Our Id Writ Large
The compelling title of this thread does not belong to me-- the words are a partial quote of Elon Musk’s from a September interview with Joe
Here is the interview in full if you are interested in the read. It’s an absolutely fascinating subject (“Human Civilization and AI) which I wish
I understood better. If any members here can add to the discussion, in layman’s terms please because I am computer illiterate, I really would be
And honestly, I’ve always had an unhealthy suspicion of technology and don’t know how much of that is due to my ignorance. I love Marie Curie’s
“Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood. Now is the time to understand more, so that we may fear less.”
I’m ready for some schooling. And I have also been reading plenty of interesting cases of new technology improving people’s quality of life
greatly (the thread yesterday about a cafe that uses robots controlled by quadriplegic/paraplegic people one great example). But I’d love to hear
what the membership has to say on this topic.
Link to transcript: www.organism.earth...
And here’s the full context of the quote I used for my title.
Musk: Yes. I mean, I made those comments some years ago, but it feels like we are the biological bootloader for AI, effectively. We are building
it. And then we’re building progressively greater intelligence. And the percentage of intelligence that is not human is increasing. And eventually,
we will represent a very small percentage of intelligence.
But the AI isn’t formed, strangely, by the human limbic system. It is in large part our id writ large.
Rogan: How so?
Musk: Well, you mentioned all those things; the sort of primal drives. Those’re all things that we like and hate and fear. They’re all there on
the Internet. They’re a projection of our limbic system.
Musk goes on to explain that the online systems are designed to resonate with the human limbic system. For clarity, I’ll post the definition of
limbic here to show exactly how this relates to A.I. and our id.
a complex system of nerves and networks in the brain, involving several areas near the edge of the cortex concerned with instinct and mood. It
controls the basic emotions (fear, pleasure, anger) and drives (hunger, sex, dominance, care of offspring).
Bosch’s depiction of the garden of earthly delights and the horrors of hell-- both of which reside in the Id.
Musk raises an interesting point: We are all contributing to and informing the structure of the vast network which makes up AI. A large portion of
what people are feeding google, instagram, liveleaks, etc involves material that represents our more base instincts.
Do you think this is anything to be concerned about? Any other insights to add to the discussion? I see Musk as a bit looney but I still am very
interested in what he has to say. He reminds me of a kind of mad (but probably leaning more toward good than evil) scientist.
Thank you for reading and I hope to hear from you!
edit on 4-1-2019 by zosimov because: (no reason given)