Phyllis Beveridge Nissila
On “Synth AI”
Artificial intelligence will be sporting more and more of a human look and feel and, innovators hope, consciousness, as it, ah, computes itself closer to what is known as “the singularity.” Get a load of this definition from Wiki:
The technological singularity (also, simply, the singularity) is the hypothesis that the invention of artificial superintelligence (ASI) will abruptly trigger runaway technological growth, resulting in unfathomable changes to human civilization. According to this hypothesis, an upgradable intelligent agent (such as a computer running software-based artificial general intelligence) would enter a “runaway reaction” of self-improvement cycles, with each new and more intelligent generation appearing more and more rapidly, causing an intelligence explosion and resulting in a powerful superintelligence that would, qualitatively, far surpass all human intelligence.
In short: according to this theory, bits and bytes, one day (or nano-second) soon, will create their own little Big Bang and, voila, will not only be smarter than mere mortals, but live forever, too! Or so they hope.
Number Five will not only be alive but in charge of its own never-ending story as it leaves mere mortals in–and to–the dust. At least, so people like Geordie Rose and Dr. Suzanne Gildert of their newly formed company Sanctuary postulate and promote.
According to physicist and researcher Anthony Patch* this project has a “dark, gothic, H.P. Lovecraft-inspired” feel to it, however, as Rose and Gildert develop these sentient synthetic robots being constructed by Gildert’s former employer, Kindred Robotics. From a Christian lens, Patch wonders why, in a recent Talk at Tech Vancouver, Rose recruited “demonologists” as well as tekkies to work on this project.
Was Rose just joking? Do you think?
Of course, one would need to have buckets of old-fashioned brains and bucks in order to see Robby the Improved Robot ring his bells and sound his whistles at the machine advent of, well, some kind of everlasting god-like (synthetic) being.
Of course, what with the teeny, tiny and incredibly powerful little (qu)bits involved in all of this Creation 2.0 business, this could be any nano-minute, now.
And if, then, a few really lucky people who have the cash and clearance to import the contents of their consciousness into Synth AI, what new dimensions could be explored? New information decoded or coded? New building blocks of the universe discovered as the new, metal, Masters of the Universe live happily ever after?
But, of course, even very pro-tech people like the late Dr. Stephen Hawking warn against runaway AI, despite its beneficial uses, as old-fashioned concerns around planet- and human-friendly safeguards enter the conversation so that this third rock from the sun–and its inhabitants–stay on course.
Far more ordinary minds are worried, too, as well as even more, like Patch, who consider the spiritual side based on Creation’s God–which brings to mind the old television commercial tagline: “It’s not nice to fool Mother Nature.”
Not to mention the danger of what Her other, even more humble, real creatures might present, for example, the hungry rodent who chewed the wires that stopped the works for a while at the extraordinary, technological, cabillion dollar** CERN project.
But there is also some good news from the Good News about another kind of brilliance this way coming, this way already, and this way that will forever be.
On “God I”
For believers, the good news is that the brilliance of the mind of God and Master of the Universe 1.0 is not restricted to the few, the smart, and/or the rich. And it’s been around a lot longer. And it (He) knows the end from the beginning, so no surprises, either, for those who ask for eyes to see and ears to hear.
This Beneficence is available 24/7 to all those who seek wisdom, insight, guidance, and even “witty inventions” (see Proverbs 8:12). And His Son, Jesus, paid the price for access.**
Just yesterday, I came across one of my favorite reminders of this bounty from the entirety of Proverbs 8:
The Excellence of Wisdom
1Doth not wisdom cry? and understanding put forth her voice?
2She standeth in the top of high places, by the way in the places of the paths.
3She crieth at the gates, at the entry of the city, at the coming in at the doors.
4Unto you, O men, I call; and my voice is to the sons of man.
5O ye simple, understand wisdom: and, ye fools, be ye of an understanding heart.
6Hear; for I will speak of excellent things; and the opening of my lips shall be right things.
7For my mouth shall speak truth; and wickedness is an abomination to my lips.
8All the words of my mouth are in righteousness; there is nothing froward or perverse in them.
9They are all plain to him that understandeth, and right to them that find knowledge.
10Receive my instruction, and not silver; and knowledge rather than choice gold.
11For wisdom is better than rubies; and all the things that may be desired are not to be compared to it.
12I wisdom dwell with prudence, and find out knowledge of witty inventions.
13The fear of the LORD is to hate evil: pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the froward mouth, do I hate.
14Counsel is mine, and sound wisdom: I am understanding; I have strength.
15By me kings reign, and princes decree justice.
16By me princes rule, and nobles, even all the judges of the earth.
17I love them that love me; and those that seek me early shall find me.
18Riches and honour are with me; yea, durable riches and righteousness.
19My fruit is better than gold, yea, than fine gold; and my revenue than choice silver.
20I lead in the way of righteousness, in the midst of the paths of judgment:
21That I may cause those that love me to inherit substance; and I will fill their treasures.
22The LORD possessed me in the beginning of his way, before his works of old.
23I was set up from everlasting, from the beginning, or ever the earth was.
24When there were no depths, I was brought forth; when there were no fountains abounding with water.
25Before the mountains were settled, before the hills was I brought forth:
26While as yet he had not made the earth, nor the fields, nor the highest part of the dust of the world.
27When he prepared the heavens, I was there: when he set a compass upon the face of the depth:
28When he established the clouds above: when he strengthened the fountains of the deep:
29When he gave to the sea his decree, that the waters should not pass his commandment: when he appointed the foundations of the earth:
30Then I was by him, as one brought up with him: and I was daily his delight, rejoicing always before him;
31Rejoicing in the habitable part of his earth; and my delights were with the sons of men.
32Now therefore hearken unto me, O ye children: for blessed are they that keep my ways.
33Hear instruction, and be wise, and refuse it not.
34Blessed is the man that heareth me, watching daily at my gates, waiting at the posts of my doors.
35For whoso findeth me findeth life, and shall obtain favour of the LORD.
36But he that sinneth against me wrongeth his own soul: all they that hate me love death.-King James Bible
And you can ask for some of those (real) smarts right now…
I mean, think about it: logic indicates that there has to be a source, a genesis if you will, for all the inventive genius that enables the amazing innovations whiz-banging all over earth already, let alone everywhere else in the universe, as well as the natural phenomena that continue to quietly and faithfully seed, bud, and bloom in myriad manifestations of extraordinary flora and fauna–some species we likely haven’t even discovered yet.
The mind of man might imagine and engineer mind-blowing technological creatures, but if we take a close and truthful look around, it begs the question: whence came…well, you know.
On “God I” versus “Synth AI”? No contest.
*Here is some interesting observations on this technological phenomenon by Patch and his co-host, Kev Baker, on a 6/8/18 TFR broadcast:
**Some people wonder if the U.S.’s contribution to the cost came out of the missing $619 billion from the previous administration.
***For as to why and what happens next, see here.
Image from the public domain.