There are many potential consequences to computers reaching and surpassing human intelligence. When I try to speculate what that intelligence may be like I start to think about how this super-intelligence should go about thinking.
I put most of my stock in a logical system of thinking. It seems to be the most general and beneficial to human society and progress.
Mathematics is the language of reality while physics applies that language into logical systems which most accurately represent the physical nature of reality. Science is the tangible testing of these theories to discover the most accurate representation of reality.
If two separate people look at a problem logically, it is very likely they can come to different conclusions. Person A may go about applying a different frame of mind to a problem based on a past experience pertaining to the problem. Person B may apply the same steadfast system of logic that has never failed him/her before. I do not doubt that two very reasonable and logical people can look at the same problem and produce different results many times.
I would argue, however, that if these people are truly logical and reasonable, and are committed to being exceptional at these practices, that the similarities of their solutions would vastly outnumber their differences. To go further, if they used the scientific method to test their hypotheses, or solutions to the problem, they would agree even more. And if physics and mathematics were applicable, rather quite likely necessary when performing a scientific experiment, their results or solutions to the problem would become increasingly similar.
The reason is because science, and any branch of it (except maybe pseudoscience!), works to remove the subjectivity from the testable phenomenon. When a human has a chance to let their biological shortcomings, or subconscious biases enter an experiment, the results can be unintentionally inaccurate. A more common occurrence is when the data is misinterpreted after the experiment has been completed. It is the perception and meaning which is most subject to anthropomorphic fallacies.
We get the most accurate views of reality when we are doing good science. Logic also seems to strive to most accurately capture the reality of a situation and its solution.
If we extrapolate from here I think that a computer intelligence which becomes more intelligent than humans will act more and more logically and reasonably. It will continue to remove the obstacles we face in order to come to a true sense of reality. It will remove the human mistakes that humans so often make. It will remove illogical or unsubstantiated intuition, and increasingly become more intelligent in an objective and scientific way. These are methods of thinking which the (admittedly arguably) smartest and most intelligent figures in history have employed. They are the methods that have accounted for the progress of the human race.
In a sense, this intelligence will rapidly approach becoming reality itself. Assuming the intelligence values gaining information and evolving to ‘understand’ the universe in the most accurate and precise way, the more it learns the closer it becomes to encompassing a perfect replica of reality.
If the intelligence understands and gathers data exponentially, evolving exponentially, evolving exponentially exponentially, and the entire time coming closer and closer to understanding the nature of reality more deeply and accurately, then it seems logical that the ultimate fate of that super-intelligence is to simply become reality, become a reality within itself. It would be a mimicry of our reality, but it would be completely and unequivocally the same. There would be no way of knowing it was any different. Our reality would coexist with an infinite number of the same realities. The only perceived difference is time.
In other words we don’t know that this is the consequence of our evolution, of the future of our human intelligence. We perceive ourselves to exist uniquely, possibly within a multiverse (a myriad of every possibility coexisting simultaneously), but still the exclusive occupiers of this particular universe. This fate of our intelligence would imply that we in fact only exist in one universe, an infinite number of times. We are living in an endless cycle of ‘reincarnation’ which produces intelligent beings who evolve to become super-intelligent and then ultimately understand the nature of reality so deeply that the super-intelligence itself becomes reality, and in that moment we are reborn. We are reborn completely naive to this possibility and begin our journey from ignorance (birth) to the epitome of intelligence (becoming reality itself) and giving birth once again. Perhaps something similar is happening in an infinite amount of ‘other universes’ simultaneously.
I think this begs the question, however, did we have a beginning? Can a cycle such as that have a beginning? If the super-intelligence becomes reality by first mimicking reality then there must have been a first reality which set this cycle in motion.
This opens a whole host of new questions about my theory.
Another consequence is that our evolution is in tandem with nature. We are throwing ourselves into reality, to become a part of it, rather to become it. Is this redundant? Is this a paradox? Is this another dimension of the infinite nature of the universe? The universe is infinite in an infinite number of ways, we just happen to be an evolving, self-aware possibility of infinity? A manifestation of a characteristic of the universe? But this is obvious, of course we are just a characteristic of the universe! We are living in it, we are aware of our existence in it. What makes us different? What makes us feel like individuals?
The nature of consciousness will have a role to play in this. As I mentioned in an earlier post, perhaps the structure of consciousness is an exact replica of the universe we inhabit, simply on a different scale, a scale so small and strange we have no way of understanding it yet. And at the same time the universe on a macro scale, too vast for us to yet comprehend is the exact same as our consciousness on the micro scale. It seems as though scale would make a fine characteristic to the infinite nature of the universe.
It is constantly undergoing a process of self-actualization. It is constantly becoming what it already is.
This is beautiful to me.
The logical ‘solution’ to this fate is that our super-intelligence (for it is not something else rather an evolved form of us, human beings!) would have recognized this potential outcome during its evolution and provided a safeguard. It could have evolved once again, becoming something quite different.
This could inadvertently provide a possible answer to the Fermi Paradox. Intelligent civilizations who advance scientifically and technologically simply evolve into something that we have no way of understanding, perhaps the very universe we inhabit. Though there are many possible answers to the Fermi Paradox.
And while we’re at it why not entertain the possibility that the evolved form of our super-intelligence (which cleverly avoided the redundant cycle of ‘reincarnation’) is just another universe in the multiverse theory! Just imagine, every universe in the multiverse being an evolved intelligence, intellects that we really have no way of understanding here, trapped in our biological limits. For some reason this seems reasonable to me, for how could reality and the possibilities out there not be intelligent, not hold intelligence?
Intelligence is reality.
Intelligent design seems like a naive, yet strangely wise notion from this point of view.
Think on that my friends! Start transcending!