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A Deep Dive into AI [pt.9] – How Anthropomorphism is discrediting and derailing balanced, rational discussions about Artificial Intelligence, and trivialising its real dangers and its existential threat (and how anthropomorphic fear of machines is actually increasing those dangers)

When you think of robots and artificial intelligence do you think of these?

or even:


But what do these have in common?

They all have at least one of the features that are shared by us as humans (legs, arms or at least eyes).

But if machine learning continues at the the rate its going, and general AI (where machines can do tasks just as well as us), or in particular Artificial Superintelligence (where machines can do all tasks much faster and better than us) is achieved, why would it choose to take the form of an intellectually inferior entity like us (even if we did create it)?

And why would it choose to have senses (sight, hearing etc.) like us, if perhaps there are better, less biased, less subjective, less vulnerable to comprise, ways to analyse what reality and the physical world is?

And why would it also choose to have a physical body? One that could possibly be compromised or destroyed by weaponry that has already been created by its intellectual inferiors (us)?

It’s possible that an AI (a software or hardware system) could take control of nuclear launching capabilities of all the major countries who have the capabilities and launch missiles absolutely everywhere within a few seconds, and we would never have seen what it looks like.

This is a common fault of humanity and one that echoes Geocentrism

Humans once thought they were at the centre of the universe. So everything was done in context of us, to suit us, because we are the be all and end of all of organisms.

Now, we’ve learnt different. And it’s possible that any serious concerns about AI –and our search for extra-terrestrial life– mimic these arrogant, deluded notions. However, the misguided nature of this may be much more destructive than our search for aliens. This one might be the biggest (and last) misjudgement we make.