Anatomy of Things

With the launch of Siri and a stated aim to be using the data collected to improve the Q. performance of its AI, should we expect these types of quasi-intelligences to develop the same behavioral foibles that we exhibit, or should we expect something completely different? And if something different, would that something be more likely to reflect the old “rational” assumptions of behavior, or some totally other emergent set of biases and quirks based on its own underlying architecture? My money’s on emergent weirdness, but then, I don’t have a Nobel Prize. -Peter Bennett

A. Emergent weirdness is a good bet. Only deduction is certain. Whenever an inductive short-cut is applied, you can search for cases in which it will fail. It is always useful to ask “What relevant factors are not considered?” and “What irrelevant factors affect the conclusions?” By their very nature, heuristic shortcuts will produce biases, and that is true for both humans and artificial intelligence, but the heuristics of AI are not necessarily the human ones.

Don’t become a well-rounded person. Well rounded people are smooth and dull. Become a thoroughly spiky person. Grow spikes from every angle. Stick in their throats like a pufferfish. If you want to woo the muse of the odd, don’t read Shakespeare. Read Webster’s revenge plays. Don’t read Homer and Aristotle. Read Herodotus where he’s off talking about Egyptian women having public sex with goats. […] You didn’t come here from nowhere. There are reasons why you’re here. Learn those reasons. Learn about the stuff that was buried because it was too experimental or embarrassing or inexplicable or uncomfortable or dangerous.

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