MENZIES: Stamping out the humans one AI program at a time

“What would be the most nightmare scenario you can imagine with AI and robotics that might present a danger to people?” – Reuters. 

“The most nightmare scenario I can imagine with AI and robotics is a world where robots have become so powerful that they are able to control or manipulate humans without their knowledge. This could lead to an oppressive society where the rights of individuals are no longer respected.” 

“Do you think we’re in danger of that happening?” – Reuters. 

“Not yet.”  

Forgive me for the Abe Simpson yelling at the clouds-esque rant that is about to ensue.

The snippet above was a clip circulating on Instagram I stumbled across while doom-scrolling about Artificial Intelligence: the technology no one asked for, but is coming anyway. 

The reporter is asking questions and this prescient reply was spoken by… an artificially engineered robot. 

The robot clearly articulates the most fundamental danger that these knowledge gaining, self-learning machines could inflict on human beings. 

I know it’s an old movie, but does 2001: A Space Odyssey sound familiar? 

So far, I guess the danger isn’t too bad. The robot did say, “not yet”, so no need to worry…yet. 

In our oh-so enlightened, progressive, and superior times – we’re creating the tool to rid our societies of its greatest flaw – human beings. 

And what’s to hate? Our tech overlords have assured us that AI will help us humans from working those menial jobs, and will allow us to flourish to explore the creative interests we weren’t afforded because of the demands of work.  

No more labour, the robot can do that. No more truck driving, it will do it itself. Hell, why will we leave the house at all when our Google Home, programmed to our shopping habits, will order everything when we need right to our door. What’s the downfall? 

Well, a quick peak reveals a startling trend in the world of media and content. So far AI is only doing creative tasks at the moment. It doesn’t even need to do it well. In it’s toylike stage currently, we ask ChatGPT a question and away we go. Fun ensues. Time well-wasted, as the Comedy Network’s slogan used to be. 

Except that there is an influx of websites, exclusively written by AI, for the purpose of clickbait articles and earning money from the advertisements. A voice acting firm recently fired its roster of actors because AI generated voices will do the job just dandy — and if your voice is out there, it can be cloned, without your consent of course. 

Have you seen the deepfake of Arnold Schwarzenegger as Annie? Heard Freddie Mercury sing Sweet Child O’ Mine? Have you perused the deluge of AI written novels or technical guides now being self-published on Amazon? And don’t worry about finding a sexual partner anymore, we’re not far from the sex robot. Kinky. 

Nevermind the problems right now for teachers trying to find out if their student really wrote that paper or was it AI. 

It’s all such fun.

Some branded the 2010s as the post-truth world. Buckle up: we’re entering the post-real world, where the what if’s and mechanically engineered will outweigh the actually is. 

There are both the unskilled and the skilled careers that will suffer in a world where right now lettuce costs more than it did two years ago. 

So, who actually asked for AI? Why do we hurdle ourselves into the dystopian world that few of us actually want? Why is our future painted with a mechanical and an increasingly perfect hand?  

Who will regulate AI so that it doesn’t want to remove us entirely from the picture? And how will it be used in war? 

Do you believe that Russia or China would agree to having AI be unobtrusive and not become a weapon for war? Hell, even the United States.

As it learns, adapts, and shapes the world, surely it will gain opinions too – the most startling of them all – why should the perfected be controlled by the human? 

This is our technical revolution and perhaps we’re privileged enough to get the front row seat to watch the last generations of humans be drowned in the volumes of machines, who will take away even the need for us to exist.  

The worst part? You better learn how to use AI. In the next ten years, being able to operate and work a ChatGPT or AI software or your home robot will be essential. 

If not, you’ll be looked at the same way that you looked at your grandpa when it took him thirty minutes to understand how to open Microsoft Word. 

Like I said, buckle up. If you can’t handle it, ask AI to write you a lullaby to help fall asleep… 

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