Through AI, Humans Might Literally Create God

We are on the verge of something meaningful and incredible with emergent artificial intelligence, says Toni Lane Casserly. But which way will humanity steer it? As with any system, it's up to us.

Toni Lane Casserly: We really have to understand more deeply what the implications of creating an AI are, not that we haven't already created AIs. And I think the bigger fear with artificial intelligence that a lot of people possess can actually be solved by the fundamental ethic behind blockchain technology. Because when you think about systems logic and systems integrity, if the minds operating the system lack integrity then the system, no matter how it's logically constructed, will lack integrity. And I think the big fear with AI has to do with the centralization of power. Because the moment that we put something in a god like state and we say you have all knowledge in the universe, you have all power, you have access to every piece of knowledge that is created around the world from every human being and once and if we store all of that knowledge in something that is all powerful, yeah that is totally scary. The idea of any one thing having ultimate power, that's always just that's a bad idea. That's always been a bad idea. But if we can take these concepts and change the way that we think about their ability to own power I think that will change the way that we perceive what artificial intelligence will be able to do for us because there will be so many net positive created by these emergent and incredible technologies.

And yeah, if we have every basic job of someone doing something that doesn't fulfill deeply what is their ultimate human potential, because why are we on this earth? We're not cogs in a machine, we're human beings. We are real deep empathetic. We are creative. And every person on this earth has an unlimited potential, an unlimited potential that for centuries has been constrained by the way that we think about resource allocation, whether that's resource allocation in terms of money, in terms of knowledge. And if we can create a world of infinite resource I think that is fundamentally when we will be able to unleash in a different way the infinite human potential that every person on earth possesses. We're certainly not at that point in our human evolution yet, I wish we were, but I think that we are on the verge of something meaningful and something beautiful and something incredible. And with any system it's up to us, it is up to our hearts and it is up to our minds and it is up to our spirit and the way that we carry ourselves into greatness, whether that's as an individual or as a civilization, but that's our choice. And I think that if every person comes together and moves in the right direction we will see a positive evolution, an aggregation of human potential.

The future of artificial intelligence terrifies us in the same way that God once terrified us. The seed of that fear, says Bitcoin and blockchain expert Toni Lane Casserly, is the centralization of power – one person, body, or system possessing all the world’s knowledge would put human beings under its thumb. When humans feel out of control, they panic. Will we have a robot takeover, for example? Maybe. Any system is only as noble as its creator, and the same is true for the future of AI: "If the minds operating the system lack integrity then the system, no matter how it's logically constructed, will lack integrity," says Casserly. It's outlandish, but hear it out: what if the only way to avoid all disasters involving emergent AI technology would be to create an AI God (for lack of a better term) who has all the world's data and wisdom, whose mind is pure and who cares equally for every human. This God would then design all AI technology for us according to our needs. But that's the exact centralization of power that Casserly and blockchain technology opposes. So let's float back down to reality: the net positives of AI will outweigh the negative experiences we may come to have. Here, Casserly is wholly optimistic that AI will liberate us from drudgery and struggle, and allow all humans to step into their full potential. What’s been stopping us from fulfilling our potential thus far has been poor resource allocation – some of us swim, but most are too busy treading water to do much else. Distributing resources through AI relief and emergent technology may be the path to releasing human potential on a larger scale – if we choose to move together in the right direction.


Higher ed isn’t immune to COVID-19, but the crisis will make it stronger

The pandemic reminds us that our higher education system, with all its flaws, remains a key part of our strategic reserve.

Sponsored by Charles Koch Foundation
  • America's higher education system is under great scrutiny as it adapts to a remote-learning world. These criticisms will only make higher ed more innovative.
  • While there are flaws in the system and great challenges ahead, higher education has adapted quickly to allow students to continue learning. John Katzman, CEO of online learning organization Noodle Partners, believes this is cause for optimism not negativity.
  • Universities are pillars of scientific research on the COVID-19 frontlines, they bring facts in times of uncertainty and fake news, and, in a bad economy, education is a personal floatation device.
Keep reading Show less

Should churches be considered essential businesses?

A debate is raging inside and outside of churches.

Photo by Sandy Huffaker / AFP via Getty Images
Culture & Religion
  • Over 1,200 pastors in California claim they're opening their churches this week against state orders.
  • While church leaders demand independence from governmental oversight, 9,000 Catholic churches have received small business loans.
  • A number of re-opened churches shut back down after members and clergy became infected with the novel coronavirus.
Keep reading Show less

What can your microwave tell you about your health?

An MIT system uses wireless signals to measure in-home appliance usage to better understand health tendencies.

John Moore/Getty Images
Technology & Innovation

For many of us, our microwaves and dishwashers aren't the first thing that come to mind when trying to glean health information, beyond that we should (maybe) lay off the Hot Pockets and empty the dishes in a timely way.

Keep reading Show less

Scientists create a 'lifelike' material that has metabolism and can self-reproduce

An innovation may lead to lifelike evolving machines.

Shogo Hamada/Cornell University
Surprising Science
  • Scientists at Cornell University devise a material with 3 key traits of life.
  • The goal for the researchers is not to create life but lifelike machines.
  • The researchers were able to program metabolism into the material's DNA.
Keep reading Show less

How swipe-based dating apps are impacting your mental health

Online dating has evolved, but at what cost?

Photo by Tero Vesalainen on Shutterstock
Technology & Innovation
  • Some dating apps allow individuals to interact and form romantic/sexual connections before meeting face to face with the ability to "swipe" on the screen to either accept or reject another user's profile. Popular swipe-based apps include Tinder, Bumble, and OkCupid.
  • Research by Western Sydney University and the University of Sydney has linked the experience of swipe-based dating apps to higher rates of psychological distress and/or depression.
  • Not all time spent on these apps is damaging, however. Up to 40 percent of current users say they previously entered a serious relationship with someone they met through one of these apps.
Keep reading Show less