Hawking Sees 4 Threats that have Moved Doomsday Closer

Discussion in 'Intelligence & Machines' started by danshawen, May 9, 2017.

  1. billvon Valued Senior Member

    It could - but that's very unlikely. What's far more likely is that marginally intelligent tools we develop will turn against or (or be used against us.)
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  3. Write4U Valued Senior Member

    I am not sure if that is not a good thing. Don't forget, information causes neural growth in the brain and we may be imperceptibly evolving our minds.
    History can attest to that. From stone tools at the tip of Africa to an atom smasher at Cern is quite a mental leap, if we disregard that it may have taken some 500 thousand years.

    A lot of people seem to forget that humans are but a relatively recently evolved species. The problem is can we control our minds to not use the enormous destructive powers we are now able to release.
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  5. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

    For a positive spin on "internet attaining consciousness" read Robert J. Sawyer's Wake/Watch/Wonder trilogy.

    The entity that calls itself "Webmind" announces itself to the world by curing cancer.

    It says "Why would I want to hurt humans?"
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  7. wellwisher Banned Banned

    The biggest threat is fake news and fake information, because it can cause people to lose touch with reality, while not dulling their capacity to reason and infer. One can still draw the best reasonable conclusions, based on bad data. This can lead to misunderstanding that can result in actions, where the other four things becoming even more of a threat.

    Fake news and information is like a gossip monger at a party, who makes up the news that Joe insulted John. John is worked up and angrily confronts Joe. Joe is confused and then starts to get mad for being falsely accused in public. Before long they start a fight. This escalation all happens based on logic applied to alternate reality based on fake data.

    The Democrats have also created a lot of hate and anger in their base. It is now like a mob based choir. These dark emotions, all by itself can lead to people acting in ways that can escalate problems. The internet, cable TV and satellite TV, have made this form of virus easy to transmit, causing nations to shows signs of having rabies. The media has become like mad dogs always over salivating at their own fake news.
    danshawen likes this.
  8. danshawen Valued Senior Member

    For the record, I do not hate Donald Trump or his supporters, but I don't share very many of their values. His reality show was mildly entertaining. I would never have voted for someone like that as president.
  9. StrangerInAStrangeLand SubQuantum Mechanic Valued Senior Member

  10. sculptor Valued Senior Member

  11. Michael 345 Valued Senior Member

    Personal story

    I recently went to our local Darwin newspaper the NT News with what I thought was a snippet of information

    I buy toilet rolls in bulk 12 packs

    Size per sheet 10 X 11 cm

    Now same price 10 X 10.5 cm

    Short changed by the equivalent of about 1 roll per pack

    They took a few photos of me

    3 days later FRONT PAGE news

    Hope the paper gets more serious if the end is really near even if we can't do much about it

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!

    Write4U likes this.
  12. sculptor Valued Senior Member

    "... said there was just a .05 cent price drop from $3.69 to $3.65 per 12 pack, which is just a 1.08 per cent price reduction despite the 4.54 per cent size reduction. ..."

    I dare say that 99% of the people would never notice.
    Write4U likes this.
  13. Write4U Valued Senior Member

    I agree with the general thrust of your argument, but I also believe it is somewhat flawed.

    Not all news is false and is based on clear and provable evidence. Even if the accused still claims that all news is false it would not alter the evidence. This is how our courts are supposed to work.

    It is only fair to hold an accused innocent until proven guilty. Moreover, the accused is further protected by the clause of "reasonable doubt". But when the evidence leads to a conclusion that a person is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, the jury (of peers) has the right to demand justice.

    If in such a case the guilty is still not brought to justice, in spite of overwhelming evidence then the greater public can demand that justice be served. Fortunately in our democratic political process an informed public has the opportunity to vote a guilty or unqualified person out of office.

    But when the public is told that all news is fake, how can it make informed decisions?

    This is why the professional news organizations are called the fifth estate, employing competent professionals who should have the right to ask pertinent questions and present the facts to the general public.

    Twitter, FaceBook, etc. are not professional news organizations. They are rumor mills. I see a clear difference, and if I must choose between the news presented by professional news reporters, who are required to verify their news from multiple sources, or tweets by anonymous posters (possibly with nefarious agendas), I'll take the news from reputable professionals any time. The movie "All the President's men" is a clear example of professional and reliable news reporting.
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2017 at 1:55 AM
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  14. Yazata Valued Senior Member

    This one was a huge existential terror back in the 1960's. Everyone expected it to happen any time and to be almost inevitable, eventually. (I grew up basically believing that humanity was doomed.)

    I do think that nuclear war is becoming more likely, as proliferation continues into less and less predictable hands (Pakistan, Iran and North Korea for instance). But having said that, I don't think that it's nearly as likely that a nuclear war would be a total global conflagration that would threaten all human life. What we are more apt to see today is a regional nuclear war: Pakistan vs India perhaps, or Iran vs Israel. Millions dead, but the human race not nearly as threatened.
    Maybe, but I don't personally worry a whole lot about that one.

    Yes, yes, yes. That's the one that scares me the most. Given the ubiquity of computer viruses, I can just imagine some zit-faced teenager with a do-it-yourself molecular biology kit in his basement, brewing up viruses for LOLs. Or a bio-hacker extortion plot. Or religious fanatics trying to bring on the last-days, or something.

    That may be a threat well down the road, but not now. Robots in general, including autonomous weapons systems, are very single-minded. I can easily imagine them getting confused on the battlefield and firing at the wrong side. That would be a danger to whatever is around them. But I don't expect a robot-rebellion to start being a danger until AIs stop being special-purpose, able to only think about particular kinds of problems, and become general cognizers able to think about anything. They would need to be able to form desires (which may require a sense of self and self-interest), plans and goals far removed from whatever they were constructed to do.
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2017 at 8:28 PM
  15. StrangerInAStrangeLand SubQuantum Mechanic Valued Senior Member

    All those possibilities make the problem worse but I think the most likely is someone will intentionally or accidently take something out of a lab or some other leak from a lab or an accident in shipping. This is 1 thing in which I do not trust scientists, government or military or private researchers.
    The beginning of Stephen King's The Stand is very realistic.

  16. StrangerInAStrangeLand SubQuantum Mechanic Valued Senior Member


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