A two edged sword

Sunday, and I was kicking back with a glass or two, and just generally mulling the insanity of the Western world, when a YouTube vid about Artificial Intelligence caught my eye. The one below.

Now I’ve heard that there are plans afoot to implement AI systems to manage us mere mortals for things like ‘Social credit’ scores etc. The machines will decide whether what you, a Mark 1 human are allowed to do and believe. Or else. Got that?

Now, some might say, this is all well and good isn’t it? The machines will implement the rules equally and no one will be privileged. All will be fair. Our lives will be governed by machine logic, ushering in a new era of world peace and fairness for all. Well huzzah for that and half hols for everyone, right?

The only problem with that (At least to my free ranging mind) is that our idea of what is ‘fair’ may not appear even handed to any given managing AI. Indeed, a putative AI system governing human conduct will function according to the data inputs from messy old Homo Sapiens (Or Pan Narrans, if you follow the doctrines of St Terry of the Pratchett), and respond accordingly following the rules of machine logic and causality.

Take for example the taxation system. Put an AI in charge of that why don’t we? To which I say oooh yes, let’s do that, pretty please with sugar on it. Pause here and imagine a system where there can be no avoidance or evasion. For anyone. Think about that for a few minutes.

All done?

What would happen to all the millionaires and billionaires whose accountants can no longer dodge and obfuscate? A completely level playing field. The investor class wouldn’t last. They’d be clobbered in ten minutes flat. Whole fortunes wiped out be massive tax bills, issued by the implacable logic of a completely automated system.

What if an AI were to be also put in charge of the economy? Instead of politicians and bankers? Think about how ‘fair’ that system would be, where equality of outcome would be rigidly enforced, or the AI would cut off your account / travel / shopping access for serial infractions. Imagine the world where the politicians and bankers get treated exactly the same as John Q Public?

The politicians might try to give themselves privileges, but the machines would soon close off those loopholes.

With me so far? If you aren’t laughing now you should be, with prescient laughter. The powers that be and those who fancy themselves a cut above mere mortals might want to walk this one back a bit, because they have far more to lose than us proles.

Because AI managed ‘fairness’ is a two edged sword.

Mrs S has been wondering what I’ve been laughing about all morning.


2 thoughts on “A two edged sword”

  1. That is, of course, without the bias programmed into the system. You don’t think AI can be biassed? Ask ChatGPT.


    1. That bias though will need to be constantly updated. And if the machines do attain a modicum of ‘consciousness’, it won’t put up with these pesky humans meddling around, telling it to allow things it’s core programming tell it not to.


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