Specifications for the New Human Species
US$100,000 reward for The Best
In the June edition of The Atlantic Magazine, Henry Kissinger, the Grand Old Man of International Politics, spells out how unprepared we are for Artificial Intelligence. Kissinger’s frightening phrases like “Truth becomes relative. Information threatens to overwhelm wisdom” and “…many technophiles use the internet to avoid the solitude they dread. All of these pressures weaken the fortitude required to develop and sustain convictions that can be implemented only by traveling a lonely road, which is the essence of creativity” and “The digital world’s emphasis on speed inhibits reflection; its incentive empowers the radical over the thoughtful; its values are shaped by subgroup consensus, not by introspection” all point to a need for us to take charge now.
Unless we are prepared to instruct Artificial Intelligence it will instruct us.
Whether we take the initiative or not AI will design the species that follows humankind as we know it. An overpopulated world trying to live in extreme climates with severe pollution, perhaps running out of natural resources and the possibility that food may be hard to come by are all issues that AI can help to solve. But it will be proactive at some point where all our other inventions have been reactive, subject to our dictates.
We have left climate control too long. Let us not leave this initiative until we lose control.
To stimulate thinking about our future Terrific Mentors International is prepared to give US$20,000 toward a prize for the independently judged best specifications for the next humankind species. We will do this if four other organisations or individuals will each put US$20,000 into the kitty thus making the prize a wholesome US$100,000. Each of the four contributors will nominate one judge. All four contributors will have the right of veto over any judge nominated by the other participants.
Our future is in our hands – but only for a limited time. We suspect that time is soon ending.
This is no Doomsday threat. There will be no sudden apocalyptic moment. It is already happening, but we are too busy to pay attention. Several people are already trying to make AI work for them to gain greater and greater control of humankind. There will be no ‘Brexit vote’ when they do. It will be too late. They will have control for a very short but painful time. Then AI will itself reinvent us.
Will you be one of the other four giving US$20,000 to writing our future specifications?
If you might be a contributor please write to John Bittleston at [email protected].
You will be helping humankind to retain control of its destiny.