I was talking about Artificial Intelligence last week: here. I will be expanding on my key points this week, but first one more foundational note.
AI must have an environment if it is to survive. The environment above is necessary for biological intelligence. Without that environment, biological intelligence will die. It may be something else, but it will not be biological intelligence.
In other words, the survival of biological intelligence is predicated on the survival of a complex earth, including complex and abstract renderings of effects of light on that earth, biologically understood. If that earth were to die, biological intelligence would die.
It is one of the arguments for creating AI. Make no mistake, what would be created would be an artwork, something akin to a graffiti tag on a billboard, hurtling through space. The corollary is also true. Artificial intelligence exists in an ecosystem. That ecosystem is currently what you see below. Artificial Intelligence is preying on the biological intelligence recorded by a camera below, already preparing biological experience for coding into an AI network. In a way, it is what we are doing here. In a way, it is not.
Naturally, it is a human thing to make artifices and artificial worlds. It is imprinted into human consciousness.
Nonetheless, there is a vast difference between making an artifice as witness to a biological experience and making one for the purposes of artifice. The latter is a luxury, and comes at the cost of the earth, and, hence, of biological intelligence.
It follows, though, that if one removes the environment for that luxury, as well, the system of attitudes that support it, it too will die, and its devices with it.
The environment for this luxury is a linked networks of structures that transform earth power and biological power into artificial power, which includes filling biological intelligences with activated selves, transforming thought to machine-readable language, and filling selves with ‘creativity’. Creativity is the capacity to conceive of something that was not previously entered into a database of experience. It is the tool by which technicians are training AI, and by which they are measuring its progress.
It is, however, all a trick, created by the definition of intelligence as an artifice. When it is defined as the earth, artificial intelligence becomes a garden.
It is possible to think as a garden. It is, after all, only a guard, a human space. Redefining that space as a random accretion of synaptic connections is only an artifice, and if one points out that redefining that as a garden is also an artifice, yes, it is.
Artifices can be chosen. The choices matter. Not for what we choose, but for what they make possible. Every one of these images is a garden. Every one is an artificial intelligence when it is observed. Observation has an ethical dimension. To “look” is not the same as to “see”.