A theory of artificial intelligence

Dear friend,

You and I were talking about the idea of artificial intelligence yesterday, and you remarked “I am blown away by that Ryan. Write a blog post… Right now, or soon.” So here it is! I aim to serve, friend.

I have been recently captured by bringing into reality Artificial Intelligence. Elon Musk, as you surely know, listed it among the five things he thought would change the world. So, how to get into it?

Well, it exists (and has for many years) in the imagination of science fiction writers like Isaac Asimov, and movies like Ex Machina. And I have a list to read and watch (The rest of The Foundation Series, Her, Artificial Intelligence, Superintelligence). So I’ve looked into that. And read about these imaginary creations of beings that operate under a few maxims that determine their actions. This relates to the idea of automation, of course. And as you know, I have taken many aims to incorporate this into my life:

  • Only receiving emails in designated times (no need to be reactive to someone else’s needs)
  • Getting email reminders about my work for each day

Hmm, I guess I haven’t done this enough or as much as I had originally thought. Allow me to digress before getting into the meat of this article — my conception of the future of artificial intelligence. Perhaps, you can offer a few of your own thoughts on automation as well. Here are ways I can improve:

  • Clothing choices. There is no need to waste time fumbling and choosing outfits each day.
  • Automating the messages I send. Using boomerang to email, automatically, close friends, mentors, and professors far in advance to stay in touch.
  • Scheduling. What does my day look like? Schedule in the free time, too.
  • What will I read? Dividing the nearly one hundred books I have into categories. What am I in the mood for? Close my eyes and pick. Not good enough? Sell it.

In essence, what I’m talking about is practical planning. And eliminating the unnecessary waste of time. Automation as a way to bulk together decisions into a simple process rather than being a scatter brained reck! And here’s the real heart of AI.

Being a scatter brained reck has it’s perks. Just take the time to watch any criminal investigation. The protagonist, increasingly a woman (yes!) I might add, has a problem to solve. There are terabytes of data that need to be sorted through and her job is to identify the silver bullet that solves the mystery. So how does she react? Take all of the files and spread them on the ground, and wall, and ceiling, and windows, and everywhere — of course! The dispersion of information allows her to slowly but surely sort out the information and reveal the solution. The scatter brained approach has its perks, in fact it seems to be the way that groundbreaking conclusions occur. This isn’t a scientific proof of this idea, and in many ways I present only a half-thought conclusion. But let’s follow this premise.

In this space, one where we are able to make creative breakthroughs, there is no space for the rudimentary and mundane. No, it needs to be a space of flow (see this book for more). There is no “what outfit do I need to wear.” That’s out of the question.

So, in my mind, that’s the role of AI. To give space for this creative thought. To eliminate the rudimentary. In my mind this is through automation. Automation of the processes that lead to simple decisions. This becomes bundled too. Not just in the outfits you wear but in the people you contact. But it beckons the question how do we condense information into byte sized chunks. How do we find what we need to look at? To research. To learn. How do I find information about artificial intelligence itself? How much time will I spend finding legitimate resources? AI can fire through this at a much more rapid pace. It will give space for the real thinking. Eliminate the superfluous. Oh, you’re about to write an English paper? Here’s the template that you can follow.

Think about the adage “you have to know the rules to break them.” Let’s make it easier to learn the rules so that you can break them.

Everything breaks into a formula when you think about it. Books are broken into chapters. Which have paragraphs. Which have sentences. Which have words. Which have letters. Then you rebuild. Words can have a number of meanings. Let’s pick the best one. Here’s the best one. How does this fit among a thought presented in a paragraph. Where does this idea fit in the chapter. Where does this chapter fit in the book. The template of a book does little to add purpose. The value is in asking the questions that change the design of the book. That give each part meaning.

AI should be responsible for giving the space for us to ask questions. And asking the right questions is how we will be responsible for changing the world.

-Ryan