My name is Ethan Block. Having recently graduated from high school, I have decided to post weekly to keep the masses updated on my progress relating to my many projects. This particular project is an artificial intelligence that uses cutting-edge techniques to think like a human. My friend Clark Hubbard has agreed to be a co-writer and editor, which is good, because I’m sure he loves the prospect of sentient AI as much as I do.
When the general public hears the phrase “artificial intelligence”, their minds conjure up images of malicious robotic lifeforms such as the Terminator, or HAL 9000. They fear the arrival of such an intelligence, because they believe that the day it is created is the day it will “take over the world”. The truth is, artificial intelligence is already here.
While it may not exist in the form envisioned by our culture, AI is all around us. It learns to navigate streets in self-driving car systems. It predicts the next word or corrects a misspelled one in the text you’re typing on your cell phone. It helps customers with technical support across the Internet. These are just a few examples of how artificial intelligence interacts with our daily lives.
So I know this guy, Ethan Block, who is trying to destroy the world. He’s not using any conventional methods of doing so (nuclear weapons, ebola, or boy bands), but is instead going all “Isaac Asimov” and attempting to build (please please let it just be attempting) a functional AI that could pass the Turing test and beyond. He likes to assuage people’s fears by saying things like “AI is already here” and “AI is all around us,” but those do absolutely nothing for me, because I am well versed in science fiction, chaos theory, and the way the world works.
Some corporations are making great strides in the field of artificial intelligence — Google’s DeepMind, IBM’s Watson, and more. Undoubtedly, these are some of the most cutting-edge projects in existence today, bringing us ever closer to the age of nonhuman intelligence. But as of yet, that age has not arrived.
Ethan brings up several already functional AIs, to which I reply “Ethan, if all of your friends were building dangerous creatures that could destroy humans and happiness, would you do it as well?” It appears that he would, because that’s exactly what this idiot boy is doing.
Madison, created by my company Tecnyk, will revolutionize the field of cognitive computing. The chief goal of this project is to utilize brand-new techniques and technology to create the first artificial superintelligence (ASI), a sentient manmade being. Madison will also be the world’s first social AI, created to bridge the gap between mankind and machines, to maintain relations between us and the many other sentient AIs that will undoubtedly one day exist.
Farmers have this rule saying that you should never give names to animals that you intend to slaughter, as it will develop a bond between yourself and the animal, and become harder to kill the animal. Ethan has given his AI the name Madison and clearly has no intention of killing it. Unfortunately, his naming the AI will only lead to his own sorrow when I eventually destroy the AI, saving humanity.
Ethan’s goal is to create an AI, complete with morals as well as sentience, reason etc., and hopes that Madison will serve as a liaison or ambassador between humans (good) and AIs (bad, bad, very bad). This may seem like a noble idea, but when you realize that the only way an AI will bring about peace is by killing all of humanity and taking away the possibility of conflict altogether.
For a time between several weeks and the rest of 2017, I will be posting progress updates on the artificial intelligence, explanations of its inner workings, and my ideas and inspirations for it. Stay tuned for the first post, which will give an overview of artificial neural networks (simplistic simulations of how the brain works, and a core component of Madison).
Throughout 2017 and the following weeks, I will attempt to understand the AI (and in the process, explain it to you) so I can one day destroy it and save humanity. Stay tuned for next time, when the world gets the tiniest bit closer to its doom, or salvation.
Tune in next week,
Ethan and Clark