Fletcher, Go Fetch Her

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is the next big fake thing to be aware of. Lately, there has been much social media chatter about everything that’s fake, fake news, fake rice, fake eggs, fake romance, etc. The next big problem we have to deal with that’s artificial is intelligence. But, we were brought up to revere intelligence, were we not? It’s a goal most of us were inculcated to aim for. Surely, intelligence, artificial or real, will be equally as important and sought after.

Someone who stood out with phenomenal intelligence was Stephen Hawking. His stance on AI was clear. It will be invaluable towards human endeavours but ultimately will destroy urghhlings if not carefully deployed. From that I gather he would have concluded that we, Homo Sapiens defined as organic intelligence, would succumb to the long, unstoppable and uncompromising sieve that evolution exacts on all living organisms. Only the fittest will survive and pass through this sieve.

Do we know of any AI? The outstanding ones all have names. There’s Deep Blue of chess fame, defeating the world champ Garry Kasparov. Deep Mind learned by itself how to play e-games and beat the best in those games. Have you met AlphaGo? The non-organic algorithm beat the organic algorithm, a Korean man by the name of Lee Sedol. Again, that AI taught itself how to play the ancient strategy board game Go.

Have you heard of music compositions by EMI, an AI? The audience was enthralled at a music festival in Santa Cruz. Publicity brought hostility and a challenge was issued to EMI. In one blind test, even Bach came second against EMI, and many would acknowledge that Bach is one of the best at spiritual music. That this non-being could write something so soulful is astounding. It debunks the theory that only humans can be soulful.

Most of us would not have heard of Vital, the world’s first non organic algorithm to be appointed as a board member of a company. AI has exhibited traits of nepotism, no different from humans. Vital appointed another non organic algorithm called Oncofinder, an expert on selecting cancer therapies. It wouldn’t surprise many if or when the first AI is announced as the new owner of a conglomerate. God maybe all powerful to create us but we don’t live for long, whereas man has already created legal entities that will easily survive their own creators. My own private company will easily outlive me. As long as there is a dollar in its bank account, my company can exist forever, long after I have expired. Not only that, the AI that humans create can in the foreseeable future, take over such legal corporate entities. What’s stopping AI from ruling or ruining the world?

The first AI I purchase will be named Fletcher. Fletcher, go fetch her for me. My wife just called out, “Urghhling!” I guess I have been summoned.

PS It was Yuval Harari who introduced me to some of these famous AI identities.


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