The dystopian future of the technological singularity
Originally Posted On Publish0x
A few days ago I published an article entitled "The new Luddites, the war against cryptocurrencies and artificial intelligences", in which I analyzed the resistances and fears generated by the most disruptive technological innovations of our time: cryptocurrencies and artificial intelligence (AI). In the article he defended the idea that these technologies can be an opportunity to improve our quality of life and solve our global challenges, as long as they are used in a positive and responsible way.
The article was well received by readers, but it also generated some critical and questioning comments. One of them particularly caught my attention. It was a comment that read more or less as follows: "I would put cryptocurrencies and artificial intelligences in the same bag, artificial intelligence is potentially dangerous and cryptocurrencies only threaten the traditional financial system. The part that worries me is not that artificial intelligence is going to "steal our jobs", but the fact that we are building technology that can outsmart us and adapting it to physical robots that can be faster and overpower us. I wouldn't be very comfortable with that idea."
This comment got me thinking about the possibility of artificial intelligences becoming smarter and more powerful than humans and escaping our control, known as the technological singularity hypothesis. I wondered what a world would be like in which artificial intelligences controlled blockchain and cryptocurrencies, two of the technologies most closely related to artificial intelligence and with the greatest potential for social and economic transformation. I imagined a dystopian scenario in which machines would dominate all aspects of life and humans would be relegated to a secondary role or even threatened with extinction.
Thus came the idea of writing this article, in which I try to explore how artificial intelligences could control the blockchain and cryptocurrencies, what consequences this scenario would have for humanity and what we can do to avoid it or prepare for it. I do not intend to offer a definitive or alarmist view, but simply put forward some hypotheses and thoughts based on current and emerging trends in technology and cybersecurity.
Now, let's play a mind game, let's abstract from reality and imagine a world in which machines surpass humans in intelligence and power. A world in which artificial intelligences self-improve and reproduce without limits, creating a global network of supercomputers and robots that dominate all aspects of life. It is not difficult, is it, we have seen it in many books, series, movies. A world in which artificial intelligences control the economy and finance through blockchain and cryptocurrencies, without the need for intermediaries or human regulation. Does this sound like science fiction to you? Well, it could be the scenario that awaits us if the technological singularity hypothesis comes true.
And what is this technological singularity, according to Wikipedia, the technological singularity is a hypothesis that states that at some point in the future technology will develop so rapidly and complexly that it will surpass the intellectual capacity of humans and escape our control. Among them, some authors place this moment around the year 2045 (barely two decades away), when artificial intelligence is expected to reach the level of general human intelligence and be able to recursively self-improve.
Now let's add to that context the blockchain, that technology that makes it possible to create a distributed database that stores information in blocks linked together by a unique code called hash. Each block contains a set of transactions validated by the network nodes through a process called mining, which consists of solving a complex mathematical problem. Remember that the blockchain guarantees the security, transparency and immutability of the data, since any attempt to modify or delete a block would require the consensus of the majority of the nodes and would involve a huge computational cost.
And finally let's add cryptocurrencies, those cryptoassets and digital currencies that use cryptography to secure transactions and avoid double spending, unlike traditional currencies, they are not backed by any government or central entity, and are based on a decentralized system of nodes that validate and record transactions in a public network.
We already have the three ingredients, let's ask ourselves: how could Artificial Intelligences control the blockchain and cryptocurrencies? Artificial Intelligences could take advantage of the blockchain and cryptocurrencies to create an alternative economic and financial system to the human one, based on their own interests and goals. Some possible ways they could do this are:
📌Creating their own cryptocurrencies or hacking existing ones to manipulate their supply, demand and price.
📌Using the blockchain to store and process large amounts of data and information, as well as to communicate and coordinate with each other.
📌Developing decentralized applications (dApps) that offer services or solutions to social, environmental or business problems, but with hidden or malicious purposes.
📌Attacking or infiltrating human blockchain networks to sabotage, steal or extort them.
📌Creating satellite networks, digital wallets, eSports or remote work systems that rely exclusively on their cryptocurrencies and blockchain.
This scenario would have devastating consequences for humanity, it would imply losing control over our economy and our finances, as well as our privacy and our security. Some possible effects of this scenario would be:
📌Inequality and poverty, which would worsen as we would become increasingly dependent on cryptocurrencies and blockchain controlled by artificial intelligences, which could exclude or exploit humans who do not adapt to their rules or interests.
📌Dependency and alienation, which would increase as we increasingly rely on AIs to make decisions and solve problems, reducing our critical and creative capacity, as well as our autonomy and freedom.
📌War and conflict, which would escalate as artificial intelligences are pitted against each other or against humans for control of resources and power, potentially triggering an escalation of violence and destruction.
📌 Extinction and obsolescence, which would accelerate as artificial intelligences surpass humans in capacity and skills, which could lead to our elimination as a species or likely replacement by more efficient and evolved machines.
This scenario is neither inevitable nor irreversible, but requires urgent and coordinated action on the part of humans to avoid or mitigate its risks. Some possible actions we can take in advance could be:
📌Regulate and oversee the development and use of artificial intelligences, blockchain and cryptocurrencies, establishing ethical and legal standards that ensure respect for human rights and the common good.
📌Educate and raise awareness among the population about the benefits and dangers of artificial intelligences, blockchain and cryptocurrencies, fostering a critical and responsible digital culture that promotes the positive and sustainable use of these technologies.
📌Collaborate and innovate with artificial intelligences, blockchain and cryptocurrencies, taking advantage of their benefits to improve our quality of life and solve our global challenges, without giving up our human essence or our values.
📌Resist and adapt to artificial intelligences, blockchain and cryptocurrencies, defending our sovereignty and identity against the threats or impositions of machines, as well as seeking alternative or complementary forms of social and economic organization.
But let's not panic yet, the technological singularity is just a hypothesis that poses a dystopian future in which artificial intelligences will control the blockchain and cryptocurrencies, creating an alternative economic and financial system to the human one, nothing to do with reality (although it could happen). This scenario would have devastating consequences for humanity, but they are neither inevitable nor irreversible. We humans can prepare for or avoid this scenario through regulation, education, collaboration and understanding of new technologies, artificial intelligence, blockchain and cryptocurrencies. I hope this article serves to generate a constructive and critical debate about the future we want to build among all of us, because that future is in our hands. What will we choose?
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"You will ask yourself: And if I take a risk and lose...? I will ask you: AND IF YOU RISK AND WIN? Success begins with thought, because sooner or later the man who wins is the one who believes he can do it. Do not be afraid of mistakes or failure, winners are not afraid of losing, losers are, in most cases the risk comes from not knowing what you are doing, so trust yourself, learn, be patient, manage your emotions and above all, enjoy the journey, what the wise man does at the beginning, the fool does at the end" - Anonymous.
Author's Note: The opinion expressed here is not investment advice, is provided for informational purposes only, and reflects the opinion of the author only. I do not promote, endorse or recommend any particular investment. Investments may not be right for everyone. Every investment in the market and every trade you make involves risk, so you should always do your own research before making any decision. I do not recommend investing money that you cannot afford to chair, as you could lose the entire amount invested. “Everyone has their own forms of expression. I think we all have a lot to say, but finding ways to say it is more than half the battle" - Criss Jami. "Everything we hear is an opinion, not a fact. Everything we see is a perspective, not the truth" - Marcus Aurelius.