Will AI mostly be used in ethical or questionable ways?
Isaac Asimov in his Robots Series conceived a future when ethical matters would be foremost in the minds of designers of AI brains... not for reasons of judiciousness, but in order to quell the fears of an anxious public. His Three Laws of Robotics broke many molds that had constrained SF speculation about synthetic minds, at the time. But that scenario never happened. No such desperate anxiety about AI seems to surge across today's populace, perhaps because we are seeing our AI advances mostly on screens and such, not in clanking mechanical men. Not yet, at least.
(I can safely argue that I'm one of the world experts on those Asimovian laws, and the Foundation/Robots universe. Before disagreeing, have a gander at "Foundation's Triumph.")
Oh, there are serious conferences on this topic - how to ensure these new beings will be benign. I've participated in many.
Will quantum computing advance greatly by 2030 and possibly enhance AI empathy or ethics?
Quantum computing has genuine potential. Roger Penrose, author of The Emperor's New Mind (just last month awarded the Nobel Prize) and associates believe it already takes place, in trillions of sub-cellular units inside human neurons. If so, it may take a while to build quantum computers on that kind of scale.
The ethical matter is interesting, though totally science fictional... that quantum computers might connect in ways that promote reciprocal understanding and empathy.
== Artificial Intelligence language ==
Shannon Vallor, a professor of the ethics of data and artificial intelligence at the University of Edinburgh, in Noema Magazine, evaluates the most advanced AI-powered language-generation program to date, GPT-3, that produced, when prompted, an essay on consciousness. “The instantaneous improvisation of its essay wasn’t anchored to a world at all,” she observes. Oh, sure, at one level that’s obvious and at another seems predictably grouchy.
I’ve been consulting and speaking a lot about AI lately, and frankly, I doubt we’ll have a clear idea when such real-world anchoring has occurred, or autonomous consciousness.
Still, she makes a strong point about how many humans fail the same kind of reality-anchoring test that she would apply to AI. “Extremist communities, especially in the social media era, bear a disturbing resemblance to what you might expect from a conversation held among similarly trained GPT-3s,” she says. “A growing tide of cognitive distortion, rote repetition, incoherence and inability to parse facts and fantasies within the thoughts expressed in the extremist online landscape signals a dangerous contraction of understanding, one that leaves its users increasingly unable to explore, share and build an understanding of the real world with anyone outside of their online haven.”
== Solving crises ==
Unfrozen Lands: The climate crisis threatens much of the Earth with droughts, flooding and brutal heat. But it could also create unparalleled opportunity for a few countries — perhaps none more than Russia. Put aside the fact that the new farmlands will remain crappy, with poor topsoil for millennia… and that there’s only one growing season, while climate change destroys other zones on the planet that had two. From Moscow’s perspective, this is all good! Including the 12 new bases they are building to control the melted Arctic, causing deep concern among our Naval folk. Oh, and new circulation patterns bring winter ice storms over the US Midwest, further encouraging our idiots to shout “What ‘warming’?” Putin can’t stop winning.
More than 3,000 years ago, a couple at the biblical site of Bethsaida, in Israel, was buried side by side in a spooning position, with the male's arm over the female's body, and the archaeologists who discovered the remains are now calling the couple "Romeo and Juliet." Especially since the male died in his late teens and the female in her early teen or preteen years.
Fascinating ruminations on what attributes a Black Hole might have if it were a useful source of power. Interesting indeed. Raising the question of whether a micro black hole can interact with its surroundings via anything other than simple mass, charge, spin and Hawking Radiation. Pairs of black holes orbiting each other will leak Gravity Radiation (GR). But what happens when that GR encounters another orbiting pair? Is it simply absorbed, increasing the 2nd pair's orbit? (And might that make a good GR detector?)
Or are more complex effects possible? Like diffraction of the incident GR or possibly even reflection, back at the source? And if so... you might get the scenario I depicted in EARTH, where a pool of elevated gravity potential tat lies between the two orbiting pairs might experience STIMULATED EMISSION OF GRAVITY RADIATION between the two "mirrors." Creating in effect a GRASER or the GASER gravity laser I portrayed in that novel.
Wish I had time to dive deeper. Interesting stuff.
And we will face new crises... In Existence it's the law in 2050 that males must pee, if possible, into a garden or into a Phos Urinal to recover valuable phosphorus (possibly our next big crisis?) Or at least onto a tree.
== Out of Time adventures ==
Suppose your descendants – people of the future – reach back in time to ask for your help. Would you go? 24th Century humanity has created a Utopia. No more War. Disease. Prejudice. Crime. But no heroes! And suddenly they need heroes, fast. So they reach out across time… for you.
Would you go?
And what if only teens can survive the trip?
In the first Out of Time novel, Nebula Award winning author Nancy Kress takes you on an adventure, with a 10th Century Viking girl, a New Jersey high school basketball star and a young thief from Shakespeare’s London who are yanked into a future of both promise and peril and asked achieve what adults of that time cannot… rescue a lost star-colony. But even if they succeed, will they ever make it back home?