[Link] Robots Program People

post by Gunnar_Zarncke · 2015-06-15T08:42:11.732Z · score: 2 (3 votes) · LW · GW · Legacy · 15 comments

On Scott Adams' Blog: Robots Program People:

It won’t be long before all new drugs are discovered by robots. This start-up is an example of that trend.
And it won’t be long before IBM’s Watson can diagnose and prescribe treatments better than any human doctor.
Put those two trends together and robots will be programming humans with drugs. Drugs are the user interface to our moistware.
Someday, for sure, machines will be programming humans. And that day will probably be in your lifetime. But don’t be afraid because the robots will someday have a drug that will make you feel totally okay with being their pet.
I think this is quite relevant as that is actually quite likely and has lots of failure modes from UFAI to Moloch. 
The post also has some discussion of whether the machines are actually actors in this ("You are thinking that humans program the machines, and the machines just do their job.") and does some insightful comparisons on that. 


Comments sorted by top scores.

comment by Viliam · 2015-06-15T20:58:39.957Z · score: 4 (4 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

the robots will someday have a drug that will make you feel totally okay with being their pet

I, for one, do not welcome our new robot overlords... but after receiving the drug, I will.

comment by Elo · 2015-06-15T23:38:29.692Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

They will come for you first. If you welcome them; they might overlook you for a while. In the end they come for all of us.

comment by MrMind · 2015-06-16T07:26:13.513Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

There's a lot of handwave here.

Drugs are the user interface to our moistware.

Meh. Drugs are by definitions substances injected in the body, and cannot discriminate between structurally identical but functionally different neurons.

Unless by drugs you intend something that is totally not like a drug, but then it becomes a standard UFAI scenario.

comment by Gunnar_Zarncke · 2015-06-16T14:59:23.819Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Who says that the drugging Watsons are the only working component in the system? I think the far-reaching effect of this not-that-unlikely szenario has the potential to make many other failure modes much more likely. A self-satisfied society has much less energy to detect them for example. A more complex system makes failure modes more numerous.

comment by MrMind · 2015-06-17T07:48:23.257Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)


This is one of the most fascinating typo I've ever seen!

Anyway, it's undoubtful that the sociology of AI developement is something to be studied.

comment by Gunnar_Zarncke · 2015-06-17T07:56:37.599Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

It's German: https://de.wiktionary.org/wiki/Szenario

comment by [deleted] · 2015-06-17T18:56:40.603Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

What never ceases to amaze me about languages is they are more or less pronounced the same way, but in German that at least follows from the rules, mostly. In English it is kinda weird that the combo of "es" and "see" becomes "stz" yet in practice it works like that.

comment by ford_prefect42 · 2015-06-16T21:07:18.304Z · score: 1 (3 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

To some extent, they already are. Google and Facebook have had measurable impacts on neural structures and human behavior. There are also products like "emospark" that are designed to deliberately manipulate our emotional condition. Now, how well they do remains a question.

comment by buybuydandavis · 2015-06-16T01:58:42.842Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

"But don’t be afraid because the robots will someday have a drug that will make you feel totally okay with being their pet."

That's nice of them.

comment by eternal_neophyte · 2015-06-15T22:33:10.929Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Industrial pollutants profoundly change the functioning of our biochemistry...are cracking towers, chemical synthesis plants or combustion engines "programming humans"? The volitional part of undergoing a medical treatment or taking a certain drug rests entirely with the doctor and the patient, even when sophisticated diagnostics/drug synthesis software is involved.

Is Adams making some point that isn't weakened by Watson's lack of agency that I'm missing?

comment by James_Miller · 2015-06-15T23:09:18.882Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

I predict that robots will program us via neurofeedback, and it will represent a glorious civilization-level advance. We get wearables that continually measure our brainwaves and emotional states, and can send sounds, smells, tactile sensations, encouraging words,....to change how we are thinking and feeling. We gain conscious control over more of our brain and become better humans.

comment by DTX · 2015-06-18T17:55:36.514Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Did you know about this?


The SUBNETS vision is distinct from current therapeutic approaches in that it seeks to create an implanted, closed-loop diagnostic and therapeutic system for treating, and possibly even curing, neuropsychological illness. That vision is premised on the understanding that brain function—and dysfunction, in the case of neuropsychological illness—plays out across distributed neural systems, as opposed to being strictly relegated to distinct anatomical regions of the brain. The program also aims to take advantage of neural plasticity, a feature of the brain by which the organ’s anatomy and physiology alter over time to support normal brain function.

Sounds pretty straightforwardly like programming a brain.

comment by James_Miller · 2015-06-18T18:39:07.589Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

No, thanks for showing me.

comment by MrMind · 2015-06-16T07:26:47.899Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Aren't those pills wonderful? Yes they are.

comment by [deleted] · 2015-06-15T09:36:00.077Z · score: 0 (2 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Similar things were said in studies on training Chimpanzee's to read.