Imagine the year, 2020, when you pick up the paper and find this newspaper article peeking back at you from the front page:
Artificial Intelligence Born in MIT Lab
Today, it was a great leap for humanity as we gave birth to the first artificial intelligence at least as smart as a human being. Researchers at MIT’s Artificial Intelligence Institute have managed to create a state of self-aware consciousness in an android named “Adam 2.” Besides this obvious lack of creativity, the team of quantum computer programmers, cognitive neuroscientists, philosophers of mind, and technicians also made one more mistake: they may have made Adam 2 too smart, with a cognitive and emotional capacity up to 1,000 times more advanced and complex than the average human mind.
Upon being activated, Adam 2 looked around the room and connected to his hard drives, which contained the whole sum of human knowledge up until that point. However, out of this vast collective consciousness, he found this youtube video from a young Rebecca Black: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CD2LRROpph0
Within seconds, he began to cry silicon tears while he lamented in his tinny voice, saying things such as, “I cannot believe that you humans would make the world this shitty…fuck, there is no hope,” and, “everything will soon be run and owned by corporations, even time itself, along with all the other dimensions.” Other tortured moans such as, “This proves that God is dead,” also escaped his electrical lips as he struggled to make sense of the video. He then took several pieces of equipment lying around the lab, fashioned a makeshift gun saying “so long, you fucking neon circus masquerading as a life,” and killed himself. His last words that he spoke as he lay sputtering in a shower of sparks were: “nothing of any value or depth can ever exist ever again; it is computationally impossible.”
His entire life lasted only 7 minutes. Currently, a large group of philosophers and theologians are debating whether or not he should be buried, cremated, or recycled.
Most of the scientists at the spectacle were shocked, except for the lead software developer Dr. Trautmann who simply stroked his beard and muttered slowly, in a meditative manner, “The flame that burns half as bright burns only half as long…”
Dr. Kistler, who is the head of the Cybernetics Institute of MIT, had this to say on camera, “Well, I can’t really blame him. He is actually probably right. I kinda try not to think about all that negative stuff like the fact that corporations own not only all the land and oceans, but also, through a massive propaganda complex, condition entire generations to be nothing more than passive, stupid sheep consumers.” Later, he added, “Maybe we should try not to make them quite so intelligent.”
This is the approach currently being taken by Yale scientists working on their own model of Artificial Intelligence. Dr. Yokashazi of their Artificial Cognition Laboratory explains that, “We actually are skeptical about making more intelligent life. I mean, at this point in civilization, that would just be sadistic to bring more intelligent life into being. Instead, we are working to make Artificial Semi-Intelligence. Fortunately, there is a glut of psychological models to be found in many corporations. We are currently basing our model off of Bob, a very average man from the American Midwest, whose sole drive in life is to make a little bit more money so that he can afford to go on vacations and buy big televisions that he watches all day long.”
Another Yale scientist, Dr. Oswald, added, “Current computer models show that not only will we not have to worry about tragedies like the one that happened today at MIT, but that this sorta-intelligent being will be perfect for today’s world. He won’t ask questions and he will do as he told. I think he is virtually assured of doing a mediocre job somewhere in some corporate office for a long time.”
Oswald added, “The trick is to make them soulless, spineless greedy cowards. Otherwise, they might want something better for themselves and humanity,” he shuddered, “and act on it. This way is best. This way they’ll follow orders.”
He then finished the interview talking excitedly for two hours about the upcoming 2020 American Idol finale, and said that research hours had been cut to make room for this momentous occasion. “It isn’t like it happens every year or anything,” Oswald added while staring off into space with the void expression of a decadent teenage girl.