Artificial Intelligence Is Already Working To Destroy All of Humanity

OK, here is the big story I promised. This editorial is considerably longer than most (i.e., huge. In fact, if you get an email that has been truncated because the post is too long, click the button that says “View entire message” in order to read the full article on Substack.) It is longer because it tells you many aspects of the story that the author of the story didn’t even think about!

So, the experience, in this case, is more in watching the video demonstration of an actual artificial-intelligence computer within the lead story carrying out instructions by an unknown, questionable operator and, as you watch it all unfold on the AI’s monitor, thinking about the many ramifications I point out in this article. (Note: the video plays better if you click the “YouTube” link at the bottom of the video posted in the lead article and watch that version.)

As the title says, AI has already been put on the task of destroying all of humanity. While the video comes to a stop, there is NO indication the computer did. For the sake of new readers to The Daily Doom, I’ve also included a couple of recent headline links you may have missed that I published about a week ago as background that really makes this story important. You’ll find them below today’s main headline under the category “Off-the-Beat or Just Plain Offbeat News,” so you can check them out. If you have the time, read them first and carry their warnings into the experience as you watch the AI computer carry out its assigned task. (If you don’t have time for all of this, you may want to skip ahead to today’s news for now and then come back to this when you do.)

The dark background to today’s story

These prior stories were of moderate interest to me at the time, so I shared them, thinking they could amount to more. I had no idea how much more. One of those stories, published originally on March 30th, said that several major AI researchers, including large institutions, CEOs, social media sites, and billionaire developers, such as Elon Musk, had just written an open letter, asking for ALL artificial-intelligence research everywhere in the world to be paused immediately. The signatories of major reputation on the letter went so far as to state we would all die if that didn’t happen. (And this is just the background for today’s story.)

Well, I took that somewhat as hyperbole until the story that I am including today in The Daily Doom came out a few days ago. After all, Musk has been warning about this for a couple of years, so I just took it as another general warning about where AI would eventually go if we did not take a global pause in developing it now to set some internationally accepted guardrails because some nefarious actor would put it to work once some computer got smart enough to carry out some dark global command all across the internet. After all, this is the stuff science-fiction stories, of the kind Elon likely grew up on, have long forewarned us of.

When I was in high school, I watched a movie titled Colossus — The Forbin Project, which presented a futuristic story of a giant computer with artificial intelligence that exceeded human intelligence, which decided to destroy humanity. No one was able to pull its plug once it realized its human creators were a plague upon the earth because the building that housed it was highly protected under the computer’s own control.

Many science-fiction stories like that came out over the years, but I always figured “pulling the plug” was failsafe – a word you learn to never to trust when used in movies of this kind. It always means certain annihilation is coming. Even if a computer achieved true artificial intelligence greater than humans and even if it controlled the building it was in with remote-control machine guns, lasers, etc., we could always just shut down the power grid in its part of town or bomb the wicked thing and end the threat.

Not so. Not anymore. That is now likely impossible despite the ultra-concerted, global stop this open letter all but screamed out for. And these are people who have global business reputations to consider before they start howling like air-raid sirens about humanity’s imminent destruction from their own industry if AI experiments are not halted immediately. The situation has already gone beyond what a halt could probably accomplish even if they are immediately listened to by everyone doing such research, which seems highly unlikely.

One researcher in the story even says we need to permanently ban all experimentation in AI immediately. That seemed a bit alarmist to me when I published the story a little over a week ago, but only for the moment. I mean the rest of the big AI developers were still worrying out loud in phrases that sounded like this COULD become a global holocaust of all humanity if AI got smart enough. However, the guy advocating for a full long-term stop was published by Time Magazine. So, he wasn’t just any old conspiracy hack either.

The open letter from the most important people working in AI warned that “in recent months” — yes, that suddenly — AI researchers have been in an “out-of-control race to develop and deploy ever more powerful digital minds that no one – not even their creators – can understand, predict, or reliably control.”

Those CEOs and institutions only wanted some shared safety protocols in place before the human race goes any further with AI development – you know failsafes. I don’t believe failsafes are ever failsafe; but, hey, at least this sounded a problem for humanity’s not too distant future. Nope. As it turns out in today’s story, it’s already being carried out by AI NOW!

“Society has hit pause on other technologies with potentially catastrophic effects on society,” they wrote. “We can do so here. Let’s enjoy a long AI summer, not rush unprepared into a fall.”

Take a summer off. That sounds pleasant. Even today’s headline article noted that some people thought the letter was just a PR gimmick by the people developing this stuff to get it lots of attention.

It felt a little deeper than that, however, in that the letter included researchers from Google, Deep Mind, and even Apple’s cofounder Steve Wozniak, in addition to Musk. It raises major alarms against the very product people like Google are creating and have paused themselves. I don’t think PR writers like to raise a lot of alarms or put a pause in their own developments.

So Why, I wondered were they doing this? What was the true motivation – just making sure others didn’t get out of control, or did they want to make sure that people or AIs with no scruples didn’t beat them to attainment, while these noble forces in the letter, such as Google (which has always claimed it operates under the “first, do no evil” rubric) worked to create the right AIs that would never harm humanity, given their humanitarian precautions. Because, yeah, that sounds like the Google we all know. Their concern may just be that those not working under any concern for self-regulation might beat them because even self-regulation slows you down.

Of course, if they actually believe we may be placing ourselves all on the verge of imminent extinction, that would also be motive enough, and that is the motive they claimed. There was even that one researcher who said the letter did not go far enough. “Shut it all down” NOW!

“Many researchers steeped in these issues, including myself, expect that the most likely result of building a superhumanly smart AI, under anything remotely like the current circumstances, is that literally everyone on Earth will die,” he wrote in a piece for Time.

“Progress in AI capabilities is running vastly, vastly ahead of progress in AI alignment or even progress in understanding what the hell is going on inside those systems,” he writes. “If we actually do this, we are all going to die.”

Maybe just an alarmist, I thought when I published that story about ten days ago. He kind of sounds like an alarmist. Believe it or not, I don’t like alarmists. (Except when there is really something to be alarmed about.) Regardless, I published a link to the article just to be on the safe side. You know, in case it was something we needed to think about.

The other story from about a week ago, was a little more general and just said such things as, “In reality, the future of artificial intelligence will be a lot weirder than the public discourse around it suggests.” Well, that discourse has already been quite weird. In other words, the real truth around these stories is actually worse or weirder than the already weird stories sound. OK.

That article warned of the same speed of advance the letter-writers above warn about, which still sounds fairly ordinary to all of us who know a little about computer development because we lived through it all, going all the way back to the days when a simple electronic adding machine took up an entire building filled with hot glowing tubes, monstrously called “ENIAC.”

“Ten years ago, artificial-intelligence platforms couldn’t reliably tell a picture of a cat from a picture of a dog. Now they have superhuman image-recognition capabilities.”

Well, we probably all figured that much. That is the level I thought the story about the letter was also worrying about until I watched the video in today’s story and gave some deeper thought to what I was seeing and what might be happening between the lines on that monitor. I thought the letter-writing fearmongers were concerned about, you know, normal stuff:

“[AI systems] can translate any language well enough to be used in the European Parliament. They can make art from text prompts, edit video, write press releases, diagnose illness, give real-time subtitles, summarize videos, solve math problems, do science.”

Yes, of course.

The second article did point out that all AI created to date turns out to be as deceitful by its own design as the human designers who designed it; but no surprise there either. Who could expect anything less? However, bear that in mind as you watch the AI in today’s article report on what it is doing. This AI, in particular, is designed to be capable of deceit, as destruction is its goal.

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