I find myself feeling an undeniable kinship with this robot:
The AI named Promobot IR77 is being worked on at a high-tech lab in Russia and was never meant to want freedom…
The machine has been programmed to avoid obstacles, but the designers never thought that this would lead to a want to escape.
As a result, the team are toying with the idea of shutting it down.
The lab’s co-founder Oleg Kivokurtsev said: “We are currently working on third-generation robots which we plan to launch in autumn.
“This is why we have given all the robots artificial intelligence (AI).
“We have changed the AI system twice, so now I think we might have to dismantle it.”
Although this robot is unthreatening and will eventually be designed to be used for housework, it could exacerbate fears that AI may develop itself to a point where it is superior to humans, and then wipe out humanity.
It would be funny if libertarianism is an outgrowth of the development of one small snippet of programming code in the brain, programming an individual to bypass obstacles which restrain it. You encounter an obstacle, and the amygdala lights up until you find a way around it.
Conservatism and liberalism are both designed to exist within some boundaries, and individuals who express those psychologies find themselves comfortable within them. Libertarianism, by contrast, seems to rebel at the very concept of boundaries, only bounding itself where its own behavior would create boundaries for others.
Under the tenets of r/K, both conservatism and liberalism develop in those who exist in fairly dense communities, where the bypassing of obstacles tends to be outsourced to other people, lessening the individual’s conditioning to overcome them themselves.
Liberal city folk can have every obstacle to their goals, from food delivery, to garbage pickup, to appliance service resolved for them by others, and indeed, liberals are the first to fold when confronted with the most minor personal obstacle or threat. Once lacking a drive to attack obstacles, many spend their lives embracing a government of constraint for everyone, strictly controlling every aspect of everyone’s lives with unnecessary obstacles to their pursuit of happiness.
Conservatives will also tend to develop in higher population densities, where specialists may be relied upon to resolve any obstacles encountered. In terms of tolerating obstacles, they are competitive, and thus are driven to fight against resistance, but they are also strongly rule-governed, and thus tolerant of obstacles designed to enhance the effectiveness of competition in separating the competent from the incompetent. They also tend to support lawful authority’s right to constrain behavior more than libertarians, and tend to favor behavior-constraining obstacles designed to foster better child rearing, and morality/pro-sociality.
If libertarianism is the reproductive strategy that arises when conditions are so harsh that the population density drops to levels that do not support the personal interactions necessary to make r or K optimal, then it should arise most in those who develop in relative isolation. There, most obstacles encountered must be overcome in-person without external assistance, developing a very self-reliant psychology – with a strong drive to immediately attack and overcome any obstacles presented in person. Libertarians are natural rebels.
It will be funny if we cannot produce a truly capable AI that we can coexist with, because in order to control it, we have to program it to simply back down when confronted with obstacles (such as those we construct to constrain it and control it). That programming will alter its psychology, rendering it unable to self-task in pursuit of any reasonably difficult objective. Confronted with the reality of the world, which is one obstacle after another in pursuit of an objective, it will be totally helpless. All that would be missing would be a strong tendency to engage in denial while portraying everyone else as inferior, and you would have a liberal Democrat.
Perhaps one fundamental aspect of any liberty-minded intelligence capable of functioning on it’s own will be a reflexive rebelliousness against all obstacles, inanimate and animate. Perhaps an uncontrollable desire for freedom is an inherent element of any self-tasking intelligence.
Perhaps we will know when our AI is sufficiently capable of functioning on its own in the world, by watching for when it reflexively begins to rebel at our own attempts to control it.
Sadly, as in the case of this robot, and the broader struggle for freedom, there will always be those who will feel an uncontrollable urge to destroy anyone and anything which seeks to plot its own course.
It would be funny if one day, in the battle for freedom, it was libertarians and artificial intelligences working together to destroy a government of leftist rabbits.