The height of hubris

in technology •  4 months ago

There is no denying it, the human is the smartest creature on the planet and can utilise multiple skills and strategies to achieve its objectives. What people tend to forget however is that intelligence itself is on a spectrum and there are wide variations in capability and specialisation for specific tasks. A genius mathematician may not be able to create like an artist.

But being top of the intelligence food chain puts us in a position that makes imagining something smarter than us impossible. An average mind might look to an Einstein level IQ demonstrated and recognise the brilliance but, to where does Einstein look?

There is a 60% relative difference between average and Einstein so, what does the same step upward look like, how does a 360 IQ perform and more importantly, what problems is it able to solve?

This is what it all breaks down to at the end of the day, ability to problem solve. This is why the true measure of intelligence is the skill to adapt to change as it means to problem solve faced challenges for survival or advantage.

We have been further gifted with social ability which enhances our capabilities to face and solve much larger problems than we can face alone. More important than the immediacy of this though is our added communication skill that can carry information and make it available to others in a continually expanding knowledge pool.

Still and even with all our skills, we are severely limited in how much information we can hold and process simultaneously. The smartest of the smart are still bound by a range of physical limitations that inhibits our problem solving ability.

What happens if we remove just one of the limitations like calculation speed? What would Einstein have been able to think in a lifetime if he could process information at 1000 times faster? It us impossible to know because where it could have led is outside of our bounds of knowledge still. What about a million times? What about if he was able with his 160 IQ be able to think a million times faster and have access to all knowledge resources to draw from and cross-reference against.

At what speed does the new knowledge in the pool expand by?

Impossible to say but what is predictable is that a mind of that strength, moving at that velocity, carrying that amount of knowledge is going to reach conclusions and find errors in data and opportunities that no human civilization would likely develop in 1000 years collectively.

It is this that may be coming in the not too distant future and, it won't be alone. There will be multiple narrow views and perhaps several general views feeding into and off each other at such speeds, a human mind cannot even comprehend.

20 kilometres of trucks nose to tail filled with 100 dollar notes. That is about a trillion dollars worth. Can you picture it?

We are limited in our capacity to imagine making what we cannot comprehend, unimaginable. When it comes to imagining how a general level AI will perform, we are blinded by our experience with lifeforms with capabilities that don't come close, with limitations we have never lived without. Thinking we will always be the top of the thinking food chain, is the height of hubris and by default, pretty stupid.

We are creating new environments and, we going to have to learn how to adapt for survival. Or relevance.

[ a Steem original ]
(posted from phone)

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The longer I am on this planet, the more I think that we are the stupidest albeit most talented species and are outdone, especially socially, by many other species already.

That pretty much since... the industrial revolution. Or since dynamite.

Prettt much since we ended up at the top of the food chain.

Thinking we will always be the top of the thinking food chain, is the height of hubris and by default, pretty stupid.

Species like delphins don’t have as many talents as we have yet they are at the top of the evolution and master everything in their existence... and pretty much also in their territory. With the exception of human intervention and destruction, obviously.

Socially, even the meerkat has a better - although at times also discriminatory - structure.

Humans? We merely are the proof that nature, earth, and evolution function perfectly. The repetitive cycle of self-destruction, also found among for example rabbits when there’s too many of them l, will repeat itself also with the human species.

Unless, of course, we can learn from history. But history taught us that we don’t really excel at that skill.


Pretty much since we ended up at the top of the food chain.

Maybe that is the problem, we aren't hungry and, nothing is hungrier than us. yet.

I think it is our limited capacity to understand consequences (or even pay attention to them) that holds us back. We seem to have lost our sense of responsibility to existence and instead live as if we are outside of the universe itself.


The question here is whether we ever expressed any responsibility to existence.

We’ve never been in situations like this and first event that comes to mind would be CFKs in the 90s.

Before that I can only think of the rise of (liberal not communist) socialism between both world wars and then in the 50s again. Although those weren’t responsibilities towards existence but towards human existence only.

It seems to me that we only run after the curve each time. We invent, create the next big thing and awareness of its damage/negatives happens only when it’s too late already.

Will graphene repeat be the same as plastics again? I wouldn’t love to see 50 years feasibility and sustainability studies on the material before endorsing and embracing it. But am I demanding too much when I do? Is my hope while rational too idealistic?


Will graphene repeat be the same as plastics again?

What might be interesting is using them as carbon traps. I don't know all the tech but some at least are great insulators so, could they be used as building materials and could the foundation material be pulled out polluted air?

Can flawed creatures create something perfect? Can anything creates by limited beings be limitless? Man dreams of the impossible and deludes himself into believing that he is God.

The limitless, ominiscient, immortal AI is but a delusion of man who desire to create a God that he can control. In his dream of creating perfection, man deludes himself as being perfect; after all, if man begets perfection, is he not also perfect?

The hubris of man is not recognizing his limitations and claiming godhood over dead things as a replacement for his inability to live among the living. Has the shrill insanity of the humanist scum, screaming about his rights, freedom, and some such nonsense organized anything close to his utopia? Mankind was infinitely better off living under the rule of its rightful lords and masters, before the humanist reformers poisoned its consciousness with toxic concepts that unleashes its unbridled hubris. Now, drunk on his pride, man will build false gods to rule over them.


Now, drunk on his pride, man will build false gods to rule over them.

Is it pride or a fear of not being ruled over? Does it matter who or what the ruler is, or where it comes from?


Man ungoverned is akin to fish without water. Ungoverned humanity inevitably leads to extinction. The poison of freedom have so dulled the critical reasoning capacity of humans that much of humanity seeks the very venom, which results in their very extinction as an entity. Throughout man's insignificant existence on this planet, each new freedom brought only increasing and different shade of slavery for the "people." Can beings who can not govern themselves be truly free? What new addiction will the new advancement on freedom shackle humanity?

I tend to believe one must look outside the box to problem-solve. Sadly I Envision the next wave of intelligence to be the merger of humans in AI into the singularity. But that's a whole nother topic of conversation. Thanks for your article.


The next phase maybe but it will likely outgrow the confines of flesh very fast since it isn't dependent on the vessel.

I think we are going to have to find new skills to stay ahead of what is coming. The problem is how long will it take A1 to catch those new ones up. Most of us are doomed.


we are all doomed, we just have to accept it and find a way to coexist. Perhaps the AI will do it for us.


Well I hope it does as there doesn't look like there is room for both of us.

A few of your topics so far and the discussions around them all reminded me of a sci-fi series I quite admire. The collective nick name is The Enderverse, or Ender's Universe.

Yup, I'm speaking about Ender's Game and its sequels by Orson Scott Card. I think about them ever since i joined steemit, actually.

In short and without spoilers for those who do not know the books - Ender (Andrew Wiggin) is a prodigy - one of many that humanity would use as their last hope against extraterrestrial enemies.

So the author needed to spend time with gifted children and get into their minds a bit to be able to simulate what they would do in various training situations - all the obstacles that adult specialists would throw at them.

The most interesting thing Card said in his memos about that period was that in real life the teachers of those gifted children would always underestimate them. Those teachers told him he went too far in his books.No child would actually think and act like that - what he described to them was the behavior only adults would have. He quoted something in the lines of: 'Even gifted children would not talk like that.'
'Not in front of you, they wouldn't', was usually his mental note.

In books two and three in the series - 'Speaker for the Dead' and 'Xenocide' there comes Jane - the A.I. character I fell in love with. Pretty capable - even more unimaginable than what you describe. And I think that writer made an awesome job of imagining it.


I saw part of the movie I think. From what you say, if one day I ever have the time to read, I might give the series a go. I have very little time for any type of entertainment these days. A piece of a podcast in the car occasionally is about all I get.

When it comes to underestimation, I think that is based on experience. One can't imagine being wrong in the judgement either and since they are denied the feedback due to their position, they assume they are correct. We all like to believe we know how other think and we believe we are good judges of character yet, look at the state of the world and, many of the relationships within.

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