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That is, we have to try to understand each other well enough to perform mutually modeled interfaces of what you’d have done unto you and what they’d have you do unto them.” I know it doesn’t have the same snap as “do unto others,” but it’s the only way we’ll make it through.
2) There are multiple types of consciousness, even within the framework of the human spectrum, and that the expression of or search for any one type is in no way meant to discount, demean, or erase any of the others.
Each story is, in its own way, breathtaking, heart-wrenching, melancholy, and joyous; at once familiar and fundamentally alien and Other.
Which is precisely as it should be for a collection about the places where the lives of these beings intersect with our own. About what a creature made to sate desires, might desire for herself.
With that in mind, I use “machine consciousness” to mean a machine with the capability of modelling a sense of interiority and selfness similar enough to what we know of biological consciousnesses to communicate it with us, not just a generalized computational functionalist representation, as in “AGI.” For the sake of this, as I’ve related elsewhere, I (perhaps somewhat paradoxically) think the term “artificial intelligence” is problematic.
Anything that does the things we want machine minds to do is intelligent, not “artificially” so, where we use “artificial” to mean “fake,” or “contrived.” To be clear, I’m specifically problematizing the “natural/technological” divide that gives us “art vs artifice,” for reasons previously outlined here.
Over at AFuture Worth Thinking About, there is the audio and text for a talk for the about how nonwestern philosophies like Buddhism, Hinduism, and Daoism can help mitigate various kinds of bias in machine minds and increase compassion by allowing programmers and designers to think from within a non-zero-sum matrix of win conditions for all living beings, meaning engaging multiple tokens and types of minds, outside of the assumed human “default” of straight, white, cis, ablebodied, neurotypical male: My starting positions, here, are that, 1) in order to do the work correctly, we literally must refrain from resting in abstraction, where, by definition, the kinds of models that don’t seek to actually engage with the people in question from within their own contexts, before deciding to do something “for someone’s own good,” represent egregious failure states.
Over at A Future Worth Thinking About, I’ve posted an expanded riff on a presentation I gave at the Theorizing the Web 2017 Invited Panel, “Apocalypse Buffering.” It’s called “How We Survive After The Events.” If you’re a regular reader of the newsletter, then this will likely be familiar.
My co-panelists were Tim Maughan, who talked about the dystopic horror of shipping container sweatshop cities, and Jade E.
In the usual style, Adam stumbles across a web of intrigue and conspiracy, as numerous forces clash for control of humanity's future.
Will mankind embrace this technological evolution, retreat into the comforting limits of humanity, or choose something else entirely?
The Genie of the Lamp, the Ring, the Rug; the Djinni made by God, before humans, capable of a form of salvation and divine communion that humans could never fully grasp; the Jinn, who see us and know us, but perhaps don’t quite fully understand us. About understanding that you’ll never get to understand what you broke and what you stole. A dreamlike touch and taste, moving from once thought, one touch, one node of resonance to the next.