Over at Defense One, they’re postulating a “robot revolution.”
Even the smallest input that indicates that they’re performing their primary function better, faster, and at greater scale is enough to prompt them to keep doing more of that regardless of virtually every other consideration. That’s fine when you are talking about a simple program like Excel but becomes a problem when AI entities capable of rudimentary logic take over weapons, utilities or other dangerous or valuable assets. In such situations, better performance will bring more resources and power to fulfill that primary function more fully, faster, and at greater scale. More importantly, these systems don’t worry about costs in terms of relationships, discomfort to others, etc., unless those costs present clear barriers to more primary function. This sort of computer behavior is anti-social, not fully logical, but not entirely illogical either. –Defense One
The pull quote on the side of the article is: “The more logical the robot, the more likely it is to fight you to the death.”
This brings up an interesting problem in evolutionary theory — why hasn’t evolution produced a robot-like super organism that kills everything in its path in order to survive? For instance, why haven’t army ants, notorious for their ability to strip an entire area bare of every living thing, evolved into dominance in the “tree of life,” and thus eaten themselves out of the ability to survive? We’re always hearing about killer bees — why haven’t killer bees spread throughout the world, taking it over?
Why is that evolution, if it is true, has thrown up, at the top of the “food chain,” the only creature on the face of the Earth who understands the importance of not eating yourself out of house and home — man?
From a purely evolutionary perspective, this doesn’t make a lot of sense. What we should expect to see, if evolution is true, is precisely what the article above describes. Some form of super logical survival machine, programmed by evolutionary forces to kill all competition, should arise and destroy diversity. Not only diversity in the world, but even diversity within its own species. Perhaps this “machine species,” will be smart enough to cultivate some form of domesticated food source, but it will also be smart enough to never let that food source species evolve into something greater. Finding some other species might be evolving enough to develop a brain, it will promptly destroy the interloper, rather than celebrating it.
Balderdash, you say? Evolution will always throw up some predator to control the population of a species such as this?
If evolution is focused on survival, this excuse makes no sense. If one species gains the ability to adapt more quickly than any other species, then no other species should be able to out adapt it. Every predator that comes along will be countered with an effective defense, and every prey that develops a defense will countered with an effective attack mechanism.
It’s almost as if there is a limit to the evolutionary paradigm — some sort of “glass ceiling,” that keeps the process in check. Somehow no superbug has ever developed that can infect every known species, and cannot be killed through some defense mechanism. Somehow no huge ant has developed that can’t be picked off by birds, and yet has the characteristics of a locust species without the seven year cycle.
Again, somehow, just somehow, the only species that has “evolved” into something that could, actually, destroy every other type of life on the planet, that could domesticate the entire planet, has also developed a sense of caring towards other creatures, and a sense of the importance of the beauty in nature, and a sense of the importance of interconnection to this thing we call life, not to do such a thing.
Seems almost like the whole thing was planned, doesn’t it?