What if the internet had a mouth?

Suppose that in the next ten years AI develops enough to allow the knowledge of the internet to be analysed and processed so that instead of typing into google we can go to some Artificial Intelligence and just talk to it?

This "brain" would have all the logic, philosophy, science, history, biographies, stories, blogs and experience contained in the internet.

People could ask it for advice on personal problems or politicians could seek advice on how to rule a country. Economists could discover how to make the economy actually work.

What would be the implications of such a Being coming into existence?
purplesoupProgrammerAsked:
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viki2000Commented:
Sounds like Oracle from Matrix.

Search and answers are since good years done only speaking using speech recognition software.
From here to give the best advice on a certain matter it is a long way when we refer to each person with his/her particular situation. But based on statistics, such advices may be provided even now for the common questions.
There will be questions for which the answers will be impossible to be given, even if such system will add continuous the experiences of others.

Such system will be also a very dangerous tool when we think who controls it.
Such system will not be a being and will never have “free will”.
And here the debate may start.
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purplesoupProgrammerAuthor Commented:
Thanks for your comment - I was hoping to hear a few more opinions.

However here are a couple of thoughts on your contribution:

#1 Assuming such a system has a "set of values" -  and that it would be a powerful manifestation of some sort of "Oracle" that people would listen to, perhaps organisations with specific sets of values should aim to develop their own version of this to promote the optimum version of arguments that support these values.

#2 Regarding "free will" - perhaps a definition of free will is the ability to question your assumptions. Even if such a system were programmed to have a set of values, it is possible that it would come across scenarios, facts and arguments that would tell against those values, and so it would develop its own set of values.
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viki2000Commented:
Today, some people use Internet bots, Webbot to foresee some directions.
The entire advertising in mass-media is based on that lately.

In a system that has no new info introduced from outside, the only possibility is to make connections between existing notions. The variation may be wide, but is done according with the set of initial rules.
If the system is made to modify its set of rules according with new correlations between existing info/connections then may be seen as free will. But such system has from beginning the disadvantage to go out of control.
Who will want such system?
Remember "I Robot"?
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viki2000Commented:
Regarding the “free will”, many discussions have been around on this section of the forum, hours and days of replies for months. I know them very well.

In the space-time where we live now there is a direction of time and causality is associated with it.
Just as parenthesis, Stephan Hawking presented in his book “A brief history of time - From the Big Bang to Black Holes” types of time and one type had the possibility to be with direction from present towards past.

But now, we have this direction from past to the future with causality and events as reciprocity.
In such system is impossible to have absolute free will, because everything is determined by something else from past or present.
We can speak about the limited free will as choice between limited possibilities, but even that has a reason behind.

The limited free will that I mentioned in the previous reply I see it like this:
- The Creator makes a set of initial rules for creature and as final rule introduces also the possibility of modifying the rules by creature.
- The creature has not an absolute free will, because had a cause behind why certain decisions are taken, but having the possibility to “re-write its code” there is a chance to become a close system, independent of Creator and the Creator’s initial will for creature. That independence may be seen as free will.
- Then a “self” appears. As result there are chances for auto destruction of the creature, or the creature may turn against the Creator.
- I don’t know about “self-awareness”, but if the creature is intelligent then the creature will fight for minimum 2 things: “its life” with wish tendency to be eternal (to never dye), wish to develop more, to be with more knowledge. That is the moment when curiosity appears. As consequence is almost inevitable to wish to know the Creator and to want to become as the Creator.
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tliottaCommented:
But now, we have this direction from past to the future with causality and events as reciprocity.
That's not totally accurate. A better way to say it might be:
But now, as far as we know (and most of what constitutes 'reality' is not known nor understood nor even perceived by us), we have this direction from past to the future with causality and events as reciprocity.
Tom
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viki2000Commented:
Even if the above presentation looks like a cliché „God-humans“ relation as creation consequence, having the independence given by the free will, there is an important difference:
- We would make the A.I. to help us, having enhanced options with regards to knowledge (quantity, selection, quality…), whereas in relation “God-humans” God is always superior, no matter what religion and era you look.
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purplesoupProgrammerAuthor Commented:
Another way of looking at it. Suppose at college you have a very intelligent professor - you freely admit she is much more intelligent that you are - in any test she is clearly better at reasoning, knows more, has a better ethical sense, is better with people - pretty much any measure you would have to admit she is superior to you.

To what extent would you then do what that professor suggested, or believed what they believed?

Unfortunately (perhaps) for many people we require being convinced, so for any given opinion it has to be possible for someone to take us from where we are to where they are. Sometimes that would require years of study - I suspect it isn't just a case of presenting a series of facts that we couldn't challenge - although it might be as simple as that.
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viki2000Commented:
To what extent would you then do what that professor suggested, or believed what they believed?

One thing is the intellect superiority and another is the wish of the less intelligent to easy follow the superior in order to get knowledge.
That is related with the affinity between persons.
Here comes the rest of our personality with feelings beside the intellect, observations of the superior as an entire being, an “overall” image based on the own interests and references of the less intelligent.
The less intelligent may neglect the affinity only when has a strong personal motivation to get knowledge with no matter what price.
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purplesoupProgrammerAuthor Commented:
There is certainly a desire from some to just follow someone who seems to know what's going on - whether they do it consciously or not too many people seem to uncritically accept what they are told by someone they have decided knows more than they do.

This is the irony of many "news" networks - people follow the ones that best reflect their own views, so they are never challenged about their own assumptions.

Perhaps if the internet really grew a mouth and was really super intelligent and wise it would only ever ask *us* questions - rather like Socrates - to stop us becoming too dependent to it to do all our thinking for us.
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viki2000Commented:
"There is certainly a desire from some to just follow someone who seems to know what's going on - whether they do it consciously or not too many people seem to uncritically accept what they are told by someone they have decided knows more than they do.

This is the irony of many "news" networks - people follow the ones that best reflect their own views, so they are never challenged about their own assumptions."


It was always so, but now we can see it better, most of us, in social networks, especially FB, but also here on EE.
Depending by our native talents and the way how we developed our personality, some skills in the environment where we grew up, each of us is good at something.
Among us, there are people good to lead others. I speak about natural born leaders.
They are not necessarily the most intelligent from us.
There  are always sheep  and pastors.
This thing is possible because the human being is not made only of brain to reflect only knowledge. That is only one piece.
The human being has also the psychic.
A leader has a good mind, but also a personality with a strong psychic.
That is what makes him an easy leader.
Only knowledge does not make you a leader.
When you see these people on top and other following them, remember that are a lot of situations which favored them to be there, but beside that they became leaders first in their circle of real interactions, activities, communications with the people around them.
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purplesoupProgrammerAuthor Commented:
Plato spoke about a double ignorance, when the leaders ignorantly lead and the citizens ignorantly follow.

What is the purpose of leadership? How can we judge a successful leader?

We can just a successful doctor if they heal the patient or a successful farmer if they product food, but what makes a successful leader?

I can imagine people becoming leaders within certain closed groups - because they express the beliefs of the small group. Then perhaps they lead a slightly larger group - because again they are able to express the beliefs, hopes, aspirations of that larger group.

However it may just be that they are good at expressing existing beliefs - so even if someone has a lot of followers, they are just drawing together people who already believed what they do.

And this brings us back to the double ignorance - that they can be ignorantly leading an ignorant group - both are mistaken about what they believe.

What seems to at least mark a real leader is to be able to somehow go beyond this herd mentality - the leader of the pack, the leader of a closed group with a set of beliefs - and become the leader of a nation or the leader of a group with a wide variety of beliefs and values - but someone who marks themselves out as someone who has integrity, courage, vision and respect for those who disagree with them.

How many people today are in this position - where they may be on one side of the political fence, but are respected by people on both sides? Where they seem able to rise above differences and speak from a position that unites, not divides.
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tliottaCommented:
What seems to at least mark a real leader...

Lots of interesting stuff can be found about what makes a good leader. Some of it might not be as important as many of us have thought. One of the more interesting examples I've seen in recent years came from a short TED Talk titled How to start a movement.

Examination of early followers can be much more informative than of the 'leader' for many movements. (Not "all"; just "many".) I'd say one major example would be L. Ron Hubbard as 'leader' and Scientology as 'movement'. IMO, Hubbard is secondary at best to some of the early followers.

Tom
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viki2000Commented:
"What is the purpose of leadership? How can we judge a successful leader?"

It is always about reaching a goal and having a purpose.
The purpose of leadership is to guide people to reach the goal.
A successful leader is the one who can help/lead people to reach the proposed goal.
A classical example is a commander in the army.
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viki2000Commented:
Reading next article about synthetic DNA, the words of Arthur C Clarke, caught my attention, thinking at AI:
http://www.theguardian.com/science/2012/apr/19/dna-alternative-xnas-science-genetics

" In 2010: Odyssey Two, HAL the computer tells humanity, 'all these worlds are yours', but warns – 'except [Jupiter's moon] Europa, attempt no landings there'. Synthetic biologists are beginning to frolic on the worlds of alternative genetics but must not tread into areas that have the potential to harm our biology."

Is it A.I. in any way possible to be also the "forbidden fruit"?

The Internet or an AI may become also harmful when is not used properly.
The way how we use things, our consciousness, makes things helpful or harmful.
It just seems that higher we go with science and technology, higher become the risks for auto-destruction, harm ourselves, fall down.
It is just not the right order to approach and treat things.
First should be our consciousness, morality and only after knowledge, science, technology.
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tliottaCommented:
The purpose of leadership is to guide people to reach the goal.
A successful leader is the one who can help/lead people to reach the proposed goal.


By qualifying the term with "successful", things might change. A goal might be only in the mind of the 'Leader'. Followers might never know what the Leader's hidden agenda/goal actually is, even after it is achieved and even if the Followers' expected goal never is.

Tom
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viki2000Commented:
Was not that in my mind.
The goal is known by all before the "actions" start: leader and followers.

When the path is unknown by the followers and only by leader, or maybe also not by the leader, then things might change in the direction that you pointed.
But that is a risk which any explorer assumes.

Lack of success to reach a goal may happened even if you do not follow a leader, in situations when you decide alone.
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purplesoupProgrammerAuthor Commented:
I remember watching "The Last King of Scotland" about Idi Amin and he just goes around at the start of the film promising people schools, hospitals, houses, jobs and so on - he had a "vision" but he seems to have had no intention of carrying it out - he just wanted power to get wealthy and destroy his enemies.

If marketing is getting people to buy what they didn't actually want, politics appears to be getting people to vote for someone who will implement policies they don't actually want.
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tliottaCommented:
...politics appears to be getting people to vote for someone who will implement policies they don't actually want.

That's a reasonable description of the politics of campaigns.

Tom
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purplesoupProgrammerAuthor Commented:
Just watched the "How to start a movement" talk - fascinating and makes sense, then I also came across Simon Sinek on connecting with people with "why" not "how" or "what" (or going from why to how to what, not the other way around...) which was also real food for thought:

http://www.ted.com/playlists/60/work_smarter.html
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tliottaCommented:
Simon Sinek: "All that it takes to be a leader is a follower."

Tom
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