Military Automatism

The automation of military technology goes nonlinear:

“Machines have long served as instruments of war, but historically humans have directed how they are used,” said Bonnie Docherty, senior arms division researcher at Human Rights Watch, in a statement. “Now there is a real threat that humans would relinquish their control and delegate life-and-death decisions to machines.”

Some have argued in favor of robots on the battlefield, saying their use could save lives. […] But last year, more than 1,000 technology and robotics experts — including scientist Stephen Hawking, Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk and Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak — warned that such weapons could be developed within years, not decades. […] In an open letter, they argued that if any major military power pushes ahead with development of autonomous weapons, “a global arms race is virtually inevitable, and the endpoint of this technological trajectory is obvious: autonomous weapons will become the Kalashnikovs of tomorrow.”

“Virtually inevitable” is a cybernetic truth-bomb.

Underlinings (#36)

Janet L Factor pursues harsh reality in Quillette:

Evolution is a numbers game. Personal intentions or happiness are beside the point. Natural selection is an algorithm that grinds out results based purely on physical inputs. Open a book on population genetics and you will quickly encounter pages of intimidating mathematics. Difficult as it is to accept that human destiny has been and will be decided by such an abstract, indifferent mechanism, it is the truth.

Underlinings (#8)

Still defaulting to Bostrom as a foot-tapping exercise. Another crucial insight (p.63-4):

Slow [superintelligence] takeoff scenarios offer excellent opportunities for human political processes to adapt and respond. Different approaches can be tried and tested in sequence. New experts can be trained and credentialed. Grassroots campaigns can be mobilized by groups that feel they are being disadvantaged by unfolding developments. … Fast takeoff scenarios offer scant opportunity for humans to deliberate. Nobody need notice anything unusual before the game is already lost.

Anthropol has to be anti-accelerationist implicitly. Nothing else is compatible with a human security agenda.

(As Sunzi understood — speed is the essence of war.)