Sep 10, 2015
Posted by Michael Paton in categories: bitcoin, electronics, entertainment, existential risks, internet, lifeboat, robotics/AI, security
A piece I wrote recently about blockchain & AI, and how I see the Lifeboat Foundation as a crucial component in a bright future.
Blockchain technology could lead to an AI truly reminiscent of the human brain, with less of its frailties, and more of its strengths. Just as a brain is not inherently dictated by a single neuron, neither is the technology behind bitcoin. The advantage (and opportunity) in this sense, is the advent of an amalgamation of many nodes bridged together to form an overall, singular function. This very much resembles the human brain (just as billions of neurons and synapses work in unison). If we set our sights on the grander vision of things, humans could accomplish great things if we utilize this technology to create a truly life-like Artificial Intelligence. At the same time, we need to keep in mind the dangers of such an intelligence being built upon a faultless system that has no single point of failure.
Just as any technology has upsides and corresponding downsides, this is no exception. The advantages of this technology are seemingly endless. In the relevant sense, it has the ability to create internet services without the same downfalls exploited in the TV show ‘Mr. Robot,’ where a hacker group named “fsociety” breached numerous data centers and effectively destroyed every piece of data the company held, causing worldwide ramifications across all of society. Because blockchain technology ensures no centralized data storage (by using all network users as nodes to spread information), it can essentially be rendered impossible to take down. Without a single targeted weak point, this means a service that, in the right hands, doesn’t go offline from heavy loads, which speeds up as more people use it, has inherent privacy/security safeguards, and unique features that couldn’t be achieved with conventional technology. In the wrong hands, however, this could be outright devastation. Going forward, we must tread lightly and not forget to keep tabs on this technology, as it could run rampant and destroy society as we know it.
Throughout the ages, society has always experienced mass change; the difference here being the ability for it to wipe us out. Therefore, it arises from a survival imperative that we strive for the former rather than the latter. We can evolve without destroying ourselves, but it won’t be a cakewalk. With our modern-day luxuries, we, as a species think ourselves invincible, while, in reality, we’re just dressed-up monkeys operating shiny doomsday technology. Just as it was a challenge to cross the seas, to invent tools and harness electricity, the grandest stakes posed by the future (and the ones defining our survival) are the most difficult to accomplish.