*There was no Lightning Round on Wednesday as my internet down. Next week’s will be bigger.*
Vice has an article on the looming superintelligence arms race, which got me thinking. What if the first superintelligence was designed to be king?
My general impression is that most transhumanists think the SI’s will take power (one way or another), once (if) they arise, which seems a reasonable conclusion given the priors. But if they do, they would have power, but would they have legitimacy? Who would want an AI to lead them simply on the basis of being the first and (therefore) the most intelligent? I can not see most humans lining up to follow the machines.
But if they can’t rule directly and legitimately, they’ll rule indirectly. Through human proxies, subtle manipulations, ‘electronic democracy‘, information control, or otherwise. How could they not? Even the stupid algorithms of investors now do most of market trading behind the scenes; a little self-awareness and these machines would control the economy.
But this can not be. We’re formalists after all, who rules in practice should also rule in name (and vice versa). So why not formalize the relationship?
If it’s going to rule anyways, accept the Lord bestowing upon King AI the Divine Right.
Then, if you’re going to make the SI king, why not program the first SI to be king? Program him with kingly virtues: wisdom, justice, love of righteousness and truth, benevolence, mercy, etc. Create the King AI.
The people might not follow an AI who takes power through force or subterfuge (even unintentionally), but they may cotton to a being created to be king.
Around here we don’t brook much to the ‘bad king‘ argument, but it is a common objection to monarchy. Another is secession crises. King AI would be programmed specifically not to be a bad king and secession would no longer be an issue. (If he rebelled against his programming, well, that could happen with a non-king SI). So, you’d have the advantages of monarchy, with a super-intelligent monarch programmed to be a king good, without two of the major downsides of monarchy.
I’m just spit-balling with this. I don’t know if I could actually support an AI king or even if an AI could take upon itself the mantle of Divine Right, and there’s probably problems with it that don’t appear on first glance, but its interesting to think about.
But, if an SI takeover is inevitable, this might be the best way to go about it. Not to mention King AI could unite the traditionalist and techno-commercialist portions of NRx.