Intelligence and Survival

Discussion in 'Science & Society' started by S.A.M., Aug 12, 2007.

  1. S.A.M. uniquely dreadful Valued Senior Member

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    Do very intelligent people have personal goals that are inconsistent with the survival and prosperity of the human race?
     
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  3. Oli Heute der Enteteich... Registered Senior Member

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    Doesn't everybody?

    Personal goals are personal - oneself, one's family come first.
    After that the "race" is a poor second.

    Or did you mean something else?
     
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  5. Read-Only Valued Senior Member

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    Certainly, Sam. And certainly not.

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    Just like any other group of people, some do and some don't. I'm sure you can most likely find hundreds that are motivated by self-serving interests and possibly almost as many that have the opposite goals.

    You must have something specific in mind to have posed this question - what is it?
     
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  7. S.A.M. uniquely dreadful Valued Senior Member

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    Ok change that to just goals then. Does that make a difference?
     
  8. S.A.M. uniquely dreadful Valued Senior Member

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    I was reading the wiki on Technological Singularity, and I was struck by this statement.

    I thought, do we need AI to destroy the human race? Aren't we as capable of doing it, all by ourselves?
     
  9. Oli Heute der Enteteich... Registered Senior Member

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    Okay, just goals.

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    Yes.
    And no.
    Depends on the person of course and how and where they apply their intelligence.

    Did Newton have goals that were inconsistent with the survival and prosperity of the human race?
    Einstein?

    Define what would help the survival and prosperity of the race before we've discovered it.
    What helps (makes?) the human race survive and prosper is what we stumble across because of intelligent peoples' work.
    Every little bit helps, neh?
     
  10. Oli Heute der Enteteich... Registered Senior Member

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    Oh okay.
    Hmm singularity.
    To me it's (still) up there with the flying cars we were all going to have, as lauded back in the sixties.

    Haven't we had enough Frankenstein stories yet for us not to put safeguards into something we're going to build?

    (Conversely, if we do build something that wants to, and is capable of, destroying us, do we "deserve" to continue?)

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  11. S.A.M. uniquely dreadful Valued Senior Member

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    More like, pay more attention to consequences and ethics in science?

    That would appear to be a rhetorical question; however, do we take everyone with us as we go?
     
  12. Read-Only Valued Senior Member

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    That's a very old, worn out and irresponsible theme: "Machines will take over the world and eliminate humans."

    The human race will survive and actually flourish thanks to the advances in AI technology. While the statement "the future doesn't need us is accurate enough (it never needed us in the past), we will still be in control of our destiny. Machines will just make life ever easier as they have always done in the past.
     
  13. Oli Heute der Enteteich... Registered Senior Member

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    Well duh.
    We do try

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    (Technology, not science, in this case: the implementation is a political decision).

    Not so rhetorical, I meant it "seriously".
    Everyone?
    The race IS everyone - if we don't "deserve" to survive, we won't.
    Would it be a loss (in the overall picture)?
    If it happens like that then the machines will be our inheritors - they could be "why" we were here.
     
  14. S.A.M. uniquely dreadful Valued Senior Member

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    You're missing the point; I''m not arguing for/against AI.

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    My question is: do intelligent people today (lets delineate that as well) inevitably pursue goals that are inconsistent with the survival and prosperity of the human race?

    IOW, will we see an increase in poverty, hunger, death, violence as we advance?
     
  15. Oli Heute der Enteteich... Registered Senior Member

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    Most probably - proportions may stay the same, but the population is increasing: and competition will increase with it.

    Sounds like you have someone in mind (from the "inevitably"), but (depending what field they're in) surely if they work toward their own goals (however selfish) there will be some fallout that benefits the race?
    E.g. science per se could be seen as selfish - I want to know how the universe works because I'm interested, so give me a job where I can do this - but the benefits accrue, surely?
     
  16. S.A.M. uniquely dreadful Valued Senior Member

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    Nah no one in mind, just my regular mental masturbation.

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    Its not only benefits that accrue surely, there is a trade-off at all times.
     
  17. GeoffP Caput gerat lupinum Valued Senior Member

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    *nervous laugh* Haahahahahahaha! That's - that's silly! I don't know where you people get these ideas! Why don't you all go watch MTV? *frantically dials secret number*
     
  18. Oli Heute der Enteteich... Registered Senior Member

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    That's why GeoffP replied - he has a personal interest in that

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    So you're thinking about the time coming when the benefits are outweighed by the downside?

    Hmmm okay.
    Intelligent people design/ invent/ theorise something that can do X good and 2X bad.
    Who puts it into production/ service?
    Someone looking for a profit/ political leaders.
    Who buys it?
    The public.
    WE do, us.
    Our decision.
    Oops, we screwed up - again (cigarettes spring to mind, even as a smoker I can't argue the benefits outweigh the downside).

    Curiosity killed the cat?
    Niven/ Pournelle's "Evolution in action" - we were too dumb to live, so we didn't?
    One more failed "experiment" by the universe?
     
  19. Lord Hillyer Banned Banned

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    It is exceptional when intelligence is not devoted - either directly or indirectly - to the destruction and pauperisation of humanity.
     
  20. S.A.M. uniquely dreadful Valued Senior Member

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    Why would that be so, do you think?
     
  21. Lord Hillyer Banned Banned

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    An educational paradigm that places far, far more emphasis on raw skills than wisdom.
     
  22. S.A.M. uniquely dreadful Valued Senior Member

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    Do you believe that? I always thought a profit margin was the deciding factor.
     
  23. Baron Max Registered Senior Member

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    I don't see how you can ask that, Sam ....all you have to do is look at history to see that it's perfectly true. As the years pass, more people are born, which means more mouths to feed, more people to care for, but most everything humans need in order to live remains basically the same.

    And to give your some more mental masturbation, everyone on Earth is beginning to grasp more and more for "personal freedoms and rights", while the very notion of human advancement indicates a more collective goal rather than personal goals.

    There are more people fighting today, in civil wars, etc., than ever before in history. And some call that "advancement". Everyone can't be free of everyone else ...it just can't happen, and yet everyone seems to be striving for it.

    Baron Max
     

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