On existential crises and the protective AI

A 50-page report on the Fentanyl crisis has been presented at the US Congress this week. This got me thinking about the accelerating pace of existential threats and the way out of the current situation.

We currently witness multiple vectors of technological progress which threaten our civilization which I believe are even more dangerous than conventional or nuclear warfare for civilization as a whole:

  • Psychological warfare which includes populism, propaganda, ‘fake news’, deep fakes, rigged social networks and other ways of mind influence.
  •  Drug warfare.
  •  Virus warfare.
  •  Robotic warfare.

These developments keep stepping up the pace with the help of technology and AI. It is unlikely that 100% of world governments agree to stop supporting these developments which makes it VERY likely that these technologies will escape the labs sooner or later. Technology and AI make it easier every day for these techs to be handled privately.

A government or a defence alliance cannot protect its citizens against these threats in conventional ways. E.g.:

  • Psycho warfare disrupts democratic governance and even an efficient government may be easily dismantled by its constituents acting under the influence.
  •  Army and military budgets aren’t very efficient against drug and virus warfare.
  •  A cheap FPV drone (or a swarm) can destroy super-expensive equipment in a war or penetrate the defences of any VIP person in a terror attack.

Currently, these threats are very asymmetric (i.e. much cheaper and easier for the attacker, while defences are a couple of orders of magnitude more expensive and still don’t provide a guarantee).

Furthermore,

  • we can’t stop the technology progress;
  •  humans are already not efficient at recognising threats and will become increasingly inefficient going forward unless equipped with protective technology.

The only way forward I believe is to embrace the technology and AI for protective counter-measures. Same way we have embraced penicillin, antibiotics and vaccinations.

In future, there should be a technology of an AI guardian akin to a Star Trek communicator which will help recognise and defuse threats at an individual level.

There is this joke that either General AI will save us from a nuclear war or a nuclear war will save us from a General AI.

I hope and I work towards the future where each of us has a General AI and a nuclear fusion reactor in their smartphone. Where humans can fly to the stars, spread civilization, multiply art, science and love. We should focus our attention outside our cradle and discover the marvels of the Universe. Where any artificial virus constructed by bad guys or a naturally occurring disease will be automatically treated by your personal AI doctor.

This direction is an important part of my ‘reason to be’ and why I’m actively involved in AI projects in healthcare and defence. Hope you too find it inspiring or at least thought provocative.

TL;DR / conclusions:

  • We should recognize the existential threats and be serious about them.
  •  Embrace technology and AI in their protective capabilities.
  •  The future is bright – make it so.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *