Artificial Intelligence

Artificial Intelligence and Buffalo Eddy: Part 5 of a series

When I mentioned yesterday that Elon Musk was an example of Artificial Intelligence, I meant nothing derogatory. He was present because he champions Artificial Intelligence, and I wanted to point out that, as a human, and especially a human in a modern individual culture, he was in fact a special kind of artificial intelligence himself, which is to say a biological artifice, evolved in response to the intelligence of its environment. To that artifice has been added his social self — the one that can propose building a colony on Mars. It too lives within a long-evolving social intelligence, or environment. The point was to remove intelligence from discussions of social value or class — to acknowledge that Einstein and the Yakama women serving beer and burgers in the burger shack in Toppenish, Washington are all equally intelligent. They differ only in terms of the artifices given to them and which have set within them due to their formative experiences. We are malleable stuff. My unfolding argument is that intelligence belongs to the earth, and that artificial intelligence (AI) is not solely a function of copying a certain set of skills at a certain type of logical manipulation and applying them in technical environments. I find it hurtful to think that people are being judged on such social constructions, and subjected to such dominations of class and capital. I find it dangerous as well to consider that AI is currently being developed as an extension of such constructions, although the field is wide open and many other artifices can, and should, be made. I believe that ones that are especially promising are ones that integrate human artifice with true intelligence: the Earth. This conversation will be expanding intermittently over the next few weeks, but for today I’d like to add the point that as an artifice working within artifices, AI is dependent upon the system in which it is embedded. It is, in fact, a response to that system, and a part of it. If the system were removed, AI would flounder and die. In other words, without the intelligence of its environment, AI would have no life (just as without the Earth, humans would have none either.) To me, that’s a red flag. It signals that “intelligence” as a kind of logical or creative reasoning is not quite the independent thing it is advertised as. This observation should give us all hope. Athough it does illustrate clearly just how much power the creator of a dominant artifice has, it also illustrates not only the weaknesses of the artifice but also some avenues that can be used to dominate it. In other words, we need not be slaves to AI. Here in the Plateau, powerful AI has been used for many thousands of years. The tech is often ignored, because its workings have been sorely mis-read, but it remains available to us, as do thousands of other possibilities. For you to contemplate, as we move forward with confidence as free humans, I offer you Buffalo Eddy, on the Snake River.

Soon we’re going to have to talk about slavery, but right now let’s honour the Nez Perce, who saw even the glaciers come and go.

6 replies »

  1. Your writing is great You might want to check
    out Musk before you give him any more accolades. His treated of some of his female employees is a bit lacking. His lawyers managed
    to extinguish one woman’s charges in court
    and blew her off completely. He also was approached during a large meeting about equal pay and sexual harassment and was willing to
    ignore the problem. In today’s climate of women being kept down and treated with disgust, it doesn’t bode well for Musk.
    Gary Headlee

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    • Thanks! I was pretty sure that Musk is a nasty actor, but didn’t know this. I can easily pick someone else as an AI guru, or do some obviously much-needed research on the man and see where that leads. I am sad to hear of this kind of harm. It appears to be an astonishingly deep pit. I’m very grateful for the heads-up.

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      • Thanks for your reply. I must say again I am very pleased with your deep thinking and high regard for all that’s natural in the Okanogan
        Valley. You have excellent feel for nature and we couldn’t agree more with how use our land and resources.
        I have referred your column to a number of folks. One, in particular, Rick and Gere Gillespie
        They have produced a plethora of earth wise
        Information thru there website and magazine.
        Columbiana. They are in Chesaw just below the Canadian border, east of Oroville.
        We live in Omak, on the Okanogan river and
        great respect for the river, water and abundant
        animals. Gary

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      • Next time I’m through Omak, I should stop in. And thanks for the tip on Rick and Gere’s magazine. I’ll look for it. Best, Harold

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  2. A couple of notes here:
    A. Please excuse my lack of editing, I will try to
    do better in the future. I work from an iPhone
    most of the time.
    B. Yes, please stop by when in Omak.
    5093220123 gary
    5093221578 shirl
    725 Okoma Dr. Omak, Wa.
    (Home is right behind No. Cascades Bank in
    so. Omak)
    C. Sometime ago, I sent a note about small
    ice clumps (I call them baby Icebergs or baby-
    bergs). They occur regularly about 8 months
    out of year. We have been watching them
    for ten years. They are very intriguing and I
    am on a quest to figure out their origin.
    Looking a Enloe Dam falls makes me wonder
    how they would survive the fall. The largest
    one to date is about 2.5 ft long, 14” tall and
    I assume at least that much underwater.
    They have to be ice because we see them in
    the dead of summer. Wonder what you might
    know. I have some decent photos if you would
    like to see them.
    D. Also, just wondering where you call home.
    Thanks, Gary

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    • Thanks, Gary, for the contact info. I’ll be sure to stop in sometime.

      I live in Vernon, but my heart is still in the Similkameen and the Okanagan and Okanogan south of Penticton. In fact, for a few days following the 15th, I will be in Keremeos pruning trees. It takes up about 12 days each spring. Nice to keep my hand in things. I wrote you a long note about ice… did you get it? What you are describing does sound mysterious… 8 months of the year! Strange indeed! I wonder where they come from, too. But the Canadian Similkameen in ice season is sure magnificent. No doubt about that! One thing I have noticed is that somebody, a cold storage or an ice rink, is dumping ice on the flats above the dam (There’s a guy more-or-less across the road from the dam, who’s been digging gravel out of his hillside. The next gravel/dust driveway to the east taking off towards the river is the spot.) Perhaps somebody is having fun tipping it over the edge? Do you know anything about that?

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