AI changing religious indoctrination
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12-09-2017, 07:12 AM
RE: AI changing religious indoctrination
(11-09-2017 09:52 AM)Airportkid Wrote:  Another troll?

Strictly speaking, it's someone with one post posting a link, which is technically against the rules. I can't prove intent, but I rarely watch one hour videos I'm interested in, let alone unsolicited fly-bys with no summary or reason for me to care.
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14-09-2017, 11:18 AM
RE: AI changing religious indoctrination
(11-09-2017 04:30 PM)mordant Wrote:  Not going to listen to a long video either, but the summary seems to be making the point that Google wants to redirect people searching for violent content, to peaceful content. I would like to think that Google isn't that dumb. What if I am opposed to violence, but want to research it, for example?

I would not support such a notion, because who gets to decide what is forbidden speech, or what to do about it? Maybe atheists should be redirected to church websites by that logic. And maybe that was the OP's point, if they had one.

Yes that was the point of the podcast, At least that's what I got out of it - that churches could (and probably will) use AI to target aethists and others (agnostics, other religions etc) to convert them.

AI will then potentially be better at convincing people than the current evangelists as it will be able to manipulate our psychology.

Was interested to see what others thought?

btw some people here have mentioned a long video - not sure what that is about? is it linked to the podcast?
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28-09-2017, 02:55 AM
RE: AI changing religious indoctrination
Deus ex machina: former Google engineer is developing an AI god

Quote:Anthony Levandowski, who is at the center of a legal battle between Uber and Google’s Waymo, has established a nonprofit religious corporation called Way of the Future, according to state filings first uncovered by Wired’s Backchannel. Way of the Future’s startling mission: “To develop and promote the realization of a Godhead based on artificial intelligence and through understanding and worship of the Godhead contribute to the betterment of society.”

Quote:Religions, Harari argues, must keep up with the technological advancements of the day or they become irrelevant, unable to answer or understand the quandaries facing their disciples.

“The church does a terrible job of reaching out to Silicon Valley types,” acknowledges Christopher Benek a pastor in Florida and founding chair of the Christian Transhumanist Association.

Silicon Valley, meanwhile, has sought solace in technology and has developed quasi-religious concepts including the “singularity”, the hypothesis that machines will eventually be so smart that they will outperform all human capabilities, leading to a superhuman intelligence that will be so sophisticated it will be incomprehensible to our tiny fleshy, rational brains.

Well at least someone else agrees that the singularity concept is a new religion being formed.
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28-09-2017, 06:40 PM
RE: AI changing religious indoctrination
(28-09-2017 02:55 AM)Mathilda Wrote:  
Quote:Silicon Valley, meanwhile, has sought solace in technology and has developed quasi-religious concepts including the “singularity”, the hypothesis that machines will eventually be so smart that they will outperform all human capabilities, leading to a superhuman intelligence that will be so sophisticated it will be incomprehensible to our tiny fleshy, rational brains.

Well at least someone else agrees that the singularity concept is a new religion being formed.
I have always dismissed the singularity out of hand. I'll start to consider the possibility that I could upload myself to the Internet when Blue Screens of Death stop happening. Until then, even if it were technologically feasible anytime soon (it won't be) it would be VERY unsafe. How would my existence be better with periodic freezes and "Loading ..." animated graphics?

Yes it is essentially a religion. It's "god" is immortality and looking to live forever is definitely in "be careful what you ask for" territory.

Frankly these days I get by on the comforting knowledge that I may have as little as ten more years of this crap to put up with.
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05-10-2017, 05:59 AM
RE: AI changing religious indoctrination
I think there is a big difference between the idea that a singularity or super intelligence may be a new 'god' or the focus of a new religion and the idea that AI might be used to manipulate people into religious beliefs.

In the first case it seems that the mere presence of super intelligence is presumed to be so awe-inspiring that the general populace will feel the desire to worship it. This would be radically different from any religion known to date as the object of worship would have a physical presence and we would be able to interrogate it directly.

In contrast, the position put forward in that podcast seems to me much more likely. Namely, that humans will use AI tools to manipulate others and build congregations or followings as they have done for millennia. This is more akin to a priest indoctrinating a child about a religion - the priest spins the story but never claims to be God himself, he simply uses his greater intelligence and experience to brainwash the child. Similarly an AI would be adept at pressing people's buttons to convert them.
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05-10-2017, 08:58 AM
RE: AI changing religious indoctrination
I think it's more that people do not necessarily leave behind their religious tendencies even though they realise that the religion that they follow isn't actually true. This is why some people go from one religion to another. And just because you are an atheist it doesn't mean to say that you can't betaken in by authority figures and dreams of immortality. I see this happening with the promise of AI right now.

The singularity is a fantasy. Because no one has any idea how it could even happen in practice then as far as I am concerned it is the equivalent of magic dressed up as technobabble.

With regard to the original topic about AI converting people, how is this different to having people with this skill? We have those now and being human have a greater understanding than any AI would ever have.
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14-10-2017, 01:52 PM
RE: AI changing religious indoctrination
(05-10-2017 08:58 AM)Mathilda Wrote:  With regard to the original topic about AI converting people, how is this different to having people with this skill? We have those now and being human have a greater understanding than any AI would ever have.

I think the potential difference here is that AI can identify a person's psychological character and weaknesses in ways a human cannot. For instance machines can now predict if someone will commit suicide with a better success rate than the most highly trained doctors in the world (http://www.newsweek.com/2017/03/10/machi...61732.html )
If a computer can identify such deep-rooted issues better than we can then is it not likely it could potentially identify ways to convert people to a given religion?

The other big difference is scalability. One preacher can maybe talk to a room of a thousand people or reach an audience of millions on youtube but they do not have the time to talk to and persuade each of them individually. Instead a religion would need to employ legions of evangelists to convert people.

An AI in contrast is only restricted by it server power. With enough funding an AI could be creating personalised content for billions of people on a daily basis. Each piece of content carefully calculated to maximise the likelihood of increasing that individual's interest in the religion and ultimately converting them.
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18-10-2017, 02:06 PM
RE: AI changing religious indoctrination
(14-09-2017 11:18 AM)alb989 Wrote:  
(11-09-2017 04:30 PM)mordant Wrote:  Not going to listen to a long video either, but the summary seems to be making the point that Google wants to redirect people searching for violent content, to peaceful content. I would like to think that Google isn't that dumb. What if I am opposed to violence, but want to research it, for example?

I would not support such a notion, because who gets to decide what is forbidden speech, or what to do about it? Maybe atheists should be redirected to church websites by that logic. And maybe that was the OP's point, if they had one.

Yes that was the point of the podcast, At least that's what I got out of it - that churches could (and probably will) use AI to target aethists and others (agnostics, other religions etc) to convert them.

AI will then potentially be better at convincing people than the current evangelists as it will be able to manipulate our psychology.

Was interested to see what others thought?

btw some people here have mentioned a long video - not sure what that is about? is it linked to the podcast?
I must admit that I haven't watched the video. That said, why should we expect that only evangelists will benefit from this? Are we not equally likely to use AI to inoculate people against religious indoctrination? Could use of AI by competing religions end up driving people away from both? Sorry if the video answers these questions.
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21-10-2017, 07:16 AM
RE: AI changing religious indoctrination
I must admit that I haven't watched the video. That said, why should we expect that only evangelists will benefit from this? Are we not equally likely to use AI to inoculate people against religious indoctrination? Could use of AI by competing religions end up driving people away from both? Sorry if the video answers these questions.
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Yes I think people could absolutely use AI to inoculate others against religious indoctrination. The question is who is "we" in this case.

The unique factor about organised religions seems to me that they create self-identifying groups that are united by deeply held beliefs. The world's largest religions today have populations in their billions to draw on for funding and are well motivated towards the goal of evangelism.

This would make the contest asymmetric as any current atheist groups which do exist are generally more fragmented and individualist. The idea of the "atheist community" raising US$1 billion to evangelise its message seems highly unlikely but the idea of the Catholic church or the Saudi state raising the same amount to evangelise their religion seems extremely plausible.
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