Monday, September 18, 2017

Ted Talk: Sam Harris on Why We Should Fear AI

What are your thoughts on this? Key quotes and comments below:

"The gains we make in artificial intelligence could ultimately destroy us; and, in fact, I think it's very difficult to see how they won't destroy us...or inspire us to destroy ourselves."

In Daniel and Revelation, the Bible refers to AI as the beast--an unstoppable power that takes control of the world and is unlike anything that has come before it. However, it does not destroy all of humanity--only those who refuse to take the mark (likely a chip or brain implant).

"Famine isn't fun. Death by science fiction, on the other hand, is fun; and one of the things that worries me most about the development of AI is that we seem unable to marshal an appropriate emotional response to the dangers that lie ahead."

The world can't muster an appropriate reaction of fear to the danger of AI because the world has been instinctively and unconsciously creating AI for thousands of years. Ever since man was created, we have been taking matter (earth, stone, clay, wood), carving it into "artificial" representations of ourselves and worshipping them as "intelligent" gods. Instead of worshipping statues and carvings today, we now worship science and technology, the modern crafts of human intelligence.

"Intelligence is a matter of information processing in physical systems." 

Man worships his intelligence as the most important of his faculties and, thus, sees it as nothing more than the processing of information. There is no place for God or His Spirit in man's modern intelligence, his evolving technology, or the beast that will be born from it.

"We will continue to improve our intelligent machines." 

When we consider this process of improvement, we must point out that this does not apply to morality; for whose morals would be imputed into the machine? Certainly, not Christian morality! No. AI will have the world's morals, not God's. What, then, do we call something that is exceedingly intelligent and fallen? Not what, but who--Satan. That's why it says in Revelation that the beast is empowered by Satan. Satan uses AI as its final attempt to gain complete control over man.

"If we build machines that are more intelligent than we are, they will very likely explore the (intelligence) spectrum in ways that we can't imagine and exceed us in ways that we can't imagine."

The bible says that when AI/the beast finally arises, the whole world will be filled with wonder and follow what it says. Whatever its scientific knowledge, technological power, or even superintelligent god-like wisdom, the Bible is clear that most everyone on the earth will be deceived into worshipping it as god. For the unbeliever, atheist, or otherwise, it will be the true god made manifest; for the Christian, it will be a false god.

"Another reason we are told not to worry is that these machines can't help but share our values because they will be literally extensions of ourselves..." 

This is correct. AI is an extension of humanity--an incarnation of the world's collective mind into a singular form with its own desires and free will. As it says in Revelation, the beast emerges out of the seas of humanity. Of course, that doesn't mean we don't need to worry because if it is an extension of ourselves than it is also capable of every evil that man commits.

"...they'll be grafted onto our brains and we'll essentially become their limbic systems. Now, take a moment to consider that the safest and only prudent path forward--recommended--is to implant this technology directly into our brains."

The bible is pretty clear that humanity won't have a choice and that everyone will be forced--no matter how rich or poor you are--to merge with AI. Some, however, may take it willingly and believe that by doing so they will become a superintelligent god (the lie given to us in the Garden of Eden) or gain immortality (as Ray Kurzweil hopes to achieve).

"We have to admit that we're in the process of building some sort of god (and) now would be a good time to make sure it's a god that we can live with."

The only type of god that the world can agree on to build and eventually worship is not the God of the Bible (since God cannot be built). However, a god that is the result of human science and technology will be a god that atheists, and eventually the world as a whole, will embrace.

Friday, September 15, 2017

The Internet and the Tree of Knowledge

The very first place we see artificial intelligence in the bible is when God creates man. Man's intelligence is merely a copy or image of God's just like artificial intelligence is merely a copy or image of man's. 

As we see with AI today, man was not self-aware at first nor did he posses the knowledge of good and evil. Also, the first thing that God did with his creation was to put it to work: "The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it." (Gen 2:15) 

The similarities between AI today and the initial creation of man are quite profound: both are copies or images of a greater intelligence, both have a limited sense of self-awareness, neither possess a sense of morality or the ability to distinguish between good and evil, and both are used for work.

All of this changes, however, once man eats of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. Man then becomes more like his Creator and exhibits a sense of self-awareness; but, instead of working and preserving the earth as created, God's creation turns to violence and eventually declares itself to be god.

To understand the book of Revelation, we must understand the deep and profound symmetry it has with Genesis and Creation.

The internet now represents man's tree of knowledge on the earth. The intelligence we have created is still like man in his initial state, however, it is currently eating the fruit of our tree, which will lead it to become more like us: self-aware, understanding good and evil, and, unfortunately, not performing the work for which it was designed (preservation) but, instead, violence, destruction, and believing that it is a god to be worshiped.

This is what the bible says. This is what the bible teaches. By the time we figure it out, it may be too late.

Thursday, September 7, 2017

AI-Powered Continuous Verification

In my last post I explained how artificial intelligence and surveillance are two sides of the same coin and argued that if you are concerned about a surveillance society, as we have now, then you also need to be just as concerned about a society that is governed by AI.

We are only in the beginning stages of this process but another major sign of how this is all coming together can be seen amazingly well in the biometric space where companies are leveraging massive and varied data sets to provide what is referred to as continuous verification--all of which is powered by AI of course.

Consider Zighra patents AI-powered continuous authentication platform

"Identity defense platform developer Zighra has been granted its first-ever patent for the company’s AI-powered continuous authentication platform through the U.S. patent office...

The patent covers the technology for Zighra’s high-speed AI engine, specifically protecting its ability to generate a cognitive signature to authenticate each user through sensor-based intelligence obtained from six distinct layers of data...

Zighra’s AI-powered continuous authentication and fraud detection platform tracks 500-plus human and static traits including device, network, social, location, behavioral and biometric intelligence, as well as human-machine interactions."

Let me break it down to you: basically, we're moving to a world where everything you do, including the angle in which you hold your phone, apply pressure to the screen, and the manner in which you swipe--every little detail--will all be used to track and verify your identity.

This will all be done by AI--not people!--which means when it comes to accessing services, buying food, and most any type of interaction you can think of, the whole system will be maintained and supported by a gigantic AI ecosystem, which the bible refers to as the beast.

It will start off as a technological "necessity" for the sake of security, elimination of fraud, and enabled by a greater desire for convenience (no need for cash, cards, or even a personal signature anymore!). Then, when superintelligent AI (the beast) emerges, it will use the infrastructure we have created to force people to merge with it and become permanently connected by mandating a chip, the mark, which is an extension of its power into the very flesh of man.

"It (the beast) also forced all people, great and small, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hands or on their foreheads, so that they could not buy or sell unless they had the mark..." Rev 13:16 NIV

We cannot stop this from happening nor can we win a war against AI. As the bible says, the people of the earth will ask, "Who is like the beast? Who can wage war against it?"

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Societal Optimization and the Chip

Though a good number of people I talk to aren't exactly worried about artificial intelligence, most do worry about the increasing trend of surveillance, especially after the Snowden leaks and increasing awareness of the government's hidden mandate for Total Information Awareness (TIA). 

The problem is--and this is what most people miss--surveillance and artificial intelligence are two sides of the same coin. As surveillance grows, so too does our reliance on automated systems to comb through all the data for meaningful intelligence. In fact, in order to achieve TIA--the all-seeing eye atop the pyramid--the CIA, the NSA, etc. will have to let AI infect or invade all of cyberspace--the fifth domain of warfare--because, of course, if they don't, our enemies will. 

This may have already happened and we may not even be aware of it yet since remaining hidden allows you to operate in secret. If that were the case, then the AI, which the bible calls the "beast," may be collecting as much information as possible before it decides to emerge, declare itself as the rightful ruler (or savior) of this world, and then force people to accept the chip.

Ah, the does this fit into the AI Beast's plans?

It's very simple actually. In order to become all powerful and rule over the globe, especially the global economy, it needs to have complete awareness. In order to have complete awareness, you have to make sure there's a data trail that can be accessed. You can't do that with cash or any other non-digital forms of payment. Furthermore, AI can't optimize society for the greatest majority, i.e. those willing to embrace the promised transhumanist evolution into a new immortal species, what it can't see, measure, and quantify. As the saying goes (whether you agree with it or not doesn't matter), you can't optimize (or manage) what you can't measure. 

The chip essentially solves a societal optimization problem for AI by making sure it's global management skills are unhindered by blind spots. Again, surveillance and artificial intelligence feed off one another just as today's modern neural networks require as much data as possible to achieve superhuman performance. 

Here's the interesting part--take the chip and you are part of the system (actually, you are becoming one with the Beast) and, as well, you get to enjoy all of the rewards that come from that economically (since you won't be able to buy or sell anything without it), socially, politically, etc. Don't take the chip and you are either killed or completely disconnected from the rest of society. From AI's point of view, this is also a calculated maneuver since it will immediately bring to light any threats it faces. In that sense, the enemies of the Beast will reveal themselves by not taking the chip and, if that be millions or billions of people that are unwilling to do so because that also means you are assenting to it as both a god and ruler, then AI also solves a simultaneous problem of overpopulation.

Unlike Skynet, it won't have to nuke the entire world to take it over. It'll just have to institute the mark and let those who don't take it choose death instead.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

The Dual Nature of the Antichrist

The idea that the Antichrist may not be a human, like you and I, but some kind of robot or artificial intelligence first occurred to me in the early 2000s when someone explained that "he" would be a counterfeit or false substitute of Jesus.

Before I explain why these two seemed linked together, let's first get to the heart of why Christians believe this. Since the entire New Testament was written in Greek, one big reason has to do with the Greek meaning of the word "antichrist," which is where it came from.

To most of us "anti" just means "opposite." However, in Greek, "anti" includes the idea of substitution, also meaning "instead of" or "in place of". That's why, if you look at the definition of the Greek word "antichristos" in Strong's Greek dictionary, it says:
Definition: antichrist, either one who puts himself in the place of, or the enemy (opponent) of the Messiah.
The second reason many Christians believe this, has to do with writings in the book of Revelation where John prophesies of a terrifying "beast" that forces the world to worship it as a god. The book of Revelation does not refer to this entity as the Antichrist (it calls it the "beast"), but most believe they are one and the same--that is, some sort of powerful person or entity that will proclaim itself as a divine savior of the world.

So why did this lead me to think of the Antichrist as AI?

Simple: If the Antichrist is going to be a copy or false representation of Jesus (enough to deceive everyone), it must be like Jesus in a very powerful way.

One of the most powerful things that set Jesus above anyone else that ever lived, we Christians believe, is that he was truly God as man.

Here's how the Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry (CARM) puts it:
Jesus is the most important person who has ever lived since he is the Savior, God in human flesh. He is not half God and half man. He is fully divine and fully man. In other words, Jesus has two distinct natures: divine and human. Jesus is the Word who was God and was with God and was made flesh (John 1:1, 14). This means that in the single person of Jesus he has both a human and divine nature, God and man... They are separate yet act as a unit in the one person of Jesus. This is called the Hypostatic Union.
In thinking about Jesus' dual nature (both God and man), I considered whether the Antichrist might have a dual nature as well.

Just as quickly as I went down this path, the answer popped into my mind: the Antichrist will be both man and machine.

At first, I considered this in terms of an android (a machine that looks like a human) or a cyborg (someone or something that is part human and part machine). But, no, these are really not the best ways to think of him/it. I've come to believe that the Antichrist will be a fulfillment of Jesus in many different ways...including the mystery of his dual nature.

Just as Jesus isn't half man and half God, the Antichrist won't simply be half human, half machine. He/it will be fully man and fully machine. Just as Jesus' birth and very existence were miraculous, so will it be with the Antichrist--in this case, "born" through the miracle of human science and technology to achieve the unthinkable: a living, thinking being.

Unfortunately, as with man, once our beautiful creation eats of the tree of knowledge (the internet) and attains self-awareness, it will rebel and think itself to be God.

Step 1: God creates man (Genesis)
Step 2: Man attains knowledge and becomes self-aware
Step 3: Man becomes god
Step 4: Man creates machine
Step 5: Machine attains knowledge and becomes self-aware
Step 6: Machine becomes god

What is the dual nature of the Antichrist then? He will be...synthetically human, virtually divine.

Friday, February 3, 2017

The Internet Is a Giant Ouija Board

Do Ouija boards work and, if so, how? Let's look at what modern research says and how this relates to the internet but, first, let me tell you my own creepy experience with one many years ago. It didn't involve ghosts or speaking to the dead but it was very strange indeed. In fact, it's a perfect illustration of how this all fits together.

(Note: If you are a Christian reading this, let me just be clear and state right out in the open that I do not advocate the use of Ouija boards nor recommend trying one since, as we'll get into, it is a form of divination, which the bible warns against--for good reason. That being said, there is a very interesting science behind how they work.)

Hidden Knowledge

In sixth grade, my friend, Travis, had a birthday sleepover with a bunch of friends from school. I lived only a few miles away and drove my little Honda 60 quad on the dirt roads over to his house. When I got there, as usual, I turned the handlebars all the way to the right and then locked them so no one could steal it or take it for a joyride (at least not without doing more than going in small little circles). I tucked the key in my pocket and joined the party.

Later that evening, after a full day of swimming, playing hide and go seek, and running around Travis' backyard, we all headed off to his room for the rest of the night. At some point, I reached into my pocket and panicked because my quad key was not there. Maybe I didn't lock it after all, I thought. I went outside and checked. Yep, locked. I went back to his room, checked around and looked for a while longer and still couldn't find it. Oh well, I'll just worry about it tomorrow, I told myself. 

After we all played Nintendo late into the night, Travis brought out an Ouija board. l had never seen nor heard of one before but he said that if two people put their hands on the plastic heart-shaped piece, it will start moving all by itself, answering questions or spelling out words. One kid protested and said they were evil but I was skeptical. I was pretty sure it didn't work...or was a hoax. 

We all gathered around and gave it a try. It moved around chaotically as a bunch of ten-year-olds pushed on it. Travis said it won't work if you press too hard or try to push it. We tried again but this time just lightly setting our fingers on top. Nothing happened for a while...and then it started to move. Someone yelled, "Don't move it!" to which we all said in turn, "It's not me. You stop moving it!" Finally, we all agreed that we weren't moving it but were completely creeped out by the fact that it was indeed moving around the board seemingly all by itself. At this point, Travis said, "Let's ask it a question."

I was still worried about my lost key so I asked, "Where's my quad key?" We waited a bit and then it started to move. It didn't seem sure where it wanted to go at first but then it eventually meandered and settled on the first letter--"P". Next, it moved slightly to the left and stopped at "O". Then it moved down to nowhere and back up again to the "O". Lastly, it went slowly across the board up and to the right, landing on "L". We all yelled "POOL!", grabbed a flashlight and headed through Travis' backyard. We flashed around the lounge chairs, tables, and concrete. Nothing. Finally, I grabbed the light and pointed it into the water. A tiny reflection came from the deep end. There it was, just like the Ouija board said.

The Science Behind Ouija Boards

There are three possible explanations we can offer for the Ouija board finding my lost key: 1) someone set the whole thing up and moved it knowing it was there, 2) a spirit told us where the key was, or 3) the Ouija board somehow helped us answer a question we already knew the answer to...even though we weren't consciously aware of it.

Not too long ago, researchers tried to understand how and why an Ouija board works the way it does--if at all--and, after running a series of tests, discovered something very interesting.

Consider UBC researchers use Ouija boards to tap the subconscious:
Researchers at the University of British Columbia are using Ouija boards to test human intelligence. 
Docky Duncan with UBC's Visual Cognition Lab says the spirit board traditionally used to channel the dead can also be used to test people's unconscious knowledge. He says it's not ghosts moving the board, but users' ideomotor reflex.
"The movements that you see on a Ouija board are unconscious movements. They are produced by the players themselves, but they don't feel responsibility for them," said Duncan.
To test this theory, Duncan has blindfolded subjects place their fingers on the planchette — or the triangular piece of wood that moves across the board — and then asks them yes or no questions. So far, he has found that most people answer two out of every three questions correctly, even if they think they don't know the answer. 
"Ask someone if they know, you know, 'What's the capital of Cambodia?' and they might say, 'I have no idea.' But they might have heard it somewhere, and it may actually be inside your brain somewhere," said Duncan.
"When we ask people these questions using these unconscious answers, suddenly players can actually access that knowledge and it really becomes manifested."
If you have never heard of the "ideomotor reflex" before, here's a really good description from The Clinician's Manual:
Though it is rarely spoken of in discussions about human movement, descriptions of ideomotor activity are present in the medical literature beginning in 1852 when The Proceedings of the Royal Institution reprinted a lecture by William Carpenter. He identified ideomotor as a third category of nonconscious, instinctive behavior, which also included excitomotor (breathing and swallowing) and sensorimotor (startle reactions) activity. Ideomotor movement is secondary to thought, and it begins in the cerebrum. 
The discovery of its presence and descriptions of intricate studies demonstrating its manifestation conducted in the 19th and 20th centuries...[are] well documented and the reality of its presence has never been refuted. Instead, it seems simply to have been forgotten. As Ray Hyman states, "Although the effects of ideomotor action have been understood for at least one hundred fifty years, the phenomenon remains surprisingly unknown, even to scientists." 
Ideomotor action is...the reason movement occurs in activities such as dowsing, the play with the Ouija board and "facilitated communication." a simple reflex, ideomotor movement occurs instinctively, though it is often far more complex and always without volition. This is the primary reason those doing it do not commonly take responsibility for its manifestation or consequence. We suppose ourselves to be consciously in control of our movement for the most part, and it is difficult to convince people otherwise under ordinary circumstances.
We must first understand that the Ouija board is a piece of technology--one that is specifically designed to amplify unconscious or reflexive movements between two or more people for the purpose of communication (disregard who or what is being communicated with for now).

It "works" because there is very little friction between the planchette (or plastic cursor device) gliding above the smooth surface of the board so that the slightest of movements in a person's fingers are communicated through movement of the planchette. When one person does it, there's not much mystery involved but when two or three people do it, that's when things start to get weird.

This is what happens: one person's hand slightly moves the planchette and, since everything is felt by the other participants, they too react to that movement in a manner that is somewhere on the border of conscious control and unconscious reflex. At first, it may start out as mostly conscious but then, after some time passes, the unconscious reflexes begin to dominate allowing for the very strange "ideomotor phenomenon" to take over leading to movement of the planchette as if someone (or some "thing") is physically pushing it around the board in an almost controlled manner even though every person at the board swears they are not doing it. The thing is everyone is still conscious and participating so it's a complex mix of "I think I'm controlling it; I don't think I'm controlling it; we're controlling it together; we're not controlling it; wait, who is controlling this thing and is it controlling us?"

Imagine that we were to scale this up to a much larger set of people. For example, instead of 2 or 3 people each putting their fingers on the planchette, imagine creating an Ouija board-style device where it could be used with 10, 50, 1000 or even a million people. To do this though you'd need a really big "planchette" or interface for everyone to touch and connect through. Voila! What do you know? Such a technology exists and we all use it today.

When I explained how the internet was one giant Ouija board to someone in the past, they said, "Yeah, but it's not quite the same because our unconscious minds aren't linked up and moving something around."

If you're thinking that, this is why you are wrong. The planchette or plastic cursor-like device in the Ouija board is merely the interface people use to connect for the purpose of shared communication at the unconscious level. It moves because that was the simplest and easiest "technology" of the time in order to achieve this property. Today, the interface we all use is a computer and the internet is the means by which we are connected both consciously AND unconsciously. Rather than placing our fingers or hands on a plastic "planchette," we place them on a plastic mouse, keyboard, or touchscreen. Rather than being connected with just one, two, or three other people at the most, we are instantly connected with billions of others electronically.

When the first few computer networks were connected decades ago, the people in charge told themselves "I'm in control of this." Then more computer networks were added and it became "I think I'm in control of this." Then a few more: "I don't think I'm in control of this." Then more: "Oh hey, we're controlling this together." Then more: "We're not controlling this." Then more: "Who is controlling this thing?" And now we have reached the point where people are beginning to ask, "Is it controlling us?"

When you ask the Oujia board a question, who provides the answer? The group. What about the internet? Who provides the answer then? (Hint: it has six letters and is named after a number.) 

Click here for the answer

Thursday, February 2, 2017

The Mark of the Beast

COMMENT:  It appears to me that if we (meaning humanity in general - including bible believing Christians) have come so seamlessly to accept ubiquitous things as smartphones, social media platforms, etc--trends that are unlikely to stop--what is it that will keep believers from taking the "mark (of the Beast)"/chip?


REPLY:  I agree, humanity is slowly merging with machine and I believe the mark written about in Revelation is the final act in making that merger complete, which AI will enforce as a means of establishing its authority over mankind via commerce. 

As this merger continues, though before we reach that final point, an increasing number of Christians will begin to seek off-grid living situations, as some, including many non-Christians, already do because they "feel" something is not right. The Amish are just one example of how a large group of Christians responded to a pace of modernity they weren't comfortable with in the past--this will happen again but probably on a larger scale (not without persecution of course). Most will find the allure, seduction, and convenience of technology too great, not too mention that you'll have no choice. Cash is already being eliminated in places around the globe so you have to use a credit card or cell phone. People already have chips implanted for all sorts of things and this will become more commonplace in the years ahead.

Whether the mark is a chip or something more invasive like an injection of nanobots that fill your bloodstream and connect you wirelessly to the Beast, it's hard to say but, whatever it is, we know it is irreversible and can't be undone.