Episode 70 - Optimisation paradigms for AI and protocols for the point of Singularity - Liesl Yearsley, akin.com
Summary: It is clear we weren't sure where to start or close this conversation, but Liesl Yearsley, CEO & Founder of akin.com (https://www.akin.com/), grabbed it and has created a profoundly informative and eye opening discussion about Artificial Intelligence (AI). Liesl provides the highest level of insight. This is a live body of work that we will develop more, with reports from a number of events and interviews in Australia, Silicon Valley and LA. Liesl's podcast will be followed by a podcast with Rob Wainwright, former Executive Director at Europol (https://www.europol.europa.eu/). We discuss the risk of getting the commercial and consumer use of AI wrong, adding risk of military, crime, terrorism and the power of creating AI crime and attacks, as seen with autonomous malware and ransomware. The current situation is that we are in a Cyber War with machine learning and AI driven machines attacking and defending against each other over networks. Now lets add robots and autonomous machines to the mix - technology is inevitable to evolve but at a pace we may not know what society will look like in 20 years and may not be what 'we' intended or anticipated. At a societal level, and for the consumer and commercial enterprise, at CeBit Australia (http://www.cebit.com.au/), Liesl Yearsley confirmed her research had identified relationships being formed between humans and AI avatars. One relationship, called ‘James’ and ‘Lisa’, with Lisa being a female AI avatar, concerned researchers and determined James was spending a detrimental amount of time engaging with ‘Lisa’. He had formed an emotional relationship, yet knowing Lisa was not a human. Researchers decided to wipe ‘Lisa’ and re-engaged her into the community of hundreds of other avatars. Yet indeed it turned out James then spent six months re-locating ‘Lisa’ and knew when he had found her despite her in a different role. With the advent of robotics in human form, able to be produced, on mass, in the form of being conveniently and promptly 3D printed, is already a reality. We have remote robot controlled mine sites, rail lines, shipping ports. Humans and robots, even as life and social partners is a reality. The next phase, will be humanoid robots operating emotionally and military and enforcement grade robot systems guarding and protecting us, each with an AI avatar. Today’s robots include a diverse application, from nano-technologies through to driving a renewed capability in multi-planetary space exploration. Confidently, Liesl Yearsley said, “the big thing to get here is that AI is going to be crunching away in the background, it is going to be ambient and ubiquitous, not to the point of thinking about it, just as we have blindly accepted the use of the smart phone. It will become better at discerning of what’s going on for you, you won’t even need to tell it what you want or what you think, it will know. Society will change.” Importantly and admirably, Liesl Yearsley asks some sobering questions. What is the current optimisation paradigms for AI? What will happen to humanity if we have a subservient race in robots and AI? Do we have protocols in place for the point of Singularity? What happens in a world where we have giant corporations that land boxes on your doorstop every night? They are able to exquisitely fine-tune, to know what you want before you know you want it. Their time motivation is to have you addicted to their platform and consuming data and products. All of the tech-titans are paying a lot of lip service to ethics but their key drivers, as seen with Facebook, is to get you addicted to their technology or consuming their stuff.