During the last few days, we've been witnessing a shift of power in Saudi Arabia as a young heir proceeds to clad his power base in iron. However, only two weeks prior to the recent political purge in the Kingdom, another shift in power took place in the same land. But this time the shift came from the animatronic mouth of a pale-skinned, multi-color-eyed female Android named Sophia. The robot became the first of its kind to be granted actual citizenship.
The women of Saudi Arabia were not amused.
Admittedly, the granting of citizenship to a robot is a bit of a public relations stunt. Prince MBS put on a good show to express his seemingly sincere desire to pull Saudi out of the 7th century and attract investment of new technology into the Kingdom. Let us not forget the multi-billion-dollar data surveillance center that was launched earlier this year when President Trump joined King Salman and other visiting dignitaries at the "glowing orb" ceremony [linked here]. Would Riyadh like to become the desert version of Silicon Valley?
Sophia is the creation of Hanson Robotics, Inc., founded by Dr. David Hanson. She is futuristic in every sense of the word. Sophia is learning how to be human via her interactions with real people. This feature of AI is mentioned further down in this blog in the statements made by Ray Kurzweil. Robots are designed to somewhat mirror what they witness in real people, not unlike what a real child does as it matures to adulthood. Now, immediately, you can see what the dangers of that would be. Who gets to decide which humans the robot will study as its mentor? How will it know how to decide between Virtues and Vices? These are some of the challenges facing the AI engineers and topics that are regularly debated.
Another facet of Sophia's new life that should interest the regular readers of Rogue Money is that her artificial intelligence protocols were built on blockchain technology. According to Hanson's website:
Hanson Robotics is partnering with SingularityNET, a platform for the decentralized AI economy. SingularityNET is the first protocol for combining AI services with a global, blockchain-based market, and will soon be powering the minds of Hanson Robots. For more information please visit www.singularitynet.io.
SingularityNET bills itself as "a platform for the decentralized AI economy - the free and open market for AI technologies, built on smart contracts." The link between this coming transhumanist robot era and the nascent blockchain technology is very revealing.
As regular readers of Rogue Money know, our Mr. W. has been advising us that we are witnessing the systematic dismantling of the old Rockefeller PetroDollar Empire by that other great cabal, the Rothschild powers-that-be. Naturally, we all connect the Rothschilds to the international banking priesthood, and we connect banking with money and debt. This question has been rolling around in my mind, "What role is the Rothschild Empire playing in this coming cashless cyber age? Can it be that they are actually destroying money?"
The more I thought about it, the more it has occurred to me that what this banking priesthood is doing is what they and their predecessors have always done: create whatever tool is necessary in order to keep moving their transhumanist football down the field. For many centuries that tool has been monetized debt. But just as their forebears moved society from a system based on the exchange of precious metals by weight to a fiat, state-minted model, that priesthood of today can just as deftly move society from the fiat model to a cryptocurrency blockchain model.
In the excerpts of a recent conversation between Google engineer and "Singularity" dreamer, Ray Kurzweil, and members of the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), we are already getting hints that the #BigData and #4IR vision of the future is actually one where our current concept of "money" has become obsolete. It does appear to me that mankind's dependence on debt for his means of daily living is now being moved to a dependence on an ethereal super-network of universal intelligence.
Here is Kurzweil's conversation and a few of his statements that stood out to me.
"We Are Going to Merge with This Technology"
On November 3, 2017, Ray Kurzweil participated in a dialog and Q&A with members of the Council on Foreign Relations. A transcript of the hour-long conversation is available [linked here]. Below is the full video of the conference.
Near the beginning of the episode, Kurzweil mentions a conversation he had recently with Christine Lagarde of the IMF. Lagarde was pointing out that AI is fun and wacky and all, but you can't eat it, can you? Kurzweil retorted politely that such a thing is coming. Once again, Kurzweil repeated the year 2029 several times in this video (a year that has its own roots in an Esoteric Hitler belief that Super Humans would make themselves known in 2029 to save the world. See also my Bee In Eden video at the end of this page.)
Here are Kurzweil's words with hints that the price of this technology will eventually be reduced to nearly Zero (making money obsolete?) In other words, today you can buy a smartphone for $75. A few years ago, it might have cost $1,000. So, today, the cost of that information technology is practically nothing. The same thing will happen in all areas of information technology, like, 3-D printing.
I’ll mention just one implication of the law of accelerating returns, because it has many ripple effects and it’s really behind this remarkable digital revolution we see, is the 50 percent deflation rate in information technologies....
Coexistence of free, open-source products—which are a great leveler—and proprietary products. We’ll print—we’ll be able to create food very inexpensively using 3-D—vertical agriculture, using hydroponic plants for fruits and vegetables, in-vitro cloning of muscle tissue for meat. The first hamburger to be produced this way has already been consumed....
That’s been a key prediction of mine. I’ve been consistent in saying 2029. In 1989, in the age of intelligent machines, I bounded that between early 2020s and late 2030s. And in the age of spiritual machines, in ’99, I said 2029.
As you might imagine, many audience members asked questions about the safety of such a technology. How are we to prevent The Terminator from becoming reality? Even Kurzweil, for all his ubiquitous optimism, betrayed just a hint of trepidation. It wasn't really a fear, but an acknowledgement that, yes, we must tread carefully.
Here is my collection of Kurzweil's statements that I found noteworthy:
Technology has always been a double-edged sword. Fire kept us warm, cooked our food, and burned down our houses. These technologies are much more powerful. It’s also a long discussion, but I think we should go through three phases, at least I did, in contemplating this. First is delight at the opportunity to overcome age-old afflictions—poverty, disease, and so on. Then alarm, that these technologies can be destructive and cause even existential risks....
And finally, I think where we need to come out is an appreciation that we have a moral imperative to continue progress in these technologies, because despite the progress we’ve made—and that’s a whole other issue. People think things are getting worse, but they’re actually getting better and we can talk about that. But there’s still a lot of human suffering to be overcome. It’s only continued progress, particularly in AI, that’s going to enable us to continue overcoming poverty and disease and environmental degradation, while we attend to the peril. And there’s a good framework for doing that....
The number of people who have been harmed either accidentally or intentionally by abuse of biotechnology so far has been zero....
But when you have so much power, even with good intentions, there can be abuses. These technologies are very powerful. And so I do worry about that, even though I’m an optimist. And I’m optimistic that we’ll make it through. I’m not as optimistic that there won’t be difficult episodes. World War II, 50 million people died. And that was certainty exacerbated by the power of technology at that time....
This is the most peaceful time in human history....
My view is not that AI is going to displace us. It’s going to enhance us.
An audience member named Alana Ackerson asked how this new technology affects us as spiritual beings, how it affects our "lens" on what it means to be human. Kurzweil went on to say:
You can say that Evolution is a spiritual process, bringing us closer to God.
And the other implication that spiritual—and really where that title, “Age of Spiritual Machines” comes from—is what is this—what is spiritual? It’s really a word for consciousness. Our whole moral system, our sense of values is that consciousness is the precious thing. That’s the sort of underlying debate in animal rights. Conscious entities are what’s important. Non-conscious entities are only important insofar as they affect the conscious experience of conscious entities. So who and what are conscious is a key question. And that’s the underlying question in animal rights. That’ll be the question when it comes to the AI.
Kurzweil then went on to express his beliefs that human beings have already left their biological nature behind:
So I alluded to earlier, we are going to merge with this technology. I’d say we already have done that to some extent. Medical nanorobots will go inside our brain, connect our neocortex to the cloud. So your smartphone, even though it is itself a billion times more powerful per dollar than the computer I used when I was an undergraduate at MIT, it multiplies itself again a millionfold by connecting to millions of computers in the cloud. We can’t do that directly from our neocortex. We do it indirectly through these devices. We’ll do it directly in the 2030s. And not just to do things like search and translation directly from our brains, although we’ll do that, but to actually connect to more neocortex.
So people say, oh, we’re going to lose our humanity. Well, if you define human as being necessarily purely biological, I think we’re already not purely human anymore, because we’re not purely biological anymore. And we’re going to become increasingly nonbiological. But that’s who we are. I mean, that is the definition of a human, the species that changes itself, it creates tools, it goes beyond our limitations.
Kurzweil then went on to mention the word "de-bias," as in, we will need to teach the robot to rid itself of bias and prejudice even as it's learning to create its own behavior by observing other humans.
There’s a major effort in the field—it’s going on in all the major companies and in open-source research as well-to debias AI, because it’s going to pick up biases from people if it’s learning from people. And people have biases. And so to overcome gender bias and other types of—racial bias, that can actually be a goal. As humans, we pick up biases from all of the things we’ve seen, a lot of it’s subconscious. We then learn, as educated humans, to recognize bias and try to overcome it.
Near the end of the conference, people were wondering how do robots fit into the world of nation-states. Perhaps the audience was already thinking about Sophia's newly granted citizenship status. Kurzweil dropped a big hint on where Transhumanism is taking mankind in that area. Now you can see how this fits into my idea that this revolution may be rendering money obsolete. That is, if individual national sovereignties no longer dominate mankind's social order, then certainly all authority structures under that level have also lost their importance.
People really are increasingly identifying as citizens of the world. And I think over time nation-states will become less influential. I mean, I think we’re on that path.
At the end of the Q&A session, Kurzweil left the audience with these closing remarks:
But intelligence is inherently uncontrollable.
You know, if there’s some entity that’s more powerful than you and I and it’s out for our destruction, the best strategy is not to get in that situation in the first place. And failing that, the best next strategy would be to get some other AI that’s even more intelligent than the one that’s out for you on your side.
[AI] is emerging from our civilization today. It’s going to be an enhancement of who we are. And so if we’re practicing the kind of values we cherish in our world today, that’s the best strategy to have for a world in the future that embodies those values.
Ray Kurzweil certainly gives us a unique view of the future. "Unique" is an understatement. His statement like "today is the most peaceful time in human history" might cause some readers to do a double-take. However, observations like that tend to reinforce what we have already seen about these Elites who rule over us: they are simply not touched by the Matrix that is imposed on the rest of us. We've seen this over and over again with other areas of our accepted way of life: Banksters, Military Contractors, Big Pharma, and now, Big Data. These are the puppet masters not the puppets. Individuals within their ranks might come and go. But, overall, those sectors are not subject to the same Law and Government, nor are they effectively touched by the whims of economic highs and lows, as are the rest of us. The pitfalls that touch us never touches them because they exist on a plane above that daily din.
And yet, even above those four sectors flows those pervasive, ancient religious beliefs about attaining ultimate creative power and universal mastery. I had to smile that the citizen robot was named Sophia. I haven't really seen an official explanation of how she got that name. So, in conclusion, I will close with these thoughts from the article on "Gnostic Sophia" in Wikipedia. I'd like to think that this is the reason.
Per some very general statements on the tenets of Gnosticism, this article [linked here] says this about "Sophia":
Almost all Gnostic systems of the Syrian or Egyptian type taught that the universe began with an original, unknowable God, referred to as the Parent or Bythos. According to some Gnostic texts, the crisis occurs as a result of Sophia trying to emanate without her syzygy or, in another tradition, because she tries to breach the barrier between herself and the unknowable Bythos.
After cataclysmically falling from the Pleroma, Sophia's fear and anguish of losing her life (just as she lost the light of the One) causes confusion and longing to return to it. Because of these longings, matter and soul accidentally come into existence.
The creation of the Demiurge is also a mistake made during this exile. The Demiurge proceeds to create the physical world in which we live, ignorant of Sophia, who nevertheless manages to infuse some spiritual spark or pneuma into his creation.
It would appear that the Transhumanist movement is indeed trying to bring mankind back full circle to the ancient (mis-)understandings of the source of Matter and Soul, all mixed in with this idea that mankind really has been his own creator from the beginning. Looking at AI from that vantage point, it makes sense that Citizen Sophia has returned to her roots in Saudi Arabia, midway between Egypt and Syria.