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Julian Assange recently released a video regarding his own views on the topic of A.I. For those who do not know what it stands for, AI means Artificial Intelligence, computer systems that are capable of forming their own thoughts and processes at a speed way faster than a normal human mind.
Julian Assange lives in the spotlight, for good or bad, that is up to you to decide. However, his name is famous worldwide as he is the famous founder of Wikileaks, a widely controversial issue that is still sensitive even to this day. He recently spoke about the issue of A.I. Via rapper and activist M.I.A.’s Meltdown Festival in Southbank Centre, London. He provides a very pessimistic and dystopian view on A.I: Predicting the day where A.I. Will eventually surpass the very humans that created them, and the influence AI can have on propaganda.
Assange paints a picture of the near-future: A world where AI can adjust humanity’s perception. He spoke to a panel including Slovenian philosopher Slavoj Žižek, about what this truly holds for the world in the future. He illustrated his thought by giving an example: What if Daily Mail were to be controlled entirely by AIs?
Bringing in further evidence to substantiate his point on why this could be a course for humanity in the future, Assange brought up the point of Google and Facebook and their roles in the recent France elections. Google and Facebook had apparent pressure on them to ensure that Emmanuel Macron became the president of France, rather than Marine Le Pen.
Julian Assange was quick to answer the question of whether it is detrimental that A.I. Could influence us. Assange claims that it isn’t the fact that they could influence us: That in itself is something that is already happening. However, it is the fact that in the near future, AI would be able to advance propaganda is what all of us should be afraid of. Search engines are essentially run by AI: That is what is scary. AIs can get hold of what’s happening and create perpetual influential campaigns a lot faster than a human mind can come up with. When it comes to this, AIs will definitely beat us to it by twenty to thirty moves.
Assange reveals some insider information from Silicon Valley: He claims that sources deep inside Silicon Valley “genuinely believe that they are going to produce AI that’s so powerful, relatively soon, that people will have their brains digitized, uploaded to these AIs and live forever in simulation, therefore have eternal life.” Assange has said that this vision of an eternal, never-ending life is overshadowing the ethical consequences of having an AI so powerful that it might go out of control one day.
While the future holds countless possibilities, especially since we are in the age of automation, sometimes, we need to stop and think whether this is really the right course for humanity as a whole. Many people around the world are already losing jobs due to newer machines and the improved AI that run these machines. One day, AI might even be able to replace a human completely, and is that what humanity truly wants for the sake of convenience?
Image: They Live