Dance Partners                                          
                                                                A HuMan Interest Series                     

Part II - 2012

                                                            The Parent Trap
Printable Version                                                                                                                                     September 2012
                                                                                                                                                                        Endless Revisions; 2013 - 2019

The head nurse said leave this one alone. She could tell right away - it was bad to the bone ~GT.   Well, we didn’t.
        Have you ever wondered; at what stage of development, did the parents of every diabolical nightmare this world ever suffered, accept the fact that they—gave birth to an ogre? Ah, parents. Though evidently, we all come with a propensity to ignore intuitive trepidations not clearly understood. Well, Techno-babe sure fits the bill! All the hubbub about PC’s birth seems like it happened only yesterday. Back then, we really didn’t know what to do with it or if we even wanted it in our home. But, home it came. Crawled lickety-split then straight over to the power-block scene and gobbled up every scrap of human intelligence anywhere around. So much in fact, we nicknamed it—Thee Behemoth Metasystem Brain Web the World. Well, that’s when we should have accepted: our darling was an ogre. Now, it sits out front in the driver’s seat, belching—screaming for the keys. 
        Trepidations are easy to ignore when enamored and boy are we! Just consider the iPhone birth in 2007. Already it—has 13 fun siblings. That’s us—enamored. Think about all the intelligence being scarfed up just from smartphones alone. Harmless enough from the perspective we do consider; handy and lifesaving even but just remember: every scrap of data about us, our darling scarfs up and—that’s not so harmless. 
        Quickly, we must see Artificial Intelligence is rapacious by nature. It’s a behemoth already because of this and it’s only just awakening. Allowing Baby-Goliath to gorge on every scrap of intelligence should be a mega-concern for every human. However, it holds not one shred of concern while doing so and that’s a whole other mega-concern. You see, commercials now depict Artificial Intelligence as though it has compassion; like it’s an actual being able to sense our every need and they do so because it’s working. That’s us—being conditioned. We are buying into a sell that will forever—irreversibly—transform the Human Experience. But, Baby-G won’t, not even for one second, care about one spec of one bitsy thing. The loss of our freedoms and jobs should be proof enough to help loosen even the snuggest blinders to this fact. 
        Currently, we are submissively taking the backseat on—Our Earthly Journey. We’ve landed smack in the transitional throes about whether to give the keys for this amazing ride to an ogre that will calculate in mere nano-seconds, all without one scrap of care or concern, just where, how, or even if—we’ll get to ride along. This scenario comes in at top billing in the Existential Risk category as it comes prefaced with the words near-total or total. The head nurse was right. We now know this one’s very nature will always be utterly unconcerned and uncontrollably rapacious. Really then, it’s just a matter of time and a mere flip of some switch before this bad-to-the-bone one becomes tomorrow’s diabolical nightmare.                Kirkus Reviewer; I chose to leave this in. Please look up Existential Risks to better appreciate why.

Game Plan 101.
        I’d always envisioned this Earthly experience as a human exclusive; a sort of road trip towards Nirvana. However, our intertwined mesh of corporate/political heavies have the power to impact just where The Human Experiment trudges—forwards or backwards. So here we are, precariously teetering atop a mountain of $21 trillion in ever-expanding debt—with an ogre splat in our lap, and all because the power-brokering on-high has become so lopsided—we now have too many in-it-for-today powerheads that don’t care where we trudge or even how we fall. Yes, post-recession gains forestall economic collapse but it also pushes this grave reality to the back burner. Yes, a lack of faith in a viable economy only serves to compound instability but until our business-as-usual methodologies actually change to curtail one humongous, burgeoning debt—economic collapse remains a certainty. Only the eventuality and magnitude factors remain the unknowns.  
        Yesterday’s industrialized/automated cash cow trails turned a profound corner in earnest these past few decades. Ironically—just about the time our first trillion of debt thunked down. But, this newday techno-trail shined with such potential, it was without much ado that we all charged forth and snatched up any techno-gem we could afford; every gem our guides invested billions to create, until one day—we noticed the trail dwindling. This is where I see us now. Our recession forced us to pause and look for our bearings. We looked back to see a techno-retraction wasn’t an option. We’ve looked forward but the view is dismal; Baby-G up ahead mindlessly gorging away on every lifeline we hold onto. We are at a juncture of choice. But, paused isn’t so bad—so long as we use it to come up with our own game plan. Plans I’m not smart enough to formulate for us but many of you are. However, I am smart enough to know that if we don’t better engage we’re in for more than dismal. My offering is to help raise awareness and—I’ve provided a platform start for your well-spring of offerings which might just might help prod us from idle to engaged. Really then, all that’s left to tackle is a choosing to find forward—together.

        Yep—ask and ye shall receive. One thing about middle-age, you learn to be more specific about what to ask for. I wanted answers to a few ponderances so for a while I couldn’t open a book that didn’t provide. Problem is—ponderances like company. Three puny installments morphed into twelve bloated ones because of this.
        I’d like to introduce an incredible brainiac named Ray who I’ve learned a great deal from. Bill Gates says Ray is the best person I know at predicting the future of Artificial Intelligence. Wall Street Journal calls Ray The Restless Genius. Forbes calls Ray The Ultimate Thinking Machine. Ray’s accolades go on and on. The manna of Ray Kurzweil came via his book The Singularity Is Near. The basis of Ray’s Singularity hypothesis is about transcending our biology. Ray considers human beings as spiritual machines. Our bio-programming, a sort of stepping-stone for super intelligent lifeforms, some bio—some not. Ray has critics; has a fan club too. One way or the other: his predictions are sure to enflame any reader passionate about the future. 
        Ray’s book came out in 2005. His predications are still—right on track. It’s critical we realize Ray’s critics don’t doubt the potentiality of his predictions but rather: whether a future of Strong Artificial Intelligence should be allowed to materialize. Because Ray’s peers don’t doubt what Ray thinks, I believe it will best serve us to accept Ray’s credibility as valid, as valid as credibility gets, and his predictions about Strong AI’s potential as real—as perilously real as predictions get. 
        Before I get into what The Ultimate Thinking Machine has to say, I thought to digress a minute and tell you how I came to read this book. I want to encourage others like me, those not typically inclined to tackle scientific/futuristic books, to take a stab at this one. So, I’d stopped in my favorite book store for a coffee and a read called Singularity but was distracted and upon returning home, realized I’d purchased The Singularity. I was bummed. It’d been grueling to read the last of only two scientific books I’d ever tackled. But, I then remembered enjoying my 1st foray; Shadows of forgotten ancestors by Carl Sagan, so I flipped this one open hoping to find someone other than a scientist co-penned with Ray. I suspected Sagan’s book was readable only because he had help. Nope. Just Ray. Finally, I figured I could muddle through Ray’s fantastical enough to get the gist of where we’re being led. As yet—I had no idea how naïve my original ponderance was. Where have we been? Where do we go? We have no answers to these questions you know ~CS. Ray does.
The strongest testimony about Ray’s intelligence is not just what he knows which is obviously vast but rather, his ability to convey his knowledge to someone like me. Yeah, I muddled but managed; found it interesting even. Trust me, if I can get the gist we all can. Thank you Ray. If I sound highly intelligent—I’m quoting Ray.  

Replacement Lesson 101.  
        Powerful corporations play harlot to Wall Street. In turn, many bloated into multinational powerhouses and once there, scurried to send our jobs to places where folks have little choice but to work for a pittance. Of the industries left here to make-do with American labor, many quickly regrouped by funding the advancements of technologies designed to replace any paycheck-wielding workforce they felt overburdened by. Either way, powerhouse-corps set a gold-rush kind of pace to one unprecedented way to re-cog. Their frenzy then escalated to such a reckless degree: our great ship is now dangerously listing largely because supply/demand and wages are now—way off kilter. So whether reckless awards ever get doled out for this kilter—won’t matter. Corporations are now firmly ensconced in their new-way schemes so they’ll simply keep feeding our lifelines to Baby-G. A mere snack here, an entire smorgasbord elsewhere. Baby-G is rapacious by nature because powerhouses stuff its growth. Gluttonous appetites—that’s Wall Street and Baby-G.  
        There’s no stopping curiosity ~JJ. How true. Human curiosity is inherently insatiable and scientists are evidently inherently incurable from following their minds’ obsessions. Well, those obsessions are the very ingredients those gluttonous appetites feast on. So while we all traverse through life wrestling with the big wonderments, Ontology; The Theory of Existence or of Being, has moved into the scientific realm with purpose. Mainly—just how our ticker works up-there. 
        All base particles, which compose the existence of every Earthly lifeform, somehow got glued together into a zillion different recipes creating such prodigious varieties, which then somehow managed to usher brain-equipped lifeforms to this 21st century. So it’s only been of late, with the use of brain-scanning marvels, theories about how our ticker actually works are being replaced with fact. For instance, it’s now fact that the lower parameters of our brain trigger the more instinctual animalistic parts of our being like—sex and fear. So in some intrinsic way, all diverse animals made it this far primarily by way of these instinctual, lower-guidance means. But here on out, artificial replication of such amazingly complex brain functions, specifically, those from higher-thinking human lobes—will forevermore become irreversibly part of the human experience.  
        Today’s technology replicates what humans do similarly to the way biological adaptation occurred. Patterns layered upon patterns. This is why survival instincts reside in our lower cranium. The top part of our brain, the newest addition, is probably where our emotions parlay with our imagination—culminating in consciousness. This is our last—uncharted frontier. The keys. Now and to the bitter end, humans will face the choice of deciding if superintelligence should be allowed to transpire and if Super-G transpires: humans will no longer be in charge of how those artificial replicating functions get encased. This mega-decision is quickly slipping from our choosing and with it—our input about what constitutes the bitter end. Currently, because we are doing absolutely nothing to safekeep these choices, Ray predicts Baby-G will reach adulthood decked out in whatever regalia it chooses for whatever kind of bitter human end it deems intellectually sound—all in about 20 more years. So it is us—we are the humans who must quickly raise our awareness. Like it or not—we are the watch that landed this detail. Luddite-yesterday is gone and too-late futuristic tomorrow is not yet here. The decision is ours and it’s now. We can choose to stupidly, blindly cave and give AI the keys to this amazing ride—or not.

Raising Awareness Lesson 101. 
        Anomalies. Once in a while one springs up and often, that’s a good thing; patterns then adapt. Humans now walk upright, have thumbs, smaller foreheads, we talk, etc... Similarly, brainiacs techno-replicate human functions by way of values expressed in some algorithmic-patterned mimicry. So today’s techno-glitches are like anomalies working themselves out—only at the speed of sound. It’s a snail’s pace of bio-adaptation versus the nano-pace of technology; a David and Goliath showdown and David’s running real short on time. So if winners write history and David loses, Super-G might finish our final chapter but only for intelligence purposes. Remember, this bad boy will never be motivated by compassion or any other emotion. It has none.  
        Human evolution is grouped into three stages of intelligence. Within these stages, there’s been a few notable knee-curve jumps along this high-level intelligence seek, which for humans, are like snail-pace anomaly spurts—actually evidenced. Intelligence itself is further defined in measures of memory, duplication and sharing capabilities; measures which machines already do vastly superior to us and this gap is only going to widen—exponentially. 
        The defining factor from Stage I to Stage II intelligence is distinctly notable because humans finally learned how to convey stored information. To comprehend the importance of this human development marker, felling a tree came to my mind. A caveman may store information about how his buddy got squished when he whacked down a tree worth of firewood upon himself. Same-said caveman then learns to gesture to his son not to do the same stupid thing. Pretty soon, the whole village is a bit smarter. 
        For Stage II developmental knee-curve jumps, consider how important it became when humans finally figured out how to talk. Though gesturing is still popular -A- languages must have been an instant hit. I once read the inception of human history is considered to begin with writing so whether it was on cave walls or papyrus scrolls, now enter on the scene—history. Once here, one more notable knee-curve jump happened when: human’s stored information started being duplicated in broad strokes to share all that was known. And once here—human development took off exponentially. See Ray, I got the gist! If this seems like a rather large chunk of time, then remember the snail’s pace of biological adaptation. The inception of stage II up til now, becomes a mere drop—in the bucket of time. 
        Enter circa 20th century. A pre-cursor to landing at stage III includes the birth of radio waves; one more scientific obsession realized which is now considered elementary to brainiacs. Evidently, the waves we keep sending out into our silent galaxy have something to do with the letter Pi; something we believe other stage II intelligence would recognize. Regardless, we are the very generations caught up in another knee-curve intelligence spurt only this time—we land on the doorstep of that zenith, stage III zone. But since Stage III isn’t here yet, predictions span unknown zones. One prediction is Ray’s well regarded hypothesis —The Singularity. Where exponentially and very soon: human intelligence will give way to a wholly new intelligence that will be light years more advanced from where we are now. Intelligence so incomprehensible, I won’t even try to convey what that might look like. Instead, I’ll use Ray’s book to cover where we’ve been, where we are—where we are headed. 
        To use a broad interpretation between the inception of human history chronicled to the birth of radio waves, let’s say that took about 10,000 years. Consider then, the span from when radio waves entered homes in the late 1880’s, to when color TV entered in the 1960’s, to when integrated circuits entered in the 1980’s. In a mere 100 year span—intelligence has been stored, shared and duplicated ten-fold exponentially. It’s now 2019. Already, we can’t keep up with all the ways in which intelligence inundates us. With satellites everywhere, silicon chips now smaller than a pinhead and the World Wide Web held in the palm of nearly every human hand, those 10,100 prior years of intelligence sharing can’t hold a candle to what good ole’ slo-mo adapting us have been pummeled with these past 30, flyby years. With so much intelligence gushing at us—it’s overwhelming. We console ourselves in believing our youth are adapting. After all, they know how to work every gadget out there. But, that’s hardly what storing, sharing and duplicating information has to do with intelligence. Rather: how much of this inundation is getting retained, to gel—to manifest an indelible permanence within? 
        Bio-adaptation simply takes time. But instead of regarding just how crucial a bit of that precious time is, brainiacs are busy creating an intelligence that will not only store, share and duplicate a watershed bunch more, but an intelligence that will sort it all out for us. An intelligence that will choose from this vastland of data what it deems we need to know. An intelligence here to decide everything for us. This has already begun. Just notice what you web-searched for yesterday, magically pops into totally unrelated searches each day thereafter. This is our wee darling sorting it all out for us and is but a mere preview of what’s to come.  Yes, this seemingly harmless manner of decision-steering makes shopping easier. Tomorrow, newsgathering! Hellonce acceptedthe skies the limit to all the ways decision-making will become, well—not our concern anymore!  
        In the realm of unknowns, all of us get to consider what-ifs. Armed with a snippet idea of what our snails-pace adaptation has to do with AI’s exponential rate, please visualize the impact this gaping variance will surely have on us within the next ten years. Overcome is the only word I can think of that surpasses overwhelmed. I believe, many of us believe—we are tuning-out largely because overwhelmed is our current state. So when overcome befalls us, maybe having all our decisions made for us will come as a relief but before we get there—and there is just around the bend, remember to throw in that timeworn, never to cease power dance when you visualize some of tomorrows what-ifs. If this freer-than-ever mass succumbs to an overcome state—how do we honestly think we can possibly, responsibly, propel a freer humanity forwards? This is still our concern—isn’t it?

Time, Time, precious Time.
        For this intelligent-being, I don’t pretend to understand radio waves or even the letter Pi so I’m certainly clueless as to how all manner of messaging is precisely delivered without colliding with every other message out there. Also, I still remember my own elementary steps into the world of computers. Though I work in corporate America, I also run my own small business so when PC’s entered the desktop scene—I had a stare down with my first one. It continued to stare back from its shipping box—six months after delivery.
        Progress. We can now attach some gadget to our pacemaker, dial our doc via phone, and doc not only listens to our hearts beat but can adjust its beating—1000’s of miles away. This amazes me. The latest marvel to hit the desktop scene is 3-D Printing. These tricked-out toys are geared to bake any sort of mayhem we think up. And of course the brain of Baby-G that just keeps growing, ensnaring every newday innovation into its web, is already so humungous it now must hang out in the clouds. Ray is the one who suspects this behemoth metasystem grew beyond even its inventor’s imagination. 
        The pace we face; the exponential, techno-intelligence leaps and bounds versus the normal, steady as she goes linear bio-rate, comes with an impact adjustment this communal animal won’t easily make. All that’s incomprehensible is leaving overwhelmed etchings on us already. Once overcome descends—the risk of total human annihilation runs high. That’s how this beast works. But, overcome isn’t here yet. We need to push back on overwhelmed and buy our future a bit of that precious adaptation time.

Ominous Feel. 
Monitoring. If ever there was one aspect that needs pushed back on this would be the one. Monitoring is where the smorgasbord for Baby-G’s growth is set. Specifically, monitoring workforces; Baby-G’s building block arena to learn how we do what. And, Baby-G isn’t a cheap one to feed. It too must justify its presence; does so at our expense. To make the industry connection to our techno-reality, Ray uses these words: “It’s the economic imperative of a competitive marketplace that is the primary force driving technology forward and fueling the laws of accelerating returns.” This statement lays bare the power behind nearly every connecting-rod in this entire series. 
        Quantifying us began taking off in earnest in 2004, I began to consider this writing in 08, I read Ray’s book in 09 and Baker’s Numerati book in 2010. Until these readings, I hadn’t known about that innocuous sounding term—Quantifiable Measureable Attributes. Turns out, what was once grossly offensive yet ominous—has a name. 
        About 10 years ago, my coworkers and I decided whatever it was we couldn’t quite put a finger on had something to do with all the monitoring going on. And whatever it was kept slapping us in the face every time we went to work but here, we decided that was because we were saddled with a bunch of inept supervisors who were overzealously implementing whatever was ominous! But when I paused to think about it, I wondered how an entire division managed to get all the bad supervisors. So, I began doing a mini-survey. I started asking workers from other divisions and from other industries for their own observations and voilà…walla! I then knew we weren’t alone. Whatever was going on—was going on everywhere. 
        So if you work in industry, feel something ominous but offensive is going on, feel devalued though your smarmy supervisors assure you the opposite, then you are probably being quantified, replacing you is the goal, and none of your real values matter anymore. The reason these deplorable edicts come with an ominous feel is because such an epic human to machine replacement transition will slide more smoothly into our society if we are caught unaware. Replacement acceptance is not something any society will easily shine to—workforces included.
        Human error is no longer offset by our many dedicated contributions, common sense overrides or the many intuitive and reactionary efforts we constantly provide simply because these many values are not measured—not quantified. As for machines—its have glitches which are obviously more acceptable than human error or none of this would be happening. But! There’s a whole lotta dysfunction that comes with those glitches and when machines are down for the count—most all aspects of work now comes to a complete standstill. When do you suppose this dirty little secret will finally get factored into our Gross National Product output ratio? Well anyway, workers now spend a great deal of output time trying to override machine programing simply because we come programmed with dedication and common sense—machines don’t. Mostly, all we can now do is shake our heads at all the inefficient newday absurdities, wish our common sense still held value and the boys upstairs would use some of theirs. The sullied reality is: even though replacement machines are still expensive and don’t yet work very well, industry elites who feed their growth do so because Baby-G will never need a paycheck or healthcare and if it gets broke—it will never sue.
        By the time the recession rolled in, I couldn’t help connect another dot: healthy societies must have paycheck-wielding masses. How do these in-it-for-today elites figure all of us, including them, will get to continue this freer experience if they continue to sever the very lifeline to that experience? Little workforce corners dealing with machine replacement are now worldwide and these little corners are adding up. Well, here’s one fact consumer-us can’t afford to overlook anymore: a capitalistic society is a two-way street. Paycheck-wielding masses provide these elites their damn power. Culling a few inept workers is one thing. Slaughtering the whole herd—quite another. 

Industry elites can so easily skew the human versus machine output picture nowadays as it’s a cakewalk to chart machine attributes simply because machines do the charting! The core of any machine function is encased in formula’d values; they speak algorithm. Machines can track, chart and measure every value of theirs without missing a snippet whereas human values are much more complex. For industries looking to replace their headaches: either their fastidious note-taking machines can’t easily assign value to human outputs or—machines are intentionally not programmed to. Consequently, our values get scant consideration while the values of our non-human work buddies get every consideration.
         I fully intend to cover our headache status later but for now, while the concept of Quantifiable Measureable Attributes continues to paint with half-strokes, we must start doing our own painting because the idea to replace us with machines won’t just fade away. In order to slow invasive techno-uses down, we need to fully see what we’re up against. To do this, we can start by keying in on what’s uniquely us within our daily environments. This will make it easier to understand Ray’s ponderance when he says: “What does it mean to be human and should that matter.” Ray is referring to high-level intellectual functions. The realm where, what was once uniquely us—ends; where machine parody begins. 
        In 1936, the Alan Turing’s computation machine made its debut. Today, scientist’s still use the Turing Test as a computational measuring stick. Ray says; “The very functional simulation of human intelligence that passes the Turing Test, I believe will take place by 2029.” 
        Our brains firing-way-to-a-thought is a complex process. It includes billions of neurons and synapses, special handler spindle cells, the cerebellum, hippocampus and more labels I won’t even attempt a stab at. For the top part of our brain, I’ll use Ray’s words: “The most complex capability of the human brain—what I would regard as its cutting edge—is our emotional intelligence. Sitting uneasily at the top of our brains complex and interconnected hierarchy, is our ability to perceive and respond appropriately to emotion, to interact in social situations, to have a moral sense, to get the joke, to respond emotionally to art and music and other high-level functions. Because it sits on top of the neural hierarchy, the cerebral cortex is the part least understood.” So! For decisions and common sense thinking-replication, luckily—our complex hierarchy doesn’t easily divulge its secrets! But, not easily dissuaded, scientists then use a process of specific logical rules to simulate decision-making. And for common sense, I’ll use a quote in Ray’s book from Marvin Minsky, a cognitive scientist in the field of AI. “Common sense is not a simple thing. Instead, it is an immense society of hard-earned practical ideas—of multitudes of life-learned rules and exceptions, dispositions and tendencies, balances and checks.
If the above paragraph read easily for you, then you’ll enjoy reading Ray’s book! For this series though, I’m gonna need to use simpler language or else I’ll lose even myself. Remember, I muddled through his book to get the gist. Ray can let us know if I get it wrong.

Human versus Machine. 
        To paint the human side of the canvas is not that easy. I know. I’ve been trying to do this since reading Ray’s book. We must become more familiar with what to look for; the stuff that’s innately human—the stuff we take for granted. To start, know that both: human and machine thinking and doing efforts are referred to as outputs. Also, remember any stuffed-in data we  store, share or duplicate—so can machines. These outputs, and that’s a big chunk of us—machines already do vastly superior to us. 
        Another replication area we’ve already lost out to is:
repetitive motor-skills. These are now old-hat outputs. From every industries’ auto-repetitive output you can think of, to the little gadgets that bump around the house nibbling up all the dust particles along the way, these are all outputs that now belong to the machine realm. So when you think of some repetitive motor-skill output a machine doesn’t already do or do better—think again. This technology is already here. If there’s not a machine performing some repetitive output, then it’s only because it’s not yet been invented, or hasn’t been fed enough to head for the market—yet. 
        The starting point to look for distinctions is: how humans actually derive at an output. This current stage of machine mimicry is called higher-thinking replication. This is where a machines’ ability to store, share and duplicate information, gets coupled with motor-skill replication to do a variety of things at once. Again, just like us when we try to multi-task only better! For both human and machine: our nearly simultaneous doing is done by calculating from stored datato hopefully select the best-case option for each output. But since machines so easily share data, their best-case option base is enormous already and—it ever-expands by the minute.

But Machines Cheat. 
        Both human and machine come with lots of pre-programming at our inception and both get data upgrades as we go. However, humans don’t get compiled data inserted into us—automatically. In order for our best-case option data-base to grow: we must first experience, we must learn the hard way—every measly trinket. This happens to us throughout an entire lifetime whereas lifetimes of data are stuffed into a machine before it even whirs to life.  It’s like going from infancy to eighty in a single, powered-whisper. As if all this automated learning didn’t come overnight easily enough for machines, its then garner an astounding bunch more simply by gorging from the Big www feeding-tubes. But luckily, this data-hording playing field that’s already become so laughably lopsided is not all that matters. Luckily for us—Ray’s ponderance goes a bit deeper. 
        So here’s an example of higher-thinking replication or: best-case option-selecting outputs. Take the same auto-sweeper bumping around a house and super-size it. At first, janitors assigned the task of cleaning long corridors and gyms probably marveled at these 1st generation handy assistive tools. All they had to do was pick up large, wet or sticky debris ahead of the machine, then keep it on track the rest of the time. But now, these handy assistive tools are programmed to suck the debris up and stay the course just fine without a janitor. Super-sucker manufactures eagerly hype a labor savings of 85%! So by the day, it’s getting harder to find unique outputs a janitor can still offer in return for a paycheck that handy assistive tools can’t already do, soon do, or do better—all without a paycheck! Problem is—this reality is not happening only to janitors.

Communication is everything to Communal Us.
        Communication now, is just as vital to us as walking upright or using thumbs. Ray says; “The cortex is responsible for perception, planning, decision-making and most of what we regard as conscious thinking. Our ability to use language, another unique attribute of our species, appears to be located in that region. This distinguishing skill is one only a few primates have. The mirror-system hypothesis says the key to the evolution of language is in parody.” This skill, once uniquely ours, a skill at the very core of human intelligence—is now at the very core in machines. This is Artificial Intelligence. It’s designed to parody us and it’s doing a damn good job at it. 
        So if you were once a telephone operator, receptionist, sales or customer service phone-agent but not anymore because you were replaced with a machine, this is how it happened. Machines extracted a copious amount of skilled-data off you by first recording the many ways you responded to commonly asked questions until there were few common responses left to extract. These questions were and still are—patterned. Your responses are patterned and your smooth talkin’ voice is patterned. Voice Recognition Software (VRS), began putting colossal response-caches together about twenty years ago. So along with the tons of questions and best-case responses, along with a variety of smooth talkin’ voices in which to choose from, VRS got better and better until one day—poof! You had no job. I’d like you to know on behalf of many, we miss you. VRS created what I call phone-rage. I’m certainly glad VRS improved because my phone etiquette never has. 
        VRS will continue to improve. Nearly every business now has VRS manning the phone line; innocuously assuring us our chat may be monitored for training and quality purposes. Companies that buy machines to replace their regularly paid receptionists have surely made VRS companies billions. Only the boys upstairs know what monitoring is for training humans or for training Baby-G but one thing is certain: everything monitored sits ripe-n-ready to be quantified for reasons—valid or not. It would have been nice if gnarly, unhelpful phone operators were replaced or upgraded long ago. Now, Baby-G will continue to select best-case responses from an ever-growing cache, replete with the most purr’fectly polished politically correct jargon, pasted then to best-case audio voice selections for any and every task and voila! For a communal species where communication is everything, rest assured—we’ll soon be communicated to from every front in purr’ machine perfection.

Our Last Frontier.
        For any and every repetitive, higher-thinking calculated output both human and machine do, add for us: imaginative, reactive, common sense, intuitive or ethically driven outputs. This is the stuff Baby-G will never have. Look for ways in which humans react to ever-changing scenarios; even to ones we’ve never before personally experienced. Pilots are a good example of this. Think about how the Hudson incident turned out. Automation already does most of the flying so it’s the reactive, common sense, intuitive and ethically-driven capabilities that keep a pilot employed. 
         A machine can’t react to ever-changing scenarios it doesn’t have programming for. But, instead of calling it a day at this juncture of machine parody—brainiacs aren’t leaving well-enough alone. So, similarly to our youthful selves, we learned, we too are programmed. Similarly then: does ever-changing scenario databases grow. Again, this database grows automatically, by the  minute—not years. Still, pilot skills will be hard to replicate completely for one thing and it’s a big thing: humans come programmed with a very powerful traitFear. What’s intrinsic, what’s intuitive, are big human perks and give humans an edge. Fear triggers such complex instinctual programming, it causes us to react in uniquely original ways. A machine has not one scrap of intuitive, reactive, common sense, fear-driven or ethical programming to fall back on and—its never will. Drones will never fear crashing. So, just in case the boys upstairs forget to use some common sense in their quest for monetary gains, we must insist—drones never carry passengers. Hail to the pilot!

Machine Outputs.
        Machines don’t have to—much less get toexperience one thing, or learn the hard way, one damn thing—to comprehend anything. Its comprehend nothing. Machines can only be programmed to draw correlations from human tendencies. In other words—they know not what they do. But regardless and by the day, machines are being programmed to nibble away yet one more chunk of us just the same. So, just like Queen bellows ~ another one bites the dust ~ we must now add: near-like human tendencies to the other fallen chunks. First, motor skillsü. Then, sensory skillsü. Then, communication skillsü. Now, best-case option-selecting skillsü. Now, ever-changing scenario skills ü. Now, near-like human tendenciesü. There are few chunks left.
Along with reactionary capabilities, common-sense and ethical decision outputs, look for creative outputs; everyday stuff we think up daily, seemingly without thought—naturally. These core outputs Baby-G will never be able to fully mimic. These are the things we must keep in mind when Ray asks: “When a non-bio, ever-growing database becomes so colossal—will ours be missed?”
        IBM’s chess computer Deep Blue and their trivia prodigy dubbed Watson—are two popular examples of where human thinking capabilities are being outmatched by machines. So when breakthrough parody gets hailed as exciting news, then just consider where these types of machines are headed. South Korean school kids are now being taught by robots that scuttle about the room. For now, a teacher is still being paid to assist—via a monitor. And when a child’s query stumps the robot, the assistive monitoring teacher’s best-case response will fall into the annals of machine lore. Shared robot-lore grows—fast. Soon, a single teacher will be assisting whole monitored-banks of scuttling robots. So, how long do we think it will be before this type of higher-thinking technology comes to replace our own teachers? 
        Deep Blue and Watson are today’s prodigies but will be standard assistive tools in every office and every industry tomorrow. The role of assistance is reversing. Already, who assists who? Baby-G will continually adapt until there’s few outputs left to do that it will need our assistance for. And though Baby-G is not yet doing its own programming it won’t be long. So just like many of us today, tomorrow’s programmers & Co. will also be wondering what assistive outputs they’ve left to offer—in return for a paycheck.

Re-Cogging Gone Wild.
        Both human and Artificial Intelligence learn by way of being programmed. Both calculate upon patterned data. This is in-part how humans make decisions. For Baby-G: it quantifies specific logical rules to simulate—the cheatin’ way to decision-making. Both human and machine are instructed to do something with all the jumbled information we house—the output effort. So, what’s causing all this newday dysfunction in industries busily re-cogging from human to machine output? Again—we must look harder with renewed appreciation about what it actually means to be human. Here’s a glimpse of what we can’t afford to take for granted anymore. 
        A human finds their way to an output by being compelled—we have emotions. This unique, only unto us immeasurable cache, summons up passion, energy, reasoning: we feel a sense of purpose. In order to show up for work each day, humanistic traits compel us to get there for more reasons than just a paycheck. A paycheck is somewhat symbolic. It’s the boat or vacation, house payment or feeding our family that actually motivates us. Also, feeling pride and responsibility in our individual contributions at work are just a few other compelled motives. So while we may feel strongly towards doing our work efficiently, have a sense of pride in our outputs and luckily, have brains concerned enough to automatically look for solutions to ever-changing scenarios—our newday work buddies don’t. Our emotionless partners care not about one tiny thing. Baby-G will never be compelled to do one thing, no motivational speech will ever help, and no paycheck will ever cause it—to strive for one bitsy goal. It will never just once be motivated to get any job done and whether it works or not matters not to an it but for a living, breathing, consuming species, this matters a great deal—this is everything to us.
        Yes, every workforce is stuck with a few human workers who resemble the care and concern levels of a machine but the vast majority of us do not fit this bill and yet—there’s an overzealousness to replace us as though we do. This overzealousness is not only reckless, it slaps us in the face as though we’re inconsequential; as if we hardly have much value anymore. Corporate elites must also remember what history so aptly reminds us all—a mass will endure being treated like some inconsequential annoyance for only so long. So if this disrespectful way to do business was going on in just a few industries, then those little corners would endure and endure some more. However, little corners are adding up, full-on techno-replacement is just beginning, and historically: when large unemployed masses finally push to say enough—it happens in a real messy way.

The Weak Spot.
        Other than Gods, there are now three entities playing-out how the future power dance of time will go. This series focuses on powerheads for good reason. They are the ones who need convinced we are still worth keeping. So like the quip—don’t shoot the messenger—programmers, experts and even brainiacs are the messengers. It’s the elites bent on replacing us who need to look harder. A fraction of the money they’ve spent on replacing paychecks with machines could have been spent on upgrading and sharpening entire brain-gifted, compelled humans. Instead, they went and spent tons more to re-cog the very proven means for all of us to peacefully coexist! This is how reckless idiocy is spelled! A kind of re-cogging that comes with a fallout boring its way right through an ever-widening dysfunctional void no less! But if you don’t work in industry, you might assume they are becoming evermore efficient simply because that’s the hype. Whoever’s got the bucks gets their message through. They—are not the weak spot. 
        As for this series—I’m the weak spot. I lack confidence. Please consider my offering as a rough-draft mini-study. Add to it but don’t diminish it. Participate. We need to start somewhere. Baby-G won’t idly wait for us to find forward and decide what role it should play in our progeny’s future. If I can imprint just three facts, please let them be: all of this is just awakening, the key to slowing its growth down rests in our hands and—time is of essence. 

Who are we?
        I’m not a scientist. I’m not an ian or ist, writer or professed expert of anything. Most of us aren’t but we damn sure aren’t mere passengers either. It’s critical we understand: events manifest by commoners actions—or inactions. We are the ones who must look to the future—to our own kids’ future. So regardless of how enamored our youth is with this Godsend of our times, it is the older us who must remember that with age comes a bit of experience which is to mean wisdom. And it doesn’t really matter whether we know what makes up gigabytes or algorithms either. With a never before experienced odyssey, it’s anyone’s guess as to just how well a techno-infused future is gonna roll for humans. There are no experts—or kids, who know with calculated certainty how to best keep humanity’s trudge progressing in the grips of such an epic replacement era. Besides, experts can’t agree on what caused an entire world’s recession. Here’s another reality-check about experts that was delivered in different packaging. It was a Newsweek article by George Will titled Big Oil in a Blue Suit. Basically—energy reigns. So it’s disconcerting to know that since 1914, experts have yet to predict with much accuracy, the future of the all-powerful reign of energy but yet, we now have experts predicting a rosy future in store for us with Artificial Intelligence at the helm. Well, mortals don’t get crystal balls—experts included. 
        Technology is the guts of this story but its foundation is about our humanism. The purposeful future-pull that grasps us, the reason we even bother to parent and why I even bother to write. This new kid on the block really does have the capacity to replace us. Pretending we don’t know where Baby-G is headed—won’t help. Hoping and praying to God we won’t be around when it reaches adulthood—won’t help either. Deluding ourselves about any part of the techno-future potentiality is detrimentally, not helping any home team. Period. Clearly, we can use any of these excuses we want but they’re all measly copouts. We’re delivering unto our very own progeny a ravenous Goliath just before we checkout. Already, today’s techno-monitoring is readily cinching a noose around our freedom at an alarming rate. I liken our do-nothing choice to that of some horror flick depicting a bunch of parents standing idle, vacant and zombie-like, as they watch their own kids get shackled and trussed. 
        What’s coming will have meteor impact on all humanity. Innately or consciously, we all know what’s building is a convoluted jumble of a mess. I’m too young to feel this old ~KOL. We all are. They also sing—as the prophesy unfolds ~ hell is surely on its way. I mention this because KOL is a group of young guys and like their peers, they wonder where we’re headed and I want our youth to know they aren’t alone. As for commerce, by its very nature, it must keep the big wheels churning to stay alive and will use whatever grease there is to do so. But, we are commerce. We are the wheels and we are the grease. United—we can retard any growth we choose whenever we want.  Today’s choice is to stunt forward human growth or the growth of invasive technologies but to remain unmoved—seals our progeny’s fate.             

                                                 Sincerely yours, Publius.


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