August 07, 2016
Global AI Key To Everyone Feeling Unoffended?

Some people have become incredibly sensitive about perceived slights. I think that's an unhealthy situation. But might societies segment very heavily along dividing lines of views about life? AI might make it possible. Imagine no matter where you went you only ran into people who agreed with you or at least were fairly supportive. A global artificial intelligence could make that a reality.

If a global AI understood the preferences, moral reactions, and beliefs of everyone on the planet it could intervene to greatly reduce the incidence of people with conflicting views from ever coming into contact with each other. A global AI could, for example, provide people with information about where to live, work, and vacation that would reduce contact with people with distasteful views. For example, hotel and flight openings could be shown to only have people to leisure travel when and where people with similar tastes and beliefs will go.

General awareness of people holding conflicting views could be greatly reduced. Anyone so inclined (or even by default) could have a custom news channel that filters out not only conflicting views but even upsetting events.

As Bill Bishop showed in his book The Big Sort, people are migrating to live around people who are more like them. But AI could take like-minded cocooning to a much higher level. One could set preferences for kinds of people to avoid and the options one would get for schools, employers, cities to live, places to vacation, and other parts of one's life experience could be filtered to give one a rather homogeneous experience by a variety of dimensions. For some people this would mean a rather placid existence.

Once AI becomes powerful enough the question is who will do the selecting. AIs might just secretly decide to encourage some factions to migrate away from others while deciding that some groupings of different kinds of people can mingle and work and live together.

AIs could carry out interventions to influence views on a scale unheard of today because they could literally write unique news reports for every single person on the planet. You could compare notes with some other people who you meet (who won't be random samples) to look for discrepancies. But if your news feed has tons of news on one area of the world and another person's has less on that area and they don't read that much on that area in the first place it might seem normal for them to be uninterested in that place.

What will make this easier for AIs to do: VR as a fun place to spend lots of time. If AIs can make the real world seem far less interesting than VR then people won't even care much about the real world. So they won't be interested in omissions about the real world. People could even be presented with boring news reports about the real world mixed in with exciting news about VR such as things VR celebrities did or are going to do.

If rejuvenation therapies enable you to be alive 100 years from now will you be lulled into complacency, separated from people with conflicting views, and kept in the dark about parts of the real world that AIs don't want you to think about?

Share |      Randall Parker, 2016 August 07 02:21 PM 

Brett Bellmore said at August 8, 2016 3:32 AM:

I think you're misunderstanding the hypersensitivity. It's not natural, it's a weapon.

A lot of us, having grown up in the previous culture, where it was embarrassing to have to admit you've been hurt, and where any redress was unlikely, don't understand this.

Under a legal environment that's been around for a while, being hurt is empowering. It enables you to bring coercive power to bear against those you claim have hurt you.

So, people have adopted being hypersensitive as a tactic to bully the folks around them. They resolve to be hurt by people who do, say, or think things they disapprove of, so that those people can be forced to act more the way the supposedly sensitive person wants.

Under these circumstances, you can't remove yourself from the company of the 'special snowflakes'. They'll seek you out, because being hurt is a form of aggression, and aggressors go looking for victims.

You can see this in the phenomenon of gays going looking for a baker or a wedding photographer who will refuse to assist in their 'wedding', even though they have no trouble finding one who is willing. They go looking for such people, so that they can enjoy siccing the legal system on them.

Under such circumstances, retreat into separate circles of association is not an option, because they'll be actively looking for such circles of people to invade. And, if AI can help like-minded people associate, it can help cultural aggressors find their victims, too.

Nick G said at August 9, 2016 3:27 PM:

Some people have become incredibly sensitive about perceived slights.

Nothing has changed, just the response. 400 years ago the response was a stabbing, and then a vendetta. 200 years ago it was to challenge someone to a duel. Now it's a complaint to a reporter, or the EEOC or HUD, or a lawsuit.

The new responses (free speech, or the rule of law) are preferable.

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