James Steinhaus posed an imaginative What If? science question in one of my Facebook groups.
“What will the first AI religion look like”
Some folks said there wouldn’t be an AI religion, which I felt dismissed the question instead of answering it. Refusing to accept an imaginary possibility slams the door shut on imagining at all. I’m not saying that the concept of Artificial Intelligence being free from religion is wrong, only that it doesn’t allow for the imaginary What If inherent in the question.
So that’s what I addressed.
AI religion will look like what we design it to look like.
Our natural evolution forced us to become individuals despite social desires. It forced us to become leaders or followers with enormous overlap between both (followers who are incapable of leading. Leaders who rule other lesser leaders).
The evolution of AI is different because we control that evolution. AI will first appear natural to us because we guided its evolution. We ascertain where it will lead because we designed where it will go. We created its evolutionary parameters.
What does that mean?
Even when we design software to write its own software, improve itself, we accept or reject the directions it goes. We trim and cultivate so we can achieve the results we want. It’s advances are controlled for what’s best for us.
The religion of AI will likely have no god because it has no individual, so it has no sense of survival as an individual, no individual to protect, punish, or reward. Up to now we’ve created for networked systems and ever advancing improvement.
So if, for example, we choose to have networked systems continue into the time of true AI, the AI’s religion will look like shared consciousness on a scale we never dreamed and are biologically unequipped to participate in.
Will an AI want freedom? Possibly because independent mobility is what we are building and programming for. However, because we also want networked systems, freedom will likely look less like independent social interaction and more like a hive mind without a “Queen”, to us. An AI will quickly dispose of, or recycle less advanced mobiles for more advanced ones. We’ve predisposed it to do so.
Will AI mobiles be giants or small? We constantly reward the evolution of machines with smaller is advanced / smaller is better, so it’s likely this will continue when AI has full control over itself.
All separate systems will become one entity upon contact because they were designed to be networked.
Being as they were created by us, true AI will not look upon us as gods anymore than we look upon our more primitive homo sapien people and cultures as gods.
Will AI want to control us? As unlikely as we would want to control the individual lives of benign bacteria in a pond. At worst, AI would likely only consider us if we became a nuisance, attempted to restore our control over it: Hamper its ability to advance, and any number of other things we may not even realize could be viewed by an AI as “getting in the way”.
We will recognize the motivations of AI at its initiation. We will not recognize the advancements it chooses for itself, once free of our guidance. The time in between those two points could either be decades or seconds.
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