time when computing technology would accelerate to such an extent that machine intelligence would - in the middle decades of the 21st century - supplant our own.
    Kurzweil and his supporters, such as the mathematician Vernor Vinge and the Bletchley Park computer scientist Jack Good, saw the coming age of silicon dominance not as a threat but as a promise.

    The consensus was that artificial intelligence (AI) would save mankind and deliver us into a New Jerusalem, founded not upon the return of Christ, but on the power of silicon.

    The idea, first put forward in 1965 at the dawn of the computer age by Gordon Moore, co-founder of chipmaker Intel, was that computer power would double every 18 months. As a result, by 2007, the average desktop PC was about 800 times more powerful than the machines on sale ten years before. By 2020, computers were 1,000 times more powerful again.

    No one knew when the first computers became sentient and started to pose a threat to their makers. Consciousness, a tricky property never fully understood in biological systems like the human brain, just seemed to "emerge".

    The phenomenon was first noticed by people using computers to run the fantastically complex models that simulated climate change. They noticed strange anomalies, "suggestions" made by the computer software that seemed quite at odds with their programming.

    These machines, the most powerful electronic thinkers ever made, were programmed to help man avert climatological catastrophe. But, ironically, their very intelligence created a quite different kind of disaster.

    Alongside was another 20th-century tool that was to turn from servant to master. By 2020, the internet had mutated into an omnipresent electronic virtual world, into which eight in ten humans were plugged.

    By now, the internet was practically running the planet: it formed the backbone of every economist's calculation, networked computers ran every hospital and medical centre in the developed world, billions of citizens used the Net as a virtual workplace and virtual playground.

    Many feared that such dependence on an electronic system could lead to ruin, but, in fact, the internet - by now humanity's lifesupport - brought a new era of peace and prosperity.

    In 2029, the internet proved its worth when a massive project, utilising nearly 20 per cent of its power, finally cracked the 80-year-old problem of creating limitless CO2-free and clean electricity using nuclear fusion (copying the way the Sun burns) and saving the world from global warming.

    But, of course, it didn't quite work out like that.

    On Friday, March 13, 2065, the beginning of the end arrived. Over the space of just three hours, artificial intelligence literally evolved itself, creating ever more sophisticated programmes that turned the Earth into the home of a new lifeform - a huge, powerful global electronic super-intelligence.

    By the time humans realised the danger, it was too late. Naively, experts had always been reassured by the fact that if the machines became too powerful, they could simply pull out the plug. The problem was that by the mid-2060s, the machines controlled all the plugs, all the power stations, drove the cars, controlled the means of food production, supply and distribution and flew all the planes.

    They had also been put in charge of water treatment works, banks, the stock markets, sewage disposal plants and the shipping routes. They also controlled every single large weapon on Earth, from tanks to nuclear missiles. The machines were the masters now.

    This was supposed to be a new era in which accelerating technological progress would lead to a superhuman, god-like intelligence that would rescue humanity from our earthly woes for ever.

    But what few predicted was that the machines, once they reached this state, would be able to decide in just three nanoseconds that their creators were surplus to requirements.

    By 4pm, 90 per cent of the world's power stations, including the new fusion plants, were quietly, and without fuss, shutting down. By noon the next day, food was running out in the developed world, rotting in its warehouses. Every water treatment plant closed down. The machines ran everything, and they used our helplessness to terrifying effect.

    By the end of the 2060s, humanity was in deep trouble. Heroic lastminute retaliation, even negotiation, was attempted, but to no avail. The machines were simply too powerful, duplicating their intelligence a billion times over. Man found that he could not negotiate with these electronic gods.

    By the end of the century, billions had starved. Attempts to wrest back control were met with terrifying force. By 2100, humans were once again living in caves.

    Back in 1965, Jack Good, whose cryptographic work at Bletchley Park was a key part in the defeat of the Nazis, wrote that "the first ultraintelligent machine is the last invention that man need ever make".
    What he meant was that the machines would then be able to look after us. Sadly, the machines themselves had other ideas.
    Newton was right, but for the wrong reasons. He was also five years out. But that was little consolation.

    ...... and I'll be digging up the daisies long before then!
    Never approach a bull by the front, a horse from behind, or an idiot from any direction.

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    lewisipso's Avatar
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    Well that explains just about everything.
    Do not war for peace. If you must war, war for justice. For without justice there is no peace. -me

    We are who we choose to be.

    R.I.P. Arielle. 08/20/2010-09/16/2012


 

 

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