AI-Future

A.I. – Biggest Threat or Biggest Hope

20 years later, things are slowly starting to take shape. Last year, we heard about Google’s DeepMind beating the world champion of Go — an ancient board game known for its seemingly innumerable possibilities. While Deep Blue was originally designed specifically to play chess, DeepMind’s system has been designed to teach itself how to play the Go game (by playing with itself), and not simply carry out fixed, previously programmed moves. Deepmind’s system is general purpose and can be used for many tasks. It already has been tested with mastering many video games, for example.

For many researchers in the field of Artificial Intelligence, it was a major breakthrough, proving its potential. At this point many scientists believed that such breakthrough was still at least a decade away.

AI – The new electricity?

AI technologies are already here. When you browse Facebook or use Google to search for anything, AI algorithms try to bring you the most relevant content. More and more brands and organisations use AI chatbots to communicate with their customers. In the UK, for example,the National Health Service, offers an app that can be used by patients to diagnose their symptoms. It can recommend over-the-counter remedies and similar conventional practices. The upcoming version, will be able to diagnose over 80% of all illnesses that are generally diagnosed by primary care doctors.

Virtual personal assistants are another example of how AI is currently being used. Apple’s SiriGoogle Assistant or Amazon Echo, are just a few examples. They can answer questions, book appointments, make phone calls, send messages, play music, or set up reminders. We see examples of smart devices and the expansion of the Internet of things, this area will be improving dramatically over the next few years. Recently, Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg, revealed how he programs his AI smart home system called Jarvis:

It can be used for things like turning on and off the lights, or it can tell you who is waiting at the door. Companies, like Google, are working on self driving cars that use AI technologies. Soon, taxis and cars will all be autonomous according to people like Elon Musk — CEO of Tesla Motors.

Autonomous cars have a lot of potential; they can find parking lots, potentially eliminate collisions, and even earn their owners money if rented out. In the next few years, everything will be connected to the internet; our devices, tools, homes, transportation, restaurants, stores, and whole cities — even plants — and perhaps we will also start merging our bodies with AI technologies.

How far is the future?

Some people think that we are still far away from some of these larger developments, like self driving cars or general AI, that can help us solve big problems or merging our bodies with AI. But it actually might be closer than we think. One important rule when thinking about technological developments is that these systems grow exponentially and not linearly.

What this means is that if you have, for example, linear growth and you take 30 steps, you just end up with 30 steps. But, if you have exponential growth, you take 30 steps and you get to 1bln. So, for example, 1+1 = 2, 2+2 = 4, 4+4 = 8, 8+8 = 16, 16+16 = 32 and etc. With just 30 steps, we end up with more than 1bln.

In the 1960s, a computer that cost $11 mln was so incredibly large, that it was half the size of the building at MIT. Today, our smartphones are literally a million times smaller and cheaper, and thousands of times more powerful, and this trend will continue. Everything that is currently created helps to make further improvements in the existing field, thus making things more advanced at an ever faster pace. This is why in 20 years the change will most likely be dramatic. For example, all that we use now — like smartphones, email tools, internet, cars for transporting goods, cloud systems or other ready systems — all allow us to create technologies that are faster, more advanced and at lower cost.

Experts predict that by 2025, 30% of jobs will be replaced by robots and AI systems. Just recently, it was announced that Elon Musk — the visionary behind Tesla Motors and SpaceX — is backing a brain-computer interface startup called Neuralink, that will allow for AI systems and devices to merge with human brains. The purpose will be to improve memory, or allow for more direct use of computing devices. It is claimed that the company is in the early stages, but it is known that several other companies are also working on different technologies that could turn us into cyborgs. Ray Kurzweil, known inventor and futurist, predicts that by 2030 our minds will be able to connect to the cloud thanks to tiny nanobots made of DNA. It is worth noting that researchers already used DNA nanobots to target and destroy cancer cells.

What AI means for the future of humanity?

Personally, I believe that Artificial Intelligence will have the most profound impact on humanity in the 21st century. Like many other inventions, it can be used to create good or evil. The internet, for example, provides tremendous opportunities. We can communicate with friends and family instantly, we can access knowledge about anything in a matter of seconds, but at the same time it can be used to spy on people by governments, it can be used for things like pornography, creating propaganda, etc. It can make us less connected with others in real life, as we are hooked to our devices. With AI, things jump to another level. The implications are enormous and hard to predict. AI can be programmed to self improve — Theoretically, there are no limits to what it could do and how advanced it could become.

Here are few potential scenarios:

1. General AI
General AI can be used to solve problems and answer big questions. Theoretically, it could learn anything from the internet and it could be designed to help us to find solutions to issues like intergalactic space travel or it could help to solve some scientific problems, like the relationship between relativity and quantum physics.

2. AI and longevity
AI can help us to increase our life expectancy, battle illnesses and maybe even make us immortal. Known inventor and futurist Ray Kurzweil, whose predictions have displayed an 86% accuracy rate thus far, believes that “By the 2020s we’ll start using nanobots to complete the job of the immune system,” We might be using nanobots to target diseases, or we might just use them to monitor our health. They could send us updates to our devices, so we can fight disease at very early stages. AI powered robots will perform surgeries making operations safer and more precise.

3. Merging with AI systems
One of the more controversial areas is enhancing our biology by installing electronic implants. Think about searching for something on the internet by simply thinking about it, instead of typing it on an external keyboard or giving voice commands. We already have engineers testing drones that can be controlled with your thoughts using EEG brain-computer interface:

The future might require us to install implants into our bodies, this is a controversial area, but in the same way as many women desire breast implants, many will see electronic brain implants as something desirable. And now think on how much advantage an employee who can instantly get data from the internet has over people who don’t use such technology? Your future employer can decide to hire someone with an implant instead of someone without it, which could force other people to start having them as they would fall behind.

4. Bid data and AI system optimisation
AI can help to optimise and improve the efficiency of any system. It can be used to foresee trends, find patterns and predict outcomes. For example, if you run a company that consists of human resources, financial resources, and physical and non physical assets; customers and other variables, an AI system could analyse all these different elements and be programmed to optimise performance for the entire company, find the best solutions or eliminate friction, and do whatever is required. In the future, AI will be able to run multiple operations for the company simultaneously.

5. AI and the future of the workplace
Many jobs will become obsolete. Over the next few years we will see increased demand for engineers and programmers, and declining demand for many other jobs. AI systems and robots will slowly take over human tasks. Autonomous cars will eliminate the need for drivers. AI software will be able to diagnose health problems. Amazon, for example, recently unveiled its grocery store that has no checkouts. You just tap your phone when you get inside, you pick what you like and put it in your bag. It charges you for the items you’ve picked when you leave the store. Chatbots will slowly replace customer service agents. The justice system will be dramatically transformed. Apps like DoNotPay help with legal advice. It has already helped to overturn at least 200,000 parking tickets so far. Users can provide details surrounding the violation, and the app can then just create a letter that can be used to contest the ticket. These are only a few examples, but there are very few jobs that won’t be affected by this shift.

6. The dark side of AI
In recent years some of the greatest minds alive — like Stephen Hawking, Elon Musk and Bill Gates — have all raised concerns about AI. The world becomes more and more interconnected, and in the next 20 years, most of what we interact with, will be software driven and connected through computer networks. Autonomous cars, will become aware of other cars, and work on optimising the flow of traffic to make driving safe which will all be controlled by AI.

Imagine now that there is some kind of bug or an error and suddenly all cars crash or break? Maybe someone just hacks and reprograms the system for it to crash. Maybe some group or government hacks the system, it could cause chaos. AI that, can access any system, from our homes, devices, cars to buildings and power grids, could make a big mess if used irresponsibly. In the same way that a computer virus can compromise current computer networks, it could affect AI driven Internet of things. This could have devastating implications. Financial markets could crash, every aspect of our lives could be impacted. It is certainly more dangerous than nuclear weapons.

We don’t really know how superintelligence will behave, something that is trillions of times smarter than us, could make very different decisions from us and have a different perspective on things. There is no reason to think that it will not develop strategies to secure its dominance. Imagine trying to explain to someone who lived a few thousand years ago how our world looks like today, what kind of tools we use. Can you imagine explaining things like apps and computer programs? Now think about a superior intelligence that is trillions of times smarter than people like Einstein or Tesla; the ideas that it will come up with, may be very hard for us to understand.

One thing is certain, it is coming — and whether we like it or not — we will experience some of these revolutionary changes over the next 20 years.

About the Author

Mike Sygula is a blogger, entrepreneur and activist promoting alternative ideas to raise public consciousness of the important issues facing humankind. He is the founder of Truth Theory.

This article (Artificial Intelligence – The Biggest Hope Or The Greatest Threat To Humanity?) was originally featured at Truth Theory and is re-posted here with permission.

The Library of Alexandria

Why Men With Dark Intentions Destroyed the Library of Alexandria

Ancient civilizations are a fascinating topic, and it’s clear we have so much to learn from them when it comes to our way of life, our health, our technology, science, nature, consciousness, and the nature of reality itself. 

Be it information in the form of written text, or advanced ancient structures like the Kailasa temple, one of 32 cave temples and monasteries located within the Ellora Caves in India, their knowledge — how they acquired it and how they constructed their masterpieces — remains a complete mystery.

With all of our modern day technology, knowledge, and wisdom, there is still no way to accomplish some of the feats of civilizations past, feats that required an extremely advanced understanding of mathematics, physics, and more.

There is evidence that many ancient achievements required an extremely advanced form of technology as well, and many examples to prove these assertions.

Another fascinating point to make is the fact that many groundbreaking discoveries within the realm of quantum mechanics, as well as neuroscience, closely resemble the teachings of several ancient civilizations and native American populations.

This is why today, there are conferences held every single year between academics and spiritual leaders, like Tibetan monks, to discuss how they relate, and books like Blackfoot Physics continue to be published.

Sometimes it seems we are re-learning much of the knowledge kept by the ancient world.

This is exactly why the burning of the library of Alexandria was such a tragedy. It was one of the greatest libraries in human history, holding a vast archive of manuscripts and books from all over the ancient world, and what our ancients would have themselves considered ancient.

It was built after the famous Alexander the Great conquered Egypt and acquired knowledge from all parts of the globe. From East to West, the teachings of multiple civilizations throughout human history up to that time could be found in the great library.

The books contained in this library touched upon every subject that concerns humanity, from health, science, and astronomy to geology, philosophy, mysticism, magic, knowledge of the spiritual world, and much more.

Manly P. Hall describes it as follows in The Secret Teachings of All Ages:

“Prior to the Christian Era seven hundred thousand of the most valuable books, written upon parchment, papyrus, vellum, and was, and also tablets of stone terra cotta, and wood, were gathered from all parts of the ancient world and housed in Alexandria, in buildings specially prepared for the purpose. This magnificent repository of knowledge was destroyed by a series of three fires.”

It was burned down in approximately A.D. 389  by Caesar, from the order of Theodosius I. Also known as Theodosius the Great, he was a Roman Emperor from AD 379 to AD 395, ruling over both the Eastern and the Western halves of the Roman Empire.

Libraries as such were well known to multiple ancient civilizations in Egypt, Mesopotamia, Asia Minor, Syria, and Greece, who were very impressed by Oriental knowledge.

There is literary evidence of Greek individuals visiting Egypt specifically to acquire knowledge: e.g., HerodotusPlato (particularly in Phaedrus and Timaeus), Theophrastus, and Eudoxus of Cnidus (as detailed by Diogenes Laërtius in the 3rd century CE).

According toe H.P. Blavatsky in Isis Unveiled:

“They (the Rabbis of Palestime and the wise men) say that not all the rolls and manuscripts, reported in history to have been burned by Caesar, by the Christian mob, in 389, by the Arab General Amuru, perished as it is commonly believed; and the story they tell is the following:

“At the time of the contest for the throne, in 51 B.C., between Cleopatra and her brother Dionysius Ptolemy, the Bruckion, which contained over seven hundred thousand rolls all bound in wood and fire-proof parchment, was undergoing repairs and a great portion of the original manuscripts, considered among the most previous, and which were not duplicated, were stored away in the home of one of the librarians.

“Several hours passed between the burning of the fleet, set on fire by Ceasar’s order, and the moment when the first buildings situated near the harbor caught fire in their turn; and *** the librarians, aided by several hundred slaves attached to the museum, succeeded in saving the most previous of the rolls.”

Manly P. Hall writes that the books that were saved were actually buried in Egypt and in India, and until they are discovered, “the modern world must remain in ignorance concerning many great philosophical and mystical truths. The ancient world more clearly understood these missing links – the continuity of the pagan Mysteries in Christianity.”

These pagan mysteries, Hall writes, are the heart of mysticism, which actually represents true Christianity. This makes sense; any civilization, you would assume, would seek out the knowledge and wisdom of those prior. It’s one of many paths to truth, or at least new discoveries that help one in their contemplation of truth.

Hall states:

“There are persistent rumors that Jesus visited and studied in both Greece and India, and that a coin struck in His honor in India during the first century has been discovered. Early Christian records are known to exist in Tibet, and the Monks of a Buddhist monastery in Ceylon still preserve a record which indicates that Jesus sojourned with them and became conversant with their philosophy.

“Although early christianity shows every evidence of Oriental influence, this is a subject the modern church declines to discuss. If it’s ever established beyond question that Jesus was an initiate of the pagan Greek or Asiatic Mysteries, the effect on the more conservative members of the Christian faith is likely to be cataclysmic.”

Information like this, among other topics like life on other planets and sacred and magical (considered mythical by many) information about shamanism, magic, and sorcery, predate modern Christianity.

Different sects of Christianity, after the ancient Romans created their own version, now condemn these teachings even though they were embedded within the original doctrines.

This is one of many reasons the aristocracy of ancient Rome ordered the library destroyed, because it would ruin the foundations of what they were creating — a new religion for man to follow, one whose doctrine contradicted the one prior.

This type of religion was forced upon people, and those who did not follow were subject to death and exile. Anybody who questioned these new doctrines received harsh penalties throughout the ages, especially as time progressed and the expansion of civilization, from that point, moved forward.

“The early Christians used every means possible to conceal the pagan origin of their symbols, doctrines, and rituals. They either destroyed the sacred books of other peoples among whom they settled, or made them inaccessible to students of comparative philosophy, apparently believing that in this way they could stamp out all record of the pre-christian origin of their doctrines. In some cases the writings of various ancient authors were tampered with, passages of a compromising nature being removed or foreign material interpolated.”

Conquering the World

Before the creation of a certain type of Christianity by ancient Rome, truth seemed to be more apparent, but darkness seemed to have permeated the world of light even prior.

Atlantis is a great example, as Plato, among other ancient scholars, told us that the eventual demise of this civilization was brought forth by ego-driven desires that soon developed among them, when the Atlantean kings were “lured” from “the pathway of wisdom and virtue.”

“Filled with false ambition, the rulers of Atlantis determined to conquer the gods into his holy habitation and addressed them. Here Plato’s narrative comes to an abrupt end, for the Critias was never finished.”

“A technologically sophisticated but morally bankrupt evil empire – Atlantis – attempts world domination by force. The only thing standing it its way is a relatively small group of spiritually pure, morally principled and incorruptible people – the ancient Athenians.

“Overcoming overwhelming odds… the Athenians are able to defeat their far more powerful adversary simply through the force of their spirit. Sound familiar? Plato’s Atlantean dialogues are essentially an ancient greek version of ‘Star Wars.’” – Ken Feder, professor of archaeology, taken from his book Frauds, Myths and Mysteries: Science and Pseudoscience in Archaeolog

The sacred teachings and artifacts in Atlantis were perverted and used for selfishness by some. These teachings made their way into Egypt, and eventually into ancient Greece, until the Roman Empire dominated the world, burned the library where many of these teachings were probably held, and disseminated their own version of knowledge and truth across the land.

Do some of these books lie within the libraries of the Vatican today? If much of the mythical stories we’ve heard and read about are real, they would indeed bring down the modern day understanding of religion and spirituality that’s been spread by the families of ancient Rome.

Are we looking at a cover-up of knowledge regarding “what is,” and have we been deceived?

The burning of Alexandria’s library was one tragic event involving the destruction of ancient knowledge, similar to the mass Native North American genocide that saw even more knowledge of humanity lost, stolen, and hidden.

This is why examining ancient sources of truth, or whatever is left of it, is always interesting, because it’s hard to receive something that’s been created and used as the backbone of deception — modern day religion.

Reference: Collective-Evolution.com