We are seeing a race taking place between China and the United States. It is for dominance in the world of artificial intelligence. The U.S. is the present leader, with China starting far behind. That gap, however, is closing quickly. In the last couple of years, China made remarkable strides. It is now estimated it will take the lead somewhere around 2025.
The challenge with this is that governments figured out two things to do with advanced technology. The first is to kill people in a more efficient manner while the other is surveillance of the population. This is all about control with newer technologies helping to establish the prospects of a dystopian state.
With the progress China already made, its regime has set up one of the strongest surveillance states in the world. This is spreading as other countries in Asia and Africa receive Chinese technology (financed by China). What starts out as a slow trickle gets ramped up very quickly.
That is not to say the United States government is a walk in the park. All governments will find the allure of this power too much to resist. AI could be one of the most beneficial advancements humanity has ever seen. At the same time, depending upon how we approach things, it could also create a global "invisible" prison.
As I research the capabilities, I find many of the features to be of great benefit. I love the idea of a artificial personal assistant. It is very exciting to know that all the data I create can be mined and used for advancement of knowledge. It is very appealing to be able to connect directly to the Internet and start the process of entering the age of superhuman powers.
I believe a lot of this would appeal to most people.
The challenge is the idea of this all being controlled and monitored by a few super nations and 9 global mega-tech companies is sickening. So, this entire discussion comes down to who is controlling the data?
Thus far, the data created for humanity is not being used for its benefit. China views the United States as a threat while the reverse is also true. Thus, both countries ramp up the "arms" race, stepping on their citizens in the process.
Even though this is the present situation, all is not lost. We are seeing projects popping up that will provide people the tools to fight back. Two technologies are blockchain and cryptocurrency. These two lay the foundation for Web 3.0, enabling for greater security and any two nodes to transfer value. This removes a great deal of power for the established entities.
It is also why projects such as Singularitynet and Qilimanjaro are so important.
Singularitynet is the brainchild of Ben Goertzel, one of the leading AI minds in the world. He established a blockchain system where AI developers can place their creations. This will allow individuals and small companies to use the technology (via a token), thus providing access while rewarding content creators. At the same time, the goal is to have all the different forms of AI feed off each other, resulting in a growing and expanding hivemind.
The key here is that it is all decentralized and not in control of any government or single company. Goertzel believes that the present state of AI is used pursuing the wrong goals. The entities that have it now use it to kill, spy, and sell people stuff.
Qilimanjaro is a recent entrant on the scene. This is a project that was put together along the same lines as Goertzel's but, instead of AI, this is focused on quantum computing. Once again, having that technology in the hands of only governments and the likes of Google or Amazon is not a healthy prospect for humanity.
Ultimately, the great race is not between countries such as the United States and China. Rather, it is those who are for freedom of humanity versus those who seek to enslave it. Honestly, at the end of the day, there are no major differences between how the governments will use AI. The shift towards totalitarian states has been ongoing for decades.
Of course, many want to point to the private sector as the answer. Wrong. We know that companies like Facebook and Google have little difference from governments. Their main focus is control also. They want to own all the data so they can predict, manipulate, and profit from the developing technologies.
@zoidsoft does a great job writing about how there is the prospect of a period where governments will be over matched by mega-technology companies who step in as pseudo-governments. This is a real possibility if people do not pay attention to what is going on.
The positive to all this is that technological power is also growing for humanity. Never before, have we had the ability to, collectively, overwhelm the larger entities. Today, someone with a laptop and an Internet connection can develop something that can change all of society. It matters none if that person is in Silicon Valley or Bangladesh.
To me, the starting point for most is blockchain and cryptocurrency. By embracing all we can on these networks, we are removing ourselves from the centralized entities. At the same time, each dollar (or whatever fiat unit you want to use) that is removed from the banking system and put into cryptocurreny helps to weaken that industries stranglehold. Of course, the change is not happening over night since they spend more than a century putting their controls in.
Nevertheless, all revolutions are evolutionary in nature. This is a day-by-day process. We tend to underestimate the power of "opting out" and how few of us really need to do it to have a major impact. I believe if 10% of the population made a shift, there would be major ramifications throughout the established system.
The choice between a utopian or dystopian future is not made. We do have the ability to influence the outcome. This is another thing that I do not believe people realize. Just like we are providing a ton of data for these entities to feed on, we an start the process of removing ourselves. Of course, we all know it is next to impossible to leave Google or Apple but that does not mean we should not try.
Steem is a wonderful starting point for this entire process. Here we have a blockchain where any post is immutable. In other words, it is part of the Internet forever. While front ends can limit the access, it is on the blockchain for anyone to read.
Using decentralized exchanges is another feather in the freedom cap. Regulators and other entities cannot control them. They can hammer the centralized exchanges all day but those that do not have a single point of access, they are in the wild for anyone to utilize.
It is imperative that our developers keep this in mind. They are the ones with the power above all else. Computer scientists and programmers are akin to the scientists in the 1930s and 40s who were working with nuclear energy. Governments wanted to build bombs to kill more people. This group of people had to stand up and say no, that is a dangerous use of the technology.
Today, the way to fight back to develop projects that benefit humanity. All across the blockchain world, we are seeing it happen. People are being given opportunities they never had before. This is something that we need to keep building upon.
What the future will look like depends upon the decisions and actions we take today.
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