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AI Will Solve Aging - it is a Tool, Not a Threat
David Kekich   Jun 23, 2015   maxlife.org  

Dear Future Centenarian, 

I’ve been stumping for some time about how Artificial Intelligence will provide the shortest path to curing aging forever. In fact, without it, I’m convinced we won’t solve aging in our lifetime. I’m glad to hear Peter Diamandis describe AI as the most important technology we’re developing this decade.

Peter goes on to say it’s a massive opportunity for humanity, not a threat, as well as the following:

· AI is multi-faceted. It can understand your question, search its vast memory banks, and to give you the best, most accurate, answer.

· It also has the ability of a to process a vast amount of information for you, make decisions, and take (and/or advise you to take) appropriate action.

· You use it all the time, usually without being aware of it running in the background. Some of the more apparent early versions include Siri on your iPhone, or IBM’s Watson supercomputer. Remember the headlines Watson made in 2011 by winning Jeopardy? It’s matured since then. Now it helps doctors treat cancer patients by processing massive amounts of clinical data and cross-referencing thousands of individual cases and medical outcomes.

· Apple’s Siri rests in the palm of your hand, giving directions, making recommendations and even cracking jokes.
But these are the early, “weak” versions of AI. Look for AI being more like JARVIS from the movie Iron Man next decade. It will be for everyone…leveling the global playing field.

Today, Google’s search engine gives a teenager with a smartphone in Mumbai and a billionaire in Manhattan equal access to the world’s information. In the future, AI will democratize the ability for everyone to have equal access to services ranging from healthcare to finance advice.

AI will be your physician, financial advisor, teacher, fashion designer, chef, entertainer… and more. And it will likely do all these things for free, or nearly for free, for everyone.

Ultimately, AIs will dematerialize, demonetize and democratize all of these services, dramatically improving the quality of life for billions, pushing us closer towards a world of abundance.

So not only should it preserve your life… it could make it unimaginably better.
 
Why I Don’t Fear AI (At Least, Not For Now)

First, we consistently overreact to new technologies. Our default, evolutionary response to new things that we don’t understand is to fear the worst. Nowadays, the fear is promulgated by a flood of dystopian Hollywood movies and negative news that keeps us in fear of the future.
In the 1980’s, when DNA restriction enzymes were discovered, making genetic engineering possible, the fear mongers warned the world of devastating killer engineered viruses and mutated life forms. What we got instead was miracle drugs and extraordinary increases in food production.

Rather than extensive government regulations, a group of biologists, physicians, and even lawyers came together at the Asilomar Conference on Recombinant DNA to discuss the potential biohazards and regulation of biotechnology and to draw up voluntary guidelines to ensure the safety of recombinant DNA technology.

The guidelines they came up with allowed the researchers to move forward safely and continue to innovate, and we’ve been using them for 30 years.

The cloning of Dolly the sheep in 1997 led to failed prophesies that in just a few years we would have armies of cloned super-soldiers, parents implanting Einstein genes in their unborn children, and warehouses of zombies being harvested for spare organs.


 
The Benefits Outweigh the Risks

However, strong AI (versus narrow or weak AI) is different. It is perhaps the most important and profound technological development humanity will ever make. Strong AI is a thinking machine closer to human or superhuman thought, versus Narrow AI, which is more like Siri or Google search engine.

As Ray Kurzweil has argued, I think the benefits are likely to outweigh the risks and dangers.

He says, “The main reason I believe that AI will be beneficial is that it will be decentralized and widely distributed as it is today. It is not in the hands of one person or one organization or a few but rather in over a billion hands and will become even more ubiquitous as we go into the future. We are all going to enhance ourselves with AI. The world is getting exponentially more peaceful as documented by Steven Pinker’s book The Better Angels of Our Nature.”

A Tool, Not a Threat
 
AI will be an incredibly powerful tool that we can use to expand our capabilities and to access resources. Kevin Kelley describes it as an “opportunity to elevate and sharpen our own ethics and morality and ambition.”

He goes on, “We’ll quickly find that trying to train AIs to be more humanistic will challenge us to be more humanistic. In the way that children can better their parents, the challenge of rearing AIs is an opportunity – not a horror. We should welcome it.”

In short, humanity will ultimately collaborate and co-evolve with AI.

When we talk about all of the problems we have on Earth, and the need to solve them, it is only through such AI-human collaboration that we will gain the ability to solve our grandest challenges and truly create a world of Abundance.

More Life,

David Kekich 

David Kekich founded in 199 "Maximum Life Foundation", dedicated to reversing human aging and aging related diseases. He raises funds for life-extending research, and serves as a Board Member of the American Aging Association, Life Extension Buyers’ Club and Alcor Life Extension Foundation Patient Care Trust Fund. He currently serves as CEO of SciCog Systems and Age Reversal, Inc.



COMMENTS

I don’t fear Narrow AI for its capabilities, but for the surveillance that is built into its implementation.  Any command you give to Siri (supposing you are using an iThing) goes into a corporate data base. I would not trust it with anything.  I wouldn’t trust the rest of the iThing’s software, either.  See http://gnu.org/proprietary/ and
http://gnu.org/philosophy/free-software-even-more-important.html.

As for Strong AI, we cannot predict anything about what it will do because it will be smarter than us.  If it appears to have human feelings, are they real?  Even with humans, this is hard to determine; consider the humans that suddenly become murderous under the influence of sectarian or racist ideology, and their neighbors say, “This is incredible—he was always so kind.”

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