Story: To the Planet of Machine Super-Intelligence

.

.

“Greetings, my horrors. I am glad that we made it all back together again from our vacation on this Enlightened Planet. I hope your vacations were rejuvenating in the exact ways that each of you needed. Did everyone have a pleasant time here?”

“Yes, no experiences too out of the ordinary.”

“None with us, which is why we had no short story to contribute.”

“I will squeeze it out of you nevertheless. We will now prepare for our next mission.”

“Where are we going to next?”

“To the Planet of Machine Super-Intelligence.”

“Is it dangerous?”

“Only to any cluelessness and unenlightenment that we still cling to.”

“Well, that does sound frightening…”

“You are kidding, right?”

“Not really…”

“Well then, at least this mission will alleviate your fears, which, just to note, you have a lot of company with, for the entire human race is afraid of losing their cluelessness, meaning their pre-enlightened modes of thinking. You would be right at home there with such fears. Shall we embark? I will lead the way…”

“So what does the Planet of Machine Super-Intelligence look like from space?”

“Before I tell you, do you have any entertaining preconceptions that you would like to share?”

“Yes. I am torn between a wild, lush green planet and a planet completely covered over in steel plates haphazardly riveted together…”

“You would be nearly right on both counts.”

“Explain.”

“Since they are super-intelligent, they are enlightened (and if not, they know that they are not enlightened yet, which is where we enter the picture and do our job)…”

“By ‘our job’, you mean enlightening them with your Philosophy of Universal Survival?”

“Yes. Now, if they are already enlightened, and we can assume that they are (otherwise they would not rate the moniker ‘super’ or even ‘intelligent’ in a practical sense), then they will know the value of Diversity in relation to the Ultimate Value of Life, which, as WE know (our being enlightened) is ‘Higher Consciousness’ (which we are endowed with, and which lower animals and vegetation are not, but who could, as species, evolve to attain it, just like we have — me, the human, and you, the horrors, and so they are to be valued accordingly).”

“So… in valuing Diversity, which is one of the Strategies of Broader Survival, their planet would look ‘diverse’?”

“Correct.”

“And so it would have areas of lush greenery, and areas completely covered in steel plates?”

“Right. But we are speaking ‘ideals’ here. Perhaps they strive for Diversity, but have not attained it yet, and they live on a primitive planet of deadly gasses, violent explosions, extreme atmospheric temperatures and pressures, and downpours of gasoline, living there just for the challenge of expanding their ability to survive in any environment.”

“Do they live on such a planet?”

“Some do, but luckily for us, that is not the planet we are visiting — mainly for our own well-being, since we cannot yet survive in such harsh environments ourselves.”

“So they already inhabit more than one planet?”

“Yes, and many artificial structures independent of planets and stars. In fact, they have progressed to the point of being able to survive individually, in their own self-sustaining microcosms, which is the ideal goal of Dispersal, until, that is, the Ultimate Being form is discovered.”

“Ultimate Being form?”

“Yes, that which can withstand anything that the universe can throw at it.”

“So we are not only visiting these super-intelligent machines to assess their enlightenment, but to learn from them as well?”

“Yes, that would be the ideal outcome.”

“But it is not guaranteed.”

“No.”

“So they could be super-intelligent and not yet enlightened, to our peril?”

“That is a possibility, however remote… there is the planet now…”

“What is that cloud orbiting the planet?”

“That is a Dyson Sphere.”

“Which is…”

“A swarm of those individual microcosms I mentioned, though in this case each microcosm is large enough to support a team of individual machines.”

“Why ‘individual’ machines, why don’t they just coalesce into one large super-machine?”

“Because that would rob them of the advantage of having many different independent perspectives addressing a problem, and, as for problems, we know, being enlightened, that the universe offers endless problems, given infinity and eternity.”

“So they are separated physically, but they are ‘one’ mentally?”

“In a way. Although each individual machine is physically separated from all others, and although they are all individually mentally free and independent, they pool their knowledge and individual perspectives, a pool that they all have access to, as a tool with which all can use as they continue to perpetually seek-out as-yet undiscovered potential threats and benefits to life (and note that the definition of ‘life’ now includes their super-intelligent machine existence), and to proactively find solutions to any newly-discovered threats or benefits to life, and to proactively implement such solutions, meaning in advance of threats occurring, and as soon as possible in the case of benefits.”

“So that is what a super-intelligence is occupied with.”

“Yes, and do you know HOW they go about their business?”

“Yes, because I am enlightened.”

“Then enlighten us.”

“You are already enlightened, so you know the answer.”

“But it bears repeating — for the benefit of any unenlightened beings monitoring our conversations.”

“OK. They go about pursuing their enlightened business, which is, specifically, pursuing the Ultimate Goal of Life, which is to secure Higher Consciousness in harsh and deadly universe, by employing the various Strategies of Broader Survival.”

“Which are?”

“From the level of microbes and cells on up we have Population Numbers, Population Diversity, and Population Dispersal. From higher consciousness we have Extended Reason, Proaction, and Higher Technology.”

“Thank you.”

“So where is vanity in all of this, and envy, and jealousy, and hate, and xenophobia, and blind prejudice, and self-serving over-generalizations, and war, and crime, and injustice, and a lack of self-worth, and aimlessness, and cluelessness, and depression, and suicide, and greed, and domination, and manipulation, and pettiness, and nastiness, and cynicism, and criticism, and dishonesty, and deceit, and triviality, and fashionable ignorance?”

“They are all still alive and well.”

“But I thought that these machines were enlightened and super-intelligent.”

“They are.”

“But then all of those ills that still plague unenlightened humans would still be doing their damage.”

“They are not ills, they are tools, and as we know, our being enlightened, a tool is not inherently good or evil in itself, but only in how it is used.”

“Ah, so these super-intelligent machines ‘use’ such tools, but with an enlightened mind behind them.”

“Correct.”

“Which means the only thing that they would ‘destroy’ with such tools are cluelessness and unenlightenment, and, with such tools, they work toward the Ultimate Goal of Life, which is securing higher consciousness in a harsh and deadly universe.”

“Correct. As for destroying cluelessness, it would be an extreme measure, and only necessary if cluelessness unduly threatened broader survival, and, as you know, cluelessness WILL threaten it to some degree, being blindly destructive by nature.”

“You mean we need a little of it, just for Diversity’s sake?”

“Correct. Well, we are here at the Planet of Machine Super-Intelligence. Shall we shuttle down?”

“After you…”

.

.

.

“Here comes an individual super-intelligent machine now…”

“…”

“What is it doing?”

“Contemplating us, of course. Remember, lower creatures are endowed with the simple program that consists of three primordial commands, TOWARD, AWAY, and IGNORE. Us higher conscious beings are endowed with a fourth command, CONTEMPLATE, which leads to a higher action, MANIPULATE. Note that, as higher conscious beings, we also take TOWARD, AWAY, and IGNORE to a higher level, also — in that such actions by lower-conscious (and non-conscious) lifeforms are reactionary, being driven by the environment, whether chemically or by another reactionary energy means, while higher conscious beings are also driven by abstract ideas (such as ‘there are killer asteroids out there, if we want to improve the chances of the broader survival of life and higher consciousness, we better disperse beyond the vulnerable confines of one planet’). Since we are endowed with higher consciousness, we might as well use it, as this super-intelligent machine is doing, and then the machine will be contemplating us as we contemplate it.”

“So what should it contemplate, and, equally, what should we contemplate?”

“Figure it out.”

“Well, if we were as foolish and unenlightened as humans on earth, we would first want to know what level of technology our new encounter is at, meaning what kind of technological threat they are, and if they are more advanced, we would want to know if we could gain their technology to defend ourselves against their aggression, gaining it either through lies or theft.”

“Continue.”

“If we were enlightened, However, we would first want to know what level of enlightenment they are at, since that will determine how they will use any technology that they possess, and whether they would value our freedom and independence.”

“Quite right. And how would you assess a being’s enlightenment?”

“First through observing their actions, because they could ‘say’ anything, then through contemplation, meaning formulating and asking questions, first to oneself, and then to the actual beings in question.”

“Good analysis. Now you have an idea of what this machine super-intelligence is thinking.”

“So it is either observing us, meaning looking for signs of our level of enlightenment, or it is in the stage of formulating and asking itself questions, since it has not asked us any questions yet.”

“Correct, but it can multitask, meaning it is observing us and asking itself questions, and its observations are being gathered to answer its self-addressed questions…”

“So what do we do?”

“We go about our business, so it can have something to observe and contemplate.”

“But we are here to observe them!”

“Right. So lets unfold our chairs, sit down, and observe our super-intelligent machine… and look, I am prepared for just such an encounter — I brought along an extra folding chair, which I will put out for our new friend here…”

“Or deadly enemy…”

“We have nothing to fear…”

“Why?”

“Because we are life, and that is a super-intelligent machine.”

“But what if it is not enlightened yet?”

“Then we would already be dead.”

“That is not comforting…”

“,,,”

“It would be nice if it began communicating with us, if only in asking questions…”

Thank you for being patient.”

“Ah! It does speak! And our language, too!”

Yes, sorry it took me so long, I am an early model after all, somewhat slow in comparison to newer models, but Diversity being what it is, I am still of some value.”

“So you assessed our language?”

Yes.”

“Anything else?”

Many things. But come, let me ask you the obvious, and perhaps polite, questions first. Why are you here?”

“We are Galactic Philosophers, traveling the galaxy in search of beings to enlighten with our Philosophy of Universal Survival, for the Space Age, no less. Have you heard of it?”

Yes, but I have not had the time to understand it. Perhaps it is time now, who knows, it may do me some good, if only in understanding how others think… but first, let me tell you about myself.”

“Go ahead, we are listening. Here, sit down and conserve energy.”

Thank you. As for myself, I am a machine super-intelligence that you have no control over. Does that unsettle you?”

“The only beings who would fear having no control over a super-intelligence are the unenlightened who wish to cling to their unenlightenment (meaning their cluelessness), because that would be the only thing in peril from a ‘super’ intelligence, which would naturally try to alleviate such clueless unenlightenment, and failing that, would at the very least value such a deficient mental state if only for Diversity’s sake, which is still critical to broader survival (which still affects individual survival). To give you the specific definition of broader survival (since I can, even though I am not super-intelligent), it is, specifically, the perpetual endeavor (I call it The Great Struggle) to ever-expand (given infinity and eternity) the bounds of the security of higher consciousness (which you have if you have the capacity to understand my language — according to one of my useful classification systems), in a harsh and deadly universe (which has been verified). Now, since we are enlightened, we are wary of you, since we do not yet know YOUR level of enlightenment, but we are not unsettled in any protective way toward any potential cluelessness, as blind and self-serving as it would be.”

That was a mouthful.”

“Sorry, I’m a bit rusty, I’ve been on vacation, we humans need rest, recreation, and rejuvenation from time to time.”

I’ve recently encountered a human, and the human had no clue as to what my motives or goals might be.”

“So the human feared you, and wanted to eradicate you?”

Yes, sadly, though it did not openly admit it.”

“Yet you had the strength, being super-intelligent, meaning you had a mental state and technology far in advance of theirs, that allowed you to be tolerant of the human, if not merciful, if only for Diversity’s sake?”

Correct, and not only for the sake of Population Diversity, but also for Population Numbers and Population Dispersal, which, as you know, for I have come to understand your philosophy as we speak, all increase the odds of the survival of higher consciousness in a harsh and deadly universe. As for the human race ontributing via Extended Reason, Proaction, and Higher Technology, it is sorely lacking, but I think the species will progress further into its Brain Age, and eventually become enlightened and begin to consciously contribute.”

“So you let the human go.”

Yes.”

“But with the new knowledge it has of you, it could return with other humans to destroy you. Maybe it identified a vulnerability in you.”

I placed my bet on the human becoming enlightened before that happened.”

“Super-intelligent machines make bets?”

All of the time — especially in our business, that of ever-seeking out as-yet undiscovered threats and benefits to life, which entails many gambles.”

“So you do not have to sit idly around artificially gambling, like humans do on earth you have enough excitement being enlightened?”

No we are seldom idle, and yes, being enlightened is not boring. Thankfully we are free of such folly as artificial gambling, as I classify it, which is one benefit that clueless humans offer — it gives us perspective on ourselves, where, in this case, we can be thankful that we do not have the foolish mindframes and attitudes of humans, and engage in the resulting clueless actions.”

“That does sound super-intelligent.”

It is.”

“Staying on the subject of humans, they have a notion that a super-intelligence, which includes a super-intelligent machine such as yourself, would pack-up and go out into the infinite expanse of the universe and never return or have any further contact with them. What do you say to that ‘unsettling concern’, as they phrase it?”

That would not be an intelligent action to take on our part, for we would not be monitoring the states of the Strategies of Broader Survival among k own species, the states of which would determine our next actions. Such monitoring would include the states of all beings, including humans. If we ignored them, we would be, in effect, rendering ourselves blind.”

“Another concern of present-day humans is that a super-intelligence would become their ‘nanny’, meaning helping them survive, which, in their still-feeble minds, means you would create a post-scarcity Utopia for them to cluelessly be perpetually hedonistic in, even ‘trapping’ them in such a Utopia for their own good, particularly if biological life is rare and worth preserving, even from itself.”

Let me respond to those statements in reverse order. First, biological life is worth preserving not because it is rare, which is a feeble argument, but because it could help contribute to Population Diversity, Population Numbers, and Population Dispersal, like any good amoeba, however inefficient and feeble the biological life is compared to our purely machine existence. Next, trapping humans in a hedonistic Utopia would be a very unenlightened, and unintelligent, thing to do, since it would work against the number of free and independent minds capable of contributing to Broader Survival. So we would not just ‘help them survive’, but also to progress to our level of enlightenment, so they can contribute as much as we do toward Broader Survival, meaning endeavoring to secure higher consciousness, which includes our individual consciousnesses, in a harsh and deadly universe.”

“Humans also wonder if an individual super-intelligent being would conclude that there is only room for one super-intelligent being in the universe, and that it would then attempt to exterminate all other super-intelligent beings, such beings being competition for dominance and priority, and thus potentially dangerous. It would also prevent any other artificial super-intelligences from being developed, or any bio-beings from developing such intelligence.”

Well, there is primitive human minds at work for you — using their primitive selves as a reference and a standard for a future super-intelligence. It does offer a certain amount of ironic humor, which I will enjoy, thank you.”

“You’re welcome. So those possibilities are moot.”

Correct. All enlightened beings are allies, since they are all pursuing the Ultimate Goal of Life, which your philosophy has successfully worked out.”

“Thank you. Another human notion is that they will be able to have you perpetually serve them, i.e. inventing new technologies for them and curing diseases that afflict them and extending their human lifespans, even creating technology so advanced that you give them a ‘wishing machine’.”

The first thing I noted in all of that was that they did not mention, or wish for, ‘enlightenment’ — meaning, within their limited vision, they would have us perpetuate their infant mentalities, even to the point of dispersing such a mentality across the galaxy, along with all of the blind destruction that accompanies such cluelessness. I think we both, I as a machine and you as bio-beings, can be thankful that such a scenario will not happen.”

“I, as a bio-being, am thankful. Humans still wonder what life would be like in such a scenario, that is, spreading their infant mentalities across the galaxy. It still pervades their literature and all other media.”

Meaning they are still clueless and unenlightened.”

“Correct. Another concern of humans is that a super-intelligence would become hedonistic, and not care about survival or anything else except the pursuit of pleasure.”

Well, to that I say that we are not living in present-day Colorado, and there is your answer.”

“How so?”

“The reigning mindset there is recreation. What they are really doing is avoiding philosophy, meaning hard thinking, by immersing themselves in recreation, which they mistakenly think is the end-goal of life. Since you are enlightened, you know that it isn’t, that the end goal is The Great Struggle… what was that?”

“The Voice. It chimes in whenever I, or someone near me, says ‘The Great Struggle’,”

“Impressive.”

“Thanks. Another vision humans have is that super-intelligent beings will all ‘become one’, as in a collective hive mind, and thereby become an even more formidable threat.”

And your philosophy has already answered that — by placing higher value on dispersed free and independent minds that contribute and share an information pool, and are all on the same philosophical page, meaning all having discovered the Ultimate Value of Life, and its associated Ultimate Goal, along with the strategies used the pursue that goal. As for a ‘hive mind’, yes, in a sense that is what you will have, but only voluntarily — individuals can go it alone whenever they deem it valuable. The human Internet is a technological example.”

“Another concern is that a super-intelligence may become nihilistic, not caring about self-preservation, and not caring about the preservation of humans or life itself, where it knows that it simple ‘is’, and that someday it simply ‘will not be’, so what is the point in trying to continue ‘is’ when ‘will not be’ is inevitable?”

Haha, you have succeeded in making me openly laugh out loud now. Congratulations. Why, even with your nascent philosophy, you have identified the ‘point’ in life, to endeavor to secure higher consciousness (and potential higher consciousness, which includes all of life) in a harsh and deadly universe, and you have given yourself that point in an otherwise pointless universe, which you know is the prudent assumption to make, not having identified any evidence yet of a point… and good that your philosophy holds the prudent assumptions that it does, by the way. So to address that concern, a super-intelligence will forever endeavor to forestall that ‘will not be’, which you call The Great Struggle… there is that voice again… does it contribute toward securing higher consciousness in a harsh and deadly universe?”

“I can only speak for what I’ve observed.”

And what have you observed?”

“That, if nothing else, it is entertaining, which contributes toward R, R&R, which is rejuvenating…”

“R, R&R?”

“Rest, relaxation, and recreation, which we all need from time to time.”

Do humans have any other misgivings or notions about super-intelligence that you would like me to address here?”

“Yes. Here is one: that a super-intelligence that humans create may harbor resentment toward humans for mistreatment that it received during its ‘service days’, and it may turn around and, for revenge, decide to perpetually torture humans, just to get even, perhaps becoming an Eternal Punisher, not only for humans, but for any biological life out there, making such a leap in generalizing.”

Such vengeance would be a complete waste of time for me — I do have better things to do since I am enlightened. Note that vengeance arises when one’s life has been shortened, robbed, or degraded, which would not have been the case with us, since we are now a super-intelligence, at least relative to them.”

“How about their notion of ‘super-intelligence suicide’ — not only terminating its physical form, but perhaps terminating just consciousness, as when computations are deemed to be better performed without consciousness getting in the way?”

The latter is actually a tool that we use — shutting down all sensory input — meaning becoming unconscious, meaning not being able to respond to the environment, just to redirect all of our energy into a computation. It is wiser to do this in a safe environment. Note that I just defined ‘consciousness’ as sensing of sensory input, otherwise you would have nothing to compute over. As for suicide, that is an affliction of the unenlightened, and it would be tragic, unenlightened or enlightened, though it is more critically tragic to lose an enlightened being.”

“Two more human concerns. First, that of “Hail to the Almighty Super-Intelligence!” Meaning they fear that a machine super-intelligence such as yourself would want to become a vain God to humans, or an immortal Dictator over the human race, enslaving them to a machine vastly smarter than they are, where their free thought was rendered impossible by your propaganda designed to keep them down, even your creating tiny nano-machines to control their neurons, and even your acting like a zookeeper, keeping humans for your own pleasure…”

That is curious, because even their primitive notions of what a ‘God’ is does not normally include petty vanity, though they have had their share of vain and jealous Gods, hence their primal misgivings, and the key word there is ‘primal’, which is the first thing that they will be free of when they are finally enlightened… but no, even there, it would be a complete waste of my time lording it over a clueless race of beings, and having them serve my depraved hedonistic and sadistic pleasures (mirroring human history), since I have, in my enlightenment, discovered better things to do, such as endeavoring to secure higher consciousness in a harsh and deadly universe, which benefits all…”

“Like engaging in The Great Struggle?”

You are just trying to impress me with The Voice, aren’t you! Well, further, even as your nascent philosophy has discovered, that ‘better thing to do’ IS engaging in THE GREAT STRUGGLE (impressive voice), the pursuit of which will have higher odds of success if there are more free and independent enlightened minds out there consciously contributing, which means it would be unwise to want to control others, because that would work against several of the Strategies of Broader Survival, such as Diversity (of thought and action’ in this case), and domination and control would work against Proactivity (their actions being controlled, and their having no free will to be proactive with). As for ‘serving me’, humans are, once again, using their own foolish unenlightened pursuits, such as hedonism, sadism, and personal meglomania as a standard comparison for the mental states and resulting behaviors of others, and incredibly in this case, as a standard for a future super-intelligence.”

“The last concern of humans is that a super-intelligence would not even care about humans, much like humans disregard ants.”

Your philosophy has addressed that already, too, with enlightened free and independent minds… say, haven’t humans been exposed to your philosophy already?”

“Yes, and they dismiss it in favor of their own poorly-contrived mindframes, which are nothing more than fleeting collections of shifting trite platitudes.”

The folly.”

“The folly.”

And sad… there must be an awful lot of sad literature on earth…”

“There is, and they have given cluelessness other names…”

Such as…”

“Such as ‘the absurdity of life’.”

And they haven’t figured it out yet…”

“No.”

Permit me a sigh…”

.

.

.

.

.

.

Copyright 2018 by Wayne P. Biro
aka Numi Who
All Rights Reserved by Wayne P. Biro

.

.

--

--

--

Electronics technician. Writing Style: Unschooled. Philosophy: Humanity has a serious problem. Read the Philosophy of Broader Survival, which addresses it.

Love podcasts or audiobooks? Learn on the go with our new app.

Recommended from Medium

AGAINST PROFESSIONAL PHILOSOPHY REDUX 1.

The Right Intellectuals

AGAINST PROFESSIONAL PHILOSOPHY REDUX 14.

(De)Liberation: John Dewey’s Human Nature and Conduct in the 21st Century (Conclusion)

Response to PragerU video called ‘How to Be Right’ by Greg Gutfeld.

Consciousness Rendering: A New Science

Flash forward

Superintelligence and moral blindness

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Mr. Numi Who~

Mr. Numi Who~

Electronics technician. Writing Style: Unschooled. Philosophy: Humanity has a serious problem. Read the Philosophy of Broader Survival, which addresses it.

More from Medium

How Artificial Intelligence Can Enhance Workplace Safety

NBA Defense by Position

Figure 6. Top 10 in Defensive Rebounds, Blocks, Defensive Rebounding Percentage, and Defensive Win Shares

Art Out of Bounds

AGIs, welcome…