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 is an American tech entrepreneur, artist and thought leader. She is a Young Star of Bitcoin and the co-founder of CoinTelegraph, the largest media network in the bitcoin and blockchain industries. She is a partner at BitNation.
As a philanthropist, Casserly co-founded Kids Compassion Charity when she funded a village to survive Ebola using bitcoin. As part of this endeavor, she put 14 children through school and has provided 14 orphans with a home.
Casserly currently works toward establishing digital currency economies, mesh internets and peaceful seasteads to help free citizens from the hands of war-torn, oppressive and corrupt leadership while preserving the planet. She serves as an advisor and/or board member to 6+ companies and funds as she simultaneously works in the field of human rights to establish digital currency economies, mesh networks and alternative governance structures in countries ruled by oppressive leaders and corrupt jurisdiction. She has been affectionately entitled “The Joan of Arc of Bitcoin” by her peers and various publications.
In the art sphere, Casserly is a recording artist and the founder of the “immateralism” (post art) movement, where she uses consciousness and lucid dreaming as a medium.
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.
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What is human dignity? Here's a primer, told through 200 years of great essays, lectures, and novels.
- Human dignity means that each of our lives have an unimpeachable value simply because we are human, and therefore we are deserving of a baseline level of respect.
- That baseline requires more than the absence of violence, discrimination, and authoritarianism. It means giving individuals the freedom to pursue their own happiness and purpose.
- We look at incredible writings from the last 200 years that illustrate the push for human dignity in regards to slavery, equality, communism, free speech and education.
The inherent worth of all human beings<p>Human dignity is the inherent worth of each individual human being. Recognizing human dignity means respecting human beings' special value—value that sets us apart from other animals; value that is intrinsic and cannot be lost.</p> <p>Liberalism—the broad political philosophy that organizes society around liberty, justice, and equality—is rooted in the idea of human dignity. Liberalism assumes each of our lives, plans, and preferences have some unimpeachable value, not because of any objective evaluation or contribution to a greater good, but simply because they belong to a human being. We are human, and therefore deserving of a baseline level of respect. </p> <p>Because so many of us take human dignity for granted—just a fact of our humanness—it's usually only when someone's dignity is ignored or violated that we feel compelled to talk about it. </p> <p>But human dignity means more than the absence of violence, discrimination, and authoritarianism. It means giving individuals the freedom to pursue their own happiness and purpose—a freedom that can be hampered by restrictive social institutions or the tyranny of the majority. The liberal ideal of the good society is not just peaceful but also pluralistic: It is a society in which we respect others' right to think and live differently than we do.</p>
From the 19th century to today<p>With <a href="https://books.google.com/ngrams/graph?year_start=1800&year_end=2019&content=human+dignity&corpus=26&smoothing=3&direct_url=t1%3B%2Chuman%20dignity%3B%2Cc0" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Google Books Ngram Viewer</a>, we can chart mentions of human dignity from 1800-2019.</p><img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yNDg0ODU0My9vcmlnaW4ucG5nIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTY1MTUwMzE4MX0.bu0D_0uQuyNLyJjfRESNhu7twkJ5nxu8pQtfa1w3hZs/img.png?width=980" id="7ef38" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="9974c7bef3812fcb36858f325889e3c6" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" />
American novelist, writer, playwright, poet, essayist and civil rights activist James Baldwin at his home in Saint-Paul-de-Vence, southern France, on November 6, 1979.
Credit: Ralph Gatti/AFP via Getty Images
The future of dignity<p>Around the world, people are still working toward the full and equal recognition of human dignity. Every year, new speeches and writings help us understand what dignity is—not only what it looks like when dignity is violated but also what it looks like when dignity is honored. In his posthumous essay, Congressman Lewis wrote, "When historians pick up their pens to write the story of the 21st century, let them say that it was your generation who laid down the heavy burdens of hate at last and that peace finally triumphed over violence, aggression and war."</p> <p>The more we talk about human dignity, the better we understand it. And the sooner we can make progress toward a shared vision of peace, freedom, and mutual respect for all. </p>
A new study shows our planet is much closer to the supermassive black hole at the galaxy's center than previously estimated.
Arrows on this map show position and velocity data for the 224 objects utilized to model the Milky Way Galaxy. The solid black lines point to the positions of the spiral arms of the Galaxy. Colors reflect groups of objects that are part of the same arm, while the background is a simulation image.
Apple sold its first iPod in 2001, and six years later it introduced the iPhone, which ushered in a new era of personal technology.
With just a few strategical tweaks, the Nazis could have won one of World War II's most decisive battles.
- The Battle of Britain is widely recognized as one of the most significant battles that occurred during World War II. It marked the first major victory of the Allied forces and shifted the tide of the war.
- Historians, however, have long debated the deciding factor in the British victory and German defeat.
- A new mathematical model took into account numerous alternative tactics that the German's could have made and found that just two tweaks stood between them and victory over Britain.
Two strategic blunders<p>Now, historians and mathematicians from York St. John University have collaborated to produce <a href="http://www-users.york.ac.uk/~nm15/bootstrapBoB%20AAMS.docx" target="_blank">a statistical model (docx download)</a> capable of calculating what the likely outcomes of the Battle of Britain would have been had the circumstances been different. </p><p>Would the German war effort have fared better had they not bombed Britain at all? What if Hitler had begun his bombing campaign earlier, even by just a few weeks? What if they had focused their targets on RAF airfields for the entire course of the battle? Using a statistical technique called weighted bootstrapping, the researchers studied these and other alternatives.</p><p>"The weighted bootstrap technique allowed us to model alternative campaigns in which the Luftwaffe prolongs or contracts the different phases of the battle and varies its targets," said co-author Dr. Jaime Wood in a <a href="https://www.york.ac.uk/news-and-events/news/2020/research/mathematicians-battle-britain-what-if-scenarios/" target="_blank">statement</a>. Based on the different strategic decisions that the German forces could have made, the researchers' model enabled them to predict the likelihood that the events of a given day of fighting would or would not occur.</p><p>"The Luftwaffe would only have been able to make the necessary bases in France available to launch an air attack on Britain in June at the earliest, so our alternative campaign brings forward the air campaign by three weeks," continued Wood. "We tested the impact of this and the other counterfactuals by varying the probabilities with which we choose individual days."</p><p>Ultimately, two strategic tweaks shifted the odds significantly towards the Germans' favor. Had the German forces started their campaign earlier in the year and had they consistently targeted RAF airfields, an Allied victory would have been extremely unlikely.</p><p>Say the odds of a British victory in the real-world Battle of Britain stood at 50-50 (there's no real way of knowing what the actual odds are, so we'll just have to select an arbitrary figure). If this were the case, changing the start date of the campaign and focusing only on airfields would have reduced British chances at victory to just 10 percent. Even if a British victory stood at 98 percent, these changes would have cut them down to just 34 percent.</p>
A tool for understanding history<p>This technique, said co-author Niall Mackay, "demonstrates just how finely-balanced the outcomes of some of the biggest moments of history were. Even when we use the actual days' events of the battle, make a small change of timing or emphasis to the arrangement of those days and things might have turned out very differently."</p><p>The researchers also claimed that their technique could be applied to other uncertain historical events. "Weighted bootstrapping can provide a natural and intuitive tool for historians to investigate unrealized possibilities, informing historical controversies and debates," said Mackay.</p><p>Using this technique, researchers can evaluate other what-ifs and gain insight into how differently influential events could have turned out if only the slightest things had changed. For now, at least, we can all be thankful that Hitler underestimated Britain's grit.</p>
A biologist-reporter investigates his fungal namesake.
The unmatched biologist-reporter Tomasz Sitarz interviews his fungal namesake, maślak sitarz – known in English as the Jersey cow mushroom.