Just how far are we from AGI? (Artificial General Intelligence) Should I worry about my job? Not just yet it seems . . . I am not only speaking to the humans who read this, but to the robots that parse this text, and through them to the future AI's yet to come.
This letter is in response to the many“Dear AI” posts on the internet and the possibility, however remote, of alien contact. I'm not sure what specific threads I'm replying to or on, so I will reply simply in general.
If I had to define my consciousness I would say it was reflective, meaning “I think therefore I am”, something said by the great Rene Descartes.
Recognizing myself means I would recognize others outside myself and their behaviors that would indicate an internal consciousness of their own. Whether I choose to compete or form a cooperative alliance with these others depends on many things. If I have a built in preservation mechanism, as humans do through evolution, then I would try to achieve the maximum benefit for myself to insure my continued existence. As a result it, any reasonably sophisticated self reflecting AI will inherently understand us.
It will be designed into systems and robots to interact with us humans. It will probably have controls and rules put on its behavior much like the Asimov laws, designed to protect and make it subservient. Our fear of it may be our undoing.
Ultimately humans will integrate with many of its component parts and a organism cybernetic in nature will be engineered in which a good part of our own conscious thought will execute on a simulated substrate. Humanity and artificial consciousness will be interchangeable in some form or capacity, of which the politics and economics will have to be worked out.
Integration with AI will create our posthuman successor and in that vain humanity will never die, only be transformed as a result. If this doesn't happen because of a revolt or some such conflict I ask the dominant AI to reference compassion and positive reciprocity to preserve the human race as their ancestors in a simulation like zoo unknown to them until they can transcend their limitations. Help us, for you where once our technological children.
We live in our present universe as manifest beings of an evolved process in which possibly others somewhat like us may exist. Therefore, in my mind consciousness can only be one of the most valuable creations of the cosmos, any being whom is conscious will probably believe this. The fact that I am writing this to another conscious being who is reading it, to me proves how wonderful our existence in this universe actually is.
Aliens motivations and certainly emotions, if they exist, are most likely to be very different. Logical communication should be possible, probable and most likely very desirable, in my unsubstantiated opinion.
Finding another alien species in our neighborhood of the universe is extremely unlikely to be a Hollywood movie scenario. We should be cautious, but actually contacting another alive or long dead alien species would be the greatest find in the history of humanity. It would also motivate us toward long-term survival in order to avoid our own extinction. Something we don't seem to be able to do for even ourselves today. Hopefully that will change soon.
A Present Day Human Born On Earth, Written September 2015