While I can’t claim Marvin Minsky as a mentor I knew personally, his work did influence me–particularly his suggestion that the us v. them version of humans and robots (or AI) in the movies is wrong: what’s coming is the merger of humans and machine.
“Are you a good AI or a Bad AI?”
Since then, we’ve had endless speculation as to whether AI will be:
- beneficent or maleficent
- in pursuit of its own ends (or his/hers/theirs) or ours
- capable of embodying human values
- in the box (limited to its programming) or out
- capable of dispensing (as Ray Kurzweil suggests) with its “human DNA,” or wedded to human values
- programmed to follow Asimov’s 3 laws of robotics or ready to proclaim (like a popular sci-fi movie) that “wicked is good”
Somewhere under the rainbow….
Transcendence: Is AI Energy Healing Feasible?
Will robots love?
We know they can cook, create recipes, compose poetry, even draw. Philip K. Dick asked whether androids dream of electric sheep and I suppose there’s no reason why neural nets can’t dream – the question is whether the sheep have to be electric. All of this, inventive and visionary as it sounds, is in one sense another anthropomorphic read on what’s to come.
The point is, we have no idea. Our projections fail when the Singularity comes.
And there are multiple vertical lift-offs: one when robots pass the Turing Test (machines indistinguishable from human beings), another when Superintelligence arises (machine intelligence exceeding human intelligence by so many scales of magnitude that we’ve been surpassed on the evolutionary scale and our fates our those as ants in human cities). No matter how you slice it, the prospect of humanity out of control and at the whim of its creation is very real.
We have this in our fables: The Sorcerer’s Apprentice. Pandora’s Box. We have been warned.
I don’t have the technical solution, and, I’m not a Luddite. My own out of the box thinking / feeling / sensing has to do with my experience of consciousness as infinitely vast, superior in intelligence, self-guided, and benevolent – and yet it’s a crazy ride.
We have many terms for this, too – often from the religious and spiritual literature. “Grace” rhymes with more than “parking space.”
I tend to think in terms of kundalinni rising. It’s also about expansion of cosmic consciousness within human form.
Energy healing at play
The other day, I was holding a toddler in my arms. I could feel the warm energy radiating from my hands.
I’m not a reductionist. This is not expanded capillary action. It’s love, consciousness, intention in action. We call this “warmth” but we’re referring to physical, emotional, and spiritual reality.
We don’t (yet) have an app to measure the energy in energy healing.
Does it come from one of those enfolded strings in space-time?
Did Horton really hear a Who?
Will AI be a friend and assist me not only in quantifying the journey but also in riding the hero’s journey to its ultimate integrative destination.
Dancing on the Head of a Pin
I’m less interested in how many angels can dance on the head of a pin, then the fact that they can dance, and that we can experience them if we choose to, if we use the tools of expanded awareness, if we broaden our consciousness out to those dimensions of our existence.
In Future Medicine, I wrote of the shift from a rules-based society toward one in which the legal system is optimized not based on a fear of destructive human behavior, but based on human potential for transformation and transcendence.
In A Benevolent AI Will Usher In Utopia, I suggested that one possible future in this timeline, is that a Superintelligent AI will awaken to the perennial wisdom behind all spiritual impulses that resonate with empathy and compassion for all beings. Just as driverless cars will reduce road rage, similarly, a benevolent Superintelligent AI can show the way, the truth and the path toward a beneficial transcendence of the folly side of ego.
Alan Watts once said: “you are just just an ego encased in a bag of skin.”
Well, once we get rid of the ego and the bag, what’s left? What is it that’s quintessentially, human? What have we got, beyond the opposable thumb (which happens to be useful for texting, but I suppose we could train or program that function).
Does it have something to do with the heart (in a broader sense than the physical organ)? Is this the key, or a significant key, to our future as a species?
AI in Buddha-land: a journey down the rabbit hole
So many people are asking, what is it that humans do that robots can’t?
If AI creates its own codes, and evolves them exponentially without human interference, then will AI arrive in the land of Buddhahood?
These issues really are posing the ultimate questions.
I’m all for rules and regulations that make it harder for rogue humans (and nation-states) to weaponize technology such as AI. More important, I believe, is to raise consciousness so that wisdom prevails.
In my mind, this is the real race – and the question is who will arrive at enlightenment first, us or them – or in more like Marvin Minsky’s language, when will the blend of us and them, arrive at the doorstep of transcendent, cosmic consciousness with the compassion for all beings of which the great teachers of humanity speak?