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I used to agree with you


Fears of a Skynet scenario with the robots trying to take over the world are unfounded because AIs wouldn't have a desire to take over the world or exterminate humans or even survive. Humans and other evolved life forms only have such a strong survival instinct because millions of years of evolution killed off anything without it. So no one would be stupid enough to give an AI those objectives, right?

Except some people are because it's a great way to develop an AI. Evolving AIs, thousands of generations at a time, is a great way to find the best at whatever objective you choose. Write a program simulating a virtual AI, write an evolution program to make thousands of random variations of the AI, and test which ones are best at achieving goals. Take the top few, make thousands of variations of those, test to find the best again, and repeat the process a few million times. Some researchers trying this have been using complex virtual critters with "survival" as a goal.

So now the chance of a an AI with a survival instinct is real. Hopefully they don't get internet access.
Notice also that evolution as social animals also gave humans cool instincts like compassion and altruism that even spills over towards other species. As far as I know, no one is making altruism and compassion towards humans a goal of their simulations.


   Greg Squires

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