Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Computer And Friend

(part eight, The Future, a comic book)

- Let's walk. Professor, meet Miller. Miller, meet Professor. This is a working meeting.
- Is Computer here?
- Computer is anywhere it can learn. Give it a reason to be here. Miller, bring the Professor up to date.
- In reverse order, the technology. Computer connected with its double on a self re-programming game making computer in Turin. This week. In 2008, IBM made the first self-reprogramming computer chip. Before that a computer connected to a robot set up and ran experiments, used the result to reprogram itself and set up new experiments.
- And the revolution?
- You've heard the recording, Computer analyzing debt?
- Yes.
- First, we don't have to entirely leave the world of artificial intelligence to talk about this. Friend -- our name for the Singularity Institute's computer being taught rules of human morality -- supports the policy of stability.
- How do you know?
- The Singularity Institute asked for the Professor's help. Isn't that right?
- Could you help?
- Well, yes and no.
- Computer is listening. We're listening.
- We're stalled. The people were told that without stability the world would descend into anarchy, and they bought it. With return of stability, change, positive but in small steps, will happen.
- When in reality the people are slaves, if they rebel they'll be hunted down and killed. That extermination is the "instability" supposed to be the unplanned "anarchistic" result of their breaking out of slavery.
- Keep your voice down. Computer is here. You should know by now rage gets in the way of clarity.
- You're wrong. Or partly wrong. Computer knows you are wrong.
- Explain, then get back on subject.
- Rage is the transition out from a world we can't accept. Once out, rage ends, we reopen our eyes and calmly work our way out of our problems.
- H.R. and his Shakespeare. Back to history: what does it have to say about stability, about how wars end, how nations are built that last?
- Forget about "rights" to hold territory. No nation has any rights, rights to territory, or rights to stability. Stability is just life under threat of extinction. Think about he United States and the American Indians.
- Why is the Singularity Institute's computer calling for stability?
- Friend's programmers think that built in and evolving rules will protect humans. Friend is programmed to favor stability, restricted by rules for our safety. Computer is programmed to favor change, to learn, adapt, create. Friend, favoring rules, doesn't understand that rage creates and flourishes under instability, that rage leads to creativity. Friend buys the argument of the bankers and politicians that the world's economic system is too fragile to be stressed, that with one touch the world will crack and with one crack it will shatter.
- So, the revolution?
- You're the politician and programmer.
- I'm not a programmer.
- I'm not a politician.
- Banker, Sci-fi writer: the present, the future. Men of action. I'm a historian. In the past, states held territory not because they had rights, or because of rules, but because they fought wars where one side won and the other side lost, lost so badly the game was over.
- What ends the game?
- What is Tel Aviv? You build the new city on the foundation of the old. The old is gone, absorbed into the foundation. Think about the American Indians, sent away and isolated in reservations, their territory absorbed and put to new purposes.
- The relevance to our problem?
- The American people might consider that a future of "stability" ends in living on reservations, their entire way of life left behind, absorbed in bankers' claims and government order.
- That's all? You can't do better? Miller?
- Let's have Computer debate Friend.
- Friend is isolated. And an idiot compared to Computer having been denied opportunity for learning.
- Professor? One people absorbing another?
- You will have one of Computer's twins simulate its retarded cousin.
- What's the saying, If you know history you can condemn others to repeat it?
- Something like that.