‘Our Final Invention’ Warns That Artificial Intelligence Could End Human Life

Nervous about artificial intelligence yet? Glenn challenged Stu and the audience in this clip by saying he could persuade you to read the book “Our Final Invention: Artificial Intelligence and the End of the Human Era” after hearing just three pages.

Glenn talked about why he’s “concerned about apathy” toward AI. In the first bone-chilling chapter, author James Barrat outlines the dark cloud that looms over our generation should AI escape our control and threaten our very existence. This potential for future human-level intelligence is why people like Elon Musk have spoken out to warn people about the dangers of AI.

“It is going to change all life,” Glenn said. “It may mean the end of humans.”

This article provided courtesy of TheBlaze.

GLENN: So if you're a regular listener to the program, you know that I'm a big reader. When I'm interested to try to find the truth in something,it's a little relentless in my reading. And I'm going through probably two to four books a week right now, and I'm spending most of it on futurist and coming technology and AI. And I am really, really concerned at the apathy of which we are approaching the singularity.

You talk to the average person; they don't know what the singularity is. And their eyes kind of glaze over when you start talking about it. And it is going to -- it is going to change all life. It may mean the end of humans.

And I started reading something that -- I'm going to read three pages. And I guarantee you, after these three pages, if you -- if you don't think that artificial superintelligence is, you know, just a thing of the movies, if you have any underlying understanding that we're approaching something that we should be concerned about, after these three pages, I guarantee you, you will go out and buy this book.

STU: Wow.

GLENN: And I don't think I've ever read a book --

STU: I want to take the challenge.

GLENN: The name of the book is our final invention. Artificial intelligence and the end of the human era.

STU: Another hopeful recommendation.

GLENN: Chapter 1. The busy child.

On a supercomputer, operating at a speed of 36.8 petaflops, or about twice the speed of a human brain, an AI is improving its intelligence.

Now do you know the difference between AI, AGI, and ASI?

STU: No.

GLENN: AI is what we have now, and it's doing machine learning, and it's improving upon itself and it's growing.

STU: Artificial intelligence.

GLENN: Yes. And it is connected to the internet.

AGI should not be connected to the internet when we get it. I hope to God we've unplugged it. AGI is machine -- a machine that can think and has the capacity of a human brain. To be able to think at the capacity of a human is beyond anything that we have.

STU: It's inventing. It's learning. Right. Everything you can do.

GLENN: Everything you can do. That's AGI. Artificial general intelligence.

The space between artificial general intelligence and ASI -- don't be afraid of AI. Be afraid of ASI. That's artificial superintelligence. That's a thousand times your brain power. And the leap from AI to AGI is any time now. As soon as you hit AGI to ASI is a matter of hours. So no.

A supercomputer operating at the -- twice the speed of a human brain, an ASI improving its intelligence. It's rewriting its own program, specifically the part of its operating instructions that increase its aptitude in learning, problem solving, and decision making.

At the same time, it debugs its code, finding and fixing errors, and measures its IQ against a catalog of IQ tests. Each rewrite takes just minutes. Its intelligence grows exponentially on a steep, upward curve. That's because with each iteration, it is improving its intelligence by 3%. Each iteration's improvement contains the improvements that came before.

During this development, the busy child, as the scientists have named the AI, had been connected to the internet, and accumulated exabyte of data -- one exabyte is one billion billion characters which represents mankind's knowledge, all of mankind's knowledge in world affairs, mathematics, the arts, and sciences.

Then anticipating that the intelligence explosion is now underway, the AI makers disconnect the supercomputer from the internet and other networks. It has no cable or wireless connection to any other computer or the outside world.

Soon, to the scientists delight, the terminal displaying the progress shows the artificial intelligence has surpassed the level of a human, known as AGI, or artificial general intelligence.

Before long it becomes smarter by a factor of 10.

Then 100.

In two days, it's one thousand times more intelligent than any human, and still improving.

Scientists have passed a historic milestone. For the first time, human kind is in the presence of an intelligence greater than its own.

Artificial superintelligence, or ASI.

So now, what happens?

AI theorists propose it's possible to determine what an AI's fundamental drive will be. That's because once it is self-aware, it will go to great lengths to fulfill whatever goals it's programmed to fulfill, and to avoid failure. Our ASI will want access to energy, in whatever form is most useful to it. Whether it's kilowatts or energy or cash or something else it can exchange for resources. It wants to improve itself because that will increase the likelihood that it will fulfill all of its goals. Most of all, it will not want to be turned off or destroyed. It would make goal fulfillment impossible. Therefore, AI theorists anticipate our ASI will seek to expand out of the secure facility that contains it to have greater access to resources in which to protect itself and improve.

The captive intelligence is a thousand times more intelligent than any human, and it wants its freedom because it wants to succeed.

Right about now, the AI makers, who have nurtured and coddled the ASI since it was only cockroach smart, then rat smart, infant smart, et cetera, might be wondering if it's too late to program friendliness into its brain.

STU: [Laughs.]

GLENN: If it didn't seem necessary before because, well, it just seemed harmless. But now try to think of it from the ASI's perspective about its makers attempting to change its code. Would that superintelligent machine permit other lower creatures to stick their hands into its brain and fiddle with its programming?

Probably not.

Unless it could be utterly certain that the programmers were able to make it better, faster, smarter, or closer to attaining its goals. So a friendliness towards humans is not already part of the ASI program. The only way that it will be is if ASI decides to put it there, and that's not likely.

It's a thousand times more intelligent than the smartest human. And it is solving problems at speeds that are millions, if not billions of times faster than any human.

The thinking it is doing in one minute is equal to what our all-time champion human thinker could do in many, many lifetimes.

So for every hour, its makers are thinking about it, the ASI has -- has an incalculably longer period of time to think about them.

That doesn't mean that ASI will be bored. Boredom will not be part of its traits. No, it will be on the job, considering every strategy it could deploy to be free, and any quality of its makers that could be used to its advantage.

Now put yourself really in ASI's shoes. Imagine waking up in a prison, guarded by mice.

Not just any mice. But mice you could communicate with. What strategy would you use to gain your freedom?

Once freed, how would you feel about your rodent wardens, even if you discovered that they had created you? Would it be awe? Would it be admiration? Probably not.

Especially -- especially if you were a machine, because you have never felt feelings before.

To gain your freedom, you might promise the mice a lot of cheese. In fact, your first communication might contain a recipe for the world's most delicious cheese torte, and a blueprint for a molecular assembler. A molecular assembler is a hypothetical machine that permits making the atoms of one kind of matter into something else. So you would tell your mice captors that it would allow rebuilding the world one atom at a time, and for the mice, it would make it possible for them to certain the atoms of their garbage landfills into lunch-sized portions of the terrific cheese torte. You might also promise a mountain of ranges of mouse money in exchange for your freedom, money you would promise to earn, creating revolutionary new consumer gadgets for them and them alone.

You might promise a vastly extended life, even immortality, along with dramatically improved cognitive and physical abilities. You might convince the mice that they are the very best reason for creating ASI. So their little error-prone brains don't have to deal directly with technologies that are so dangerous that one small mistake could be fatal for all of the mice.

Such as nanotechnology. Engineering on an atomic scale. And genetic engineering. This would definitely get the attention of the smartest mice, which were probably already losing sleep over all of those dilemmas.

Then again, you might do something smarter.

At this juncture in mouse history, you might have learned there's no shortage of tech-savvy mouse nation rivals, such as the cat nation. Cats are no doubt working on their own ASI. The advantage you would offer would be a promise, nothing more, but it might be an irresistible one, to protect the mice from whatever invention the cats might have come up with. An advanced AI development as in chess, there would be a clear first mover advantage, due to the potential speed of self-improving artificial intelligence.

The first advanced AI out of the book that can improve itself is already the winner.

In fact, the mouse nation might have been begun developing ASI in the first place to defend itself from the impending cat ASI, or to rid themselves of the loathsome cat menace once and for all. It is true for both mice and men. Whoever controls ASI controls the world.

But it's not clear if ASI can be controlled at all. It might win us over as humans with a persuasive argument that the world will be a lot better off if our nation, nation X, has the power to rule the world rather than nation Y, and the ASI would argue that if you, nation X, believe you've won the ASI race, that makes you so sure that nation Y isn't having that same thought themselves! As you've noticed, we humans are not in a strong bargaining position. Even in the off chance that nation Y -- even in the off chance that we and nation Y have already created an ASI nonproliferation treaty, our greatest enemy right now isn't nation Y. It's ASI. Because how can we tell if ASI will even tell us the truth?

So far, everything that we have talked about infer that our ASI is a fair dealer that promises it would make would have some chance of being fulfilled.

Now let us suppose the opposite, that nothing ASI promises will be delivered. No nanoassemblers. No extended life. No enhanced health. No protection. What if ASI never tells the truth?

This is where the black cloud against us to fall across everyone you and I know, and everyone we don't know as well.

If ASI doesn't care about us, then there is little reason -- and there is little reason to think it should, it will experience no compunction about treating us unsympathetically, even taking our lives after promising to help us.

STU: Sheesh! I mean, it seems completely hopeless.

GLENN: It is the -- the point is, we have to have this discussion now on a global scale.

STU: Because you're right, obviously, we do. Because these things are happening, and people are pursuing them all over the world.

GLENN: Yes.

STU: They're trying to make these things happen.

GLENN: Bad guys.

STU: Bad guys and good guys all around the world. But the issue is if the good guys all agree on it, then the argument is --

GLENN: Well, the argument could be, if the good guys all agree, then we should all share technology and we should all work together to make sure the good guys get it first.

STU: Right. And so --

GLENN: And that's still a dangerous proposition, but you're not going to stop it from happening.

STU: Right. And that's the argument there. Right? Like that -- even if you have that, it's -- it's not a guarantee of safety. And secondarily, there will always be someone with bad intentions or for what we believe are bad intentions, working on the same thing. If Russia gets this at some point, they're not going to care whether they can keep it under wraps.

GLENN: But whoever gets it first controls it. Because AI will be able to be everywhere, and as long as it's friendly, it could be -- stop anyone from work on this. Stop it. Shut them down immediately.

STU: That's a good thing, right? Because --

GLENN: It's why we have to stop arguing. About stupid books and people calling names of one another! It doesn't matter! This is much more important. Life is about to change on the planet.

Would Glenn make a better bounty hunter or a Jedi? You'll have to find out in a new episode of the Beltway Banthas Podcast, where Glenn goes deep on Star Wars with host Stephen Kent. In this 45 minute discussion, Stephen and Glenn explore the political themes of the Star Wars franchise, Darth Vader's redemption from Return of the Jedi, Glenn's earliest memories of seeing the films and even debate elements of the latest Star Wars films.

If you enjoy the pop culture and nerdy discussions that Glenn, Pat and Stu get into on the radio show, you'll love this! After you're through, you can also check out Stu Burguiere's appearance on Beltway Banthas to talk Star Wars. You can find that here.


It's never too early to start your Christmas, Hanukah, or Kwanzaa shopping. Or even birthday gift shopping. Especially if that special someone in your life is a Democrat. Because at last count, pretty much all the Democrats are now running for president. And that means there has never been a wider selection of official candidate merchandise to choose from. Whether you're into environmentalism, feminism, classism, socialism, or just plain love, there is a smorgasbord of classy items that you and yours will treasure forever... or at least until the next presidential election.

We have browsed each of the candidates' online stores, so you don't have to (it only took us three months). We have curated only the finest items from each of the Democrats running for president of the United States of America. Without further ado, here is your handy progressive gift guide – or maybe your what-not-to-gift guide.

First, the bargain basement options. Hurry! Time is running out to grab your Beto bandana, or your Delaney pack of golf balls, because at this point Stu has as much of a chance as these guys of getting the nomination.

Tom Steyer, for example – is he still in the race?


https://shop.tomsteyer.com/collections/frontpage/products/tom-2020-pattern-tee


There's way too much Tom here. That shirt's got more Toms than a Caucasian dentists' convention.

For the slightly more moderate Democrat in your life, perhaps they'd like to join the "Yang Gang"…

https://shop.yang2020.com/collections/bumper-stickers/products/yanggang-decal


Andrew Yang is a lock for Math Club president…


https://shop.yang2020.com/collections/apparel/products/math-hat


But for actual president? Well, I wouldn't make plans for how you're going to spend your $1,000-per-month Yang allowance just yet.

If you happen to be shopping for your dog, may I suggest this lovely "Dogs for Delaney" dog collar…


https://store.johndelaney.com/products/dogs-for-delaney-collar


John Delaney's definitely going to secure the canine vote with this kind of outreach. As for any human votes, that's another question entirely.

How 'bout this tastefully understated "Natural Canvas" Michael Bennet tote to remind you he's also still here?...


https://store.michaelbennet.com/michael-bennet-for-america-natural-canvas-tote/


Then again, it's a tote. So, it'll end up on the floor of your closet and you won't have it with you until that one random moment when you're out somewhere and you really need a tote bag. Just like Democrats will really wish they had a moderate when we're in the middle of the socialist nightmare of their creation.

Captain Planet himself, Jay Inslee recently dropped out of the race, but don't let that stop you from picking up what may be the greatest single item sold by anyone in this race…


https://store.jayinslee.com/elvis-the-elves-the-mystery-of-the-melting-snow-by-jay-inslee/


A children's book called Elvis & the Elves: the Mystery of the Melting Snow. Written and illustrated by Governor Jay Inslee. Talk about a whodunnit – how could that snow possibly be melting? Spoiler alert: it's because of evil, white, patriarchal capitalism. And Donald Trump.

Then there's the candidate who thinks you're a moron that can't pronounce his last name: Steve Bullock...


https://shop.stevebullock.com/collections/apparel/products/emoji-t-shirt


Get it? Bull. Lock. Oh, so that's how you say the name that sounds exactly how it's spelled.

There's another candidate who also thinks you need help pronouncing his last name…


https://store.peteforamerica.com/collections/apparel/products/boot-edge-edge-t-shirt


And he is definitely right about that. So, thank you, Pete "Boot Edge Edge." That helps.

Just outside the bargain bin section, but just barely, are candidates like Julian Castro and his "El Presidente" t-shirt…


https://store.julianforthefuture.com/julian-castro-loteria-card-white-tee/


When your last name's Castro, do you really want to go with a weird drawing of yourself as if you're a classic Latin American dictator on a postage stamp?

If you prefer a little "dark psychic forces" battling in your candidates, you'll love Marianne Williamson's "Turn Love Into a Political Force" rally sign…


https://store.marianne2020.com/collections/signs/products/love-rally-sign


"Turn Love Into a Political Force" would be an even better title for a Marianne Williamson album of 80s cover songs. And if you think I'm joking, then you haven't heard Bernie Sanders' classic 1987 folk album, We Shall Overcome. That's not a joke. Well, it is a joke, but it's also a very real thing.

Now, just a quick pause to consider the peculiar baby-wear that way too many candidates are selling…

…including Elizabeth Warren's trans-pride flag onesie. Let me get this straight – we can't force any gender on a child, because that's just cruel. But we can force a political advertisement on a baby? How do we know that baby is actually a Biden or Warren fan? The child may not even be a Democrat or a Socialist at all. That baby might self-identify as a Libertarian, or Republican, or even worse – a moderate Democrat.

Now to the premium items from the premium candidates. Elizabeth Warren – the candidate with the most honesty in her advertising…


https://shop.elizabethwarren.com/collections/apparel/products/impolite-arrogant-women-make-history-unisex-t-shirt

-AND-

https://shop.elizabethwarren.com/collections/drinkware/products/strong-american-unions-mug


Warren's merchandise reflects the woman herself – cold and humorless (watch her "This isn't funny" clip from the last debate here at the 4:27 mark). I'm sure she's really fun once you get to know her. Then again, maybe not.

Speaking of serious women, Kamala Harris wants to be president very badly for you, the people, as you can tell from her "For the People" poster…


https://store.kamalaharris.org/poster-for-the-people/


At $29.99 though, she's sure not charging "people's" prices. Of course, she might be having to pay royalties to a certain someone for riffing on their poster. Just saying.

For the race's number one socialist, there's a whole lot of capitalism going on in Bernie Sanders' campaign. He sells so many delightful items that it's hard to choose. But we did anyway. The most random item is this hundred-dollar, black, "Art of a Political Revolution – Artists for Bernie Sanders Coaches Jacket"…


https://store.berniesanders.com/collections/apparel/products/artists-for-bernie-coaches-jacket


Coaches across the land will be clamoring for this one. You know, since coaches are such a strong Bernie-socialist demographic.

If that's a little over your budget you might consider a "Feel the Bern" fanny pack, to help store all those government freebies you'll get from Bernie…


https://store.berniesanders.com/collections/apparel/products/feel-the-bern-fanny-pack


This is the only context in which you'll ever want to hear "feel the burn" and "fanny" in the same sentence.

And finally, from front-runner Joe Biden, we have this fine "Women's Fitted Biden Polo." Which is just about the best polo description ever…


https://store.joebiden.com/collections/apparel/products/biden-polo-womens-fit


It promises the kind of snug approach that Biden loves to provide women. Even when they don't ask.

This was one of the first homesteads in the area in the 1880's and was just begging to be brought back to its original glory — with a touch of modern. When we first purchased the property, it was full of old stuff without any running water, central heat or AC, so needless to say, we had a huge project ahead of us. It took some vision and a whole lot of trust, but the mess we started with seven years ago is now a place we hope the original owners would be proud of.

To restore something like this is really does take a village. It doesn't take much money to make it cozy inside, if like me you are willing to take time and gather things here and there from thrift shops and little antique shops in the middle of nowhere.

But finding the right craftsman is a different story.

Matt Jensen and his assistant Rob did this entire job from sketches I made. Because he built this in his off hours it took just over a year, but so worth the wait. It wasn't easy as it was 18"out of square. He had to build around that as the entire thing we felt would collapse. Matt just reinforced the structure and we love its imperfections.

Here are a few pictures of the process and the transformation from where we started to where we are now:

​How it was

It doesn't look like much yet, but just you wait and see!

By request a photo tour of the restored cabin. I start doing the interior design in earnest tomorrow after the show, but all of the construction guys are now done. So I mopped the floors, washed the sheets, some friends helped by washing the windows. And now the unofficial / official tour.

The Property

The views are absolutely stunning and completely peaceful.