(These are excerpts from my book "Intelligence is not Artificial")
The Dangers of Machine Intelligence: Scientific Socialism
The real danger is not that an artificial intelligence takes over the world, but that Artificial Intelligence scientists take over the world.
Plato, a philosopher, argued that only philosophers were smart enough to rule over kingdoms. Plato envisioned selective mating to produce the best of all leaders. Since then, countless experts have argued in favor of a rule by the (unelected) experts (i.e. themselves), and in some cases (the old Soviet Union and todayÎéÎ÷s China) this has been partially implemented (with mixed results). Karl MarxÎéÎ÷s buddy Friedrich Engels called it "scientific socialism". In 1925 Herbert Croly, a cofounder of the magazine New Republic, was looking forward to "the beneficent activities of expert social engineers." In the 1880s even the idea of improving the human population through breeding became popular, thanks to the writings of the British biologist Francis Galton. This led to the founding in 1907 of the British Eugenics Education Society and to the International Eugenics Conferences, held in 1912 in London. In 1906 the Race Betterment Foundation was created in Michigan, followed in 1911 by the Eugenics Record Office in New York, thanks to the advocacy of the US biologist Charles Davenport. The idea was to create a smarter society, run by smarter people.
In theory, the idea of a society ruled by impartial algorithms sounds really good: no more corruption among bureaucrats, no more lobbyists, no more incompetent presidents elected by dumb and ignorant voters and supported by dishonest media that spread fake news. But lurking behind the project of Artificial Intelligence there may be the secret desire to replace political institutions with omniscient (and omnipotent?) algorithms designed byÎíÎõ Artificial Intelligence experts.
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