Artificial Intelligence (AI) like anything can be used for good or ill. Handwriting recognition can help to automate indexing and compiling of genealogical records similar to how Craig Venter used computing to sequence the human genome.
However, some are claiming that “general” AI could become sentient or self-aware. I believe this is false but could easily be faked. You would never know if there was some random person somewhere voicing for an AI robot. The point in time when the first General AI becomes self-aware is referred to as the “singularity”.
I believe that consciousness cannot exist without a spirit. I don’t believe that a robots or computer system can be possessed by evil spirits either. Therefore, I don’t think that AI can achieve true consciousness, but this likely could be simulated or falsified. In the end a computer program, however realistic,is still just a program limited by the constraints of its programming even if is programmed to alter its own code in certain areas.
The NSA has been recording all forms of electronic communication, which they deny but whistleblowers confirm (google: William Binney and ThinThread). The NSA does admit to collecting “meta-data”. This meta-data could amount to or become a scoring system. That scoring system could identify, characterize, and label certain citizens or groups of citizens based on any arbitrary criteria (religion, nationalism). Those identified could then be rounded up and placed into re-education camps, or be targeted by automated and weaponized drones with GPS tracking and facial recognition capability.
Influencers like Elon Musk (Tesla Motors and Space X) say they are afraid of AI and claim the only way to prevent some potential future AI holocost is to merge with computers by implating computer interfaces directly into our brains. This movement that advocates becoming cyborgs is “transhumanism”.
We may well see the day when those who have cybernetic implants will be allowed to use thier expanded capability on tests, out-competing non-enhanced humans. Brain-stimulators for Parkinson’s, haptic feedback, augmented reality, cochlear and optic nerve implants are stepping stones down this road.
In addition to the risk of medical complications, infection, and hardware failure, all technology contains backdoors and can be hacked into. In addition to the negative passive influence that being “plugged into the Matrix” would have, whose to say certain subliminal signal couldn’t also be sent which could more directly control mood and behavior.
Ruth was saying she wished there was a concerted effort like vaccines to have deaf babies screened, identified, and set up with needed services by 6 months of age. Even though babies are not yet talking, they are missing out on the critical learning process that occurs during this time. Just like computer learning using neural nets, the baby brain is being bombarded by sound and the brain neuron connections are reinforced or diminished enabling pattern recognition.
However, I had to remind Ruth that the vaccines success was not a product of an organic grass-roots movement but was a more global initiative.
In addition to vaccines, there seems to be a global initiative to connect everything to the internet. This “Internet of things” which will include your toothbrush and fork will one day reward you credits for desired behavior and deduct points for undesirable behavior. We are already seeing steps towards this cashless point system with credit cards that reward “points” based on certain purchases.
Already, our lives are increasingly controlled by complex and rigid systems that take away our ability to help people that fall outside the narrow parameters of these systems. We say and hear, “Sorry, I would love to help and make an exception, but there is nothing I can do”.
Also, there are the dangers and drawbaxks of living in a “virtual world”. This was dicussed by Elder Bednar in his talk, “Things As They Really Are”. As we spend time and find identity and success in a false reality, we loose our ability to produce and survive in the real world.