[ExI] Total Surveillance may be necessary to save humanity

BillK pharos at gmail.com
Tue Apr 23 22:37:58 UTC 2019

On Tue, 23 Apr 2019 at 22:53, Bill Hibbard <hibbard at wisc.edu> wrote:
> Bostrom propose a surveillance infrastructure to
> protect us from dangers such as easily accessible
> bioweapons. However, such an infrastructure, using
> AI connected via the Internet to the physical
> devices of our daily lives including implanted
> electronics, presents a strong temptation of social
> control to leaders.
> This is most evident in China. I think they have
> already passed the tipping point toward a future
> when every citizen will agree with the government on
> every issue. Total control.
> In the US and other countries, leaders and even
> ordinary citizens are calling for the use of AI to
> detect and control dangerous speech and "fake news."
> While I do fear easily accessible bioweapons, social
> surveillance and control is the "black ball" I fear
> most, because it is so tempting to the people with
> the most power.
> The future of humanity may be a world partitioned
> into AI data domains (largely coinciding with the
> partition into nations), with leaders in each
> partition exercising total surveillance and control
> via AI and the Internet. I think the best resistance
> to this future is complete transparency of AI and
> associated infrastructure.

The new paper from Bostrom introduces the concept of a vulnerable
world : roughly, one in which there is some level of technological
development at which civilization almost certainly gets devastated by

It is controlling the advanced technology that is the problem. Whether
misused by rogue states or groups or individuals.
It is difficult to see how this control can be achieved in a world
where states are seeking to gain decisive advantage and others are
The AI 'Hive-mind' civilisation might be the only survivable route.


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