Re: rambling question on AI

From: Adrian Tymes (
Date: Mon Jan 07 2002 - 21:11:49 MST

Colin Hales wrote:
> With this in mind and as an avowed "AI or bust" person I cogitate regularly
> on the issue of impact - both sides - and I confess this is like
> (Automation^^N) in it's impact and it scares me. For example: Computer
> Programming. What's the 'big software project blowout's' overall solution
> and the next programming language? The answer is _not to let humans program
> anything_. There goes computer programming as a profession (I include myself
> in this profession!).

Well, let's see...

AI can take a self-consistent set of requirements and turn them into
running code? Show me the CEO or marketer who can give a
self-consistent set of requirements, *especially* in commitee. (Well,
ok, they do exist, but they're rare.) Transition to translator, and
ex-coder still has job.

AI can also translate from vague, incoherent requirements into running
code, including the inevitable arguing back and forth to nail the specs
down enough? "Hey, AI I just rented: hack into various corporate
networks' financial programs and score me a nest egg to retire on. Make
sure no one, except maybe you and/or I, can trace the hack or anything
related to it back to you and/or I."

Ok, that's a gimme, and it'd only last until the AIs taking over the
corporate networks finally implement adequate security. Where next for
the ex-coders not lucky enough to get a job working on these ever
improving AIs? Tinker with the AI a bit and, "Hey, AI: find me a job."

> I just hope that the speed of the change is moderated so that people are OK.
> Sometimes I have nightmare visions of being ostracised at the local market
> and having people throw rocks at my house out of the fear of the
> (potentially) very smart little grey box in my office.

If I'm ever in that situation (which implies moving away from an area
where many residents would have a similar box), I'd probably also be
rich enough to buy the local police and have the rock-throwers arrested
en masse.

> Is it any wonder that VCs could see a marketing nightmare? How do you market
> an Anti-Christ?. I think you don't. I've seen many a developmental paths
> involving trojan horses and stealth, and I think this may have to be one of
> them.

"Attention, oppressed masses of the Muslim world. What do you say we
beat the infidels at their own game? Lo, they have thought of a way to
bring Allah's wisdom to the masses. See how they tremble in fear when
they contemplate its potential existence. Let us bring their nightmare
to life, and in so doing, bring about our new golden age."

Hey, it *could* work, if they stressed the specific "Anti-Christ" label
enough, and the oil money was still available enough...

> Beware, fellow list, happily bantering with
> you, a human? This is not a joke. The Turing test is for babies.

I would agree, in the sense that a mature attitude is that, if you can't
tell whether the entity is a self-aware AI or a human being, it usually
won't matter the same sense that we can not tell each others'
skin color from email, and it does not matter much as far as our
interactions with each other.

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