‘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.

Rapper Kendrick Lamar brings white fan onstage to sing with him, but here’s the catch

Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images for American Express

Rapper Kendrick Lamar asked a fan to come onstage and sing with him, only to condemn her when she failed to censor all of the song's frequent mentions of the “n-word" while singing along.

RELATED: You'll Never Guess Who Wrote the Racist Message Targeting Black Air Force Cadets

“I am so sorry," she apologized when Lamar pointed out that she needed to “bleep" that word. “I'm used to singing it like you wrote it." She was booed at by the crowd of people, many screaming “f*** you" after her mistake.

On Tuesday's show, Pat and Jeffy watched the clip and talked about some of the Twitter reactions.

“This is ridiculous," Pat said. “The situation with this word has become so ludicrous."

What happened?

MSNBC's Katy Tur didn't bother to hide her pro-gun control bias in an interview with Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton in the wake of the Santa Fe High School killings.

RELATED: Media Are Pushing Inflated '18 School Shootings' Statistic. Here Are the Facts.

What did she ask?

As Pat pointed out while sitting in for Glenn on today's show, Tur tried to “badger" Paxton into vowing that he would push for a magical fix that will make schools “100 percent safe." She found it “just wild" that the Texas attorney general couldn't promise that schools will ever be completely, totally safe.

“Can you promise kids in Texas today that they're safe to go to school?" Tur pressured Paxton.

“I don't think there's any way to say that we're ever 100 percent safe," the attorney general responded.

What solutions did the AG offer?

“We've got a long way to go," Paxton said. He listed potential solutions to improve school safety, including installing security officers and training administrators and teachers to carry a gun.

Pat's take:

“Unbelievable," Pat said on today's show. “Nobody can promise [100 percent safety]."

Every president from George Washington to Donald Trump has issued at least one executive order (with the exception of William Harrison who died just 31 days into his presidency) and yet the U.S. Constitution doesn't even mention executive orders. So how did the use of this legislative loophole become such an accepted part of the job? Well, we can thank Franklin Roosevelt for that.

Back at the chalkboard, Glenn Beck broke down the progression of the executive order over the years and discussed which US Presidents have been the “worst offenders."

RELATED: POWER GRAB: Here's how US presidents use 'moments of crisis' to override Constitutional law

“It's hard to judge our worst presidential overreachers on sheer numbers alone," said Glenn. “However, it's not a shock that FDR issued by far the most of any president."

Our first 15 presidents issued a combined total of 143. By comparison, Franklin D. Roosevelt issued 3721, more than twice the next runner up, Woodrow Wilson, at 1803.

“Next to FDR, no other president in our history attempted to reshape so much of American life by decree, until we get to this guy: President Obama," Glenn explained. “He didn't issue 3000, or even 1800; he did 276 executive orders, but it was the power of those orders. He instituted 560 major regulations classified by the Congressional Budget Office as having 'significant economic or social impacts.' That's 50 percent more regulations than George W. Bush's presidency — and remember, everybody thought he was a fascist."

President Obama blamed an obstructionist Congress for forcing him to bypass the legislative process. By executive order, President Obama decreed the U.S. join the Paris Climate Accord, DACA, the Clean Power Plan and transgender restrooms. He also authorized spying in US citizens through section 702 of FISA, used the IRS to target political opponents and ordered military action in Libya without Congressional permission.

All of these changes were accepted by the very people who now condemn President Trump for his use of executive orders — many of which were issued to annul President Obama's executive orders, just as President Obama annulled President Bush's executive orders when he took office … and therein lies the rub with executive orders.

“That's not the way it's supposed to work, nor would we ever want it to be," said Glenn. “We have to have the Constitution and laws need to originate in Congress."

Watch the video above to find out more.

Six months ago, I alerted readers to the very attractive benefits that the TreasuryDirect program offers to investors who are defensively sitting on cash right now.

Since then, those benefits have continued to improve. Substantially.

Back in November, by holding extremely conservative short-term (i.e., 6-months or less) Treasury bills, TreasuryDirect participants were receiving over 16x more in interest payments vs keeping their cash in a standard bank savings account.

Today, they're now receiving over 30 times more. Without having to worry about the risk of a bank "bail-in" or failure.

So if you're holding cash right now and NOT participating in the TreasuryDirect program, do yourself a favor and read on. If you're going to pass on this opportunity, at least make it an 'eyes-wide-open' decision.

Holding Cash (In Treasurys) Now Beats The Market

There are many prudent reasons to hold cash in today's dangerously overvalued financial markets, as we've frequently touted here at PeakProsperity.com.

Well, there's now one more good reason to add to the list: holding cash in short-term Treasurys is now meeting/beating the dividend returns offered by the stock market:

"Cash Is King" Again - 3-Month Bills Yield More Than Stocks (Zero Hedge)
'Reaching for yield' just got a lot easier...
For the first time since February 2008, three-month Treasury bills now have a yield advantage over the S&P; 500 dividend yield (and dramatically lower risk).
Investors can earn a guaranteed 1.90% by holding the 3-month bills or a risky 1.89% holding the S&P; 500...

The longest period of financial repression in history is coming to an end...

And it would appear TINA is dead as there is now an alternative.

And when you look at the total return (dividends + appreciation) of the market since the start of 2018, stocks have returned only marginally better than 3-month Treasurys. Plus, those scant few extra S&P; points have come with a LOT more risk.

Why take it under such dangerously overvalued conditions?

If You Can't Beat 'Em, Join 'Em

In my June report Less Than Zero: How The Fed Killed Saving, I explained how the Federal Reserve's policy of holding interest rates at record lows has decimated savers. Those who simply want to park money somewhere "safe" can't do so without losing money in real terms.

To drive this point home: back in November, the average interest rate being offered in a US bank savings account was an insutling 0.06%. Six months later, nothing has changed:

(Source

That's virtually the same as getting paid 0%. But it's actually worse than that, because once you take inflation into account, the real return on your savings is markedly negative.

And to really get your blood boiling, note that the Federal Reserve has rasied the federal funds rate it pays banks from 1.16% in November to 1.69% in April. Banks are now making nearly 50% more money on the excess reserves they park at the Fed -- but are they passing any of that free profit along to their depositors? No....

This is why knowing about the TreasuryDirect program is so important. It's a way for individual investors savvy enough to understand the game being played to bend some of its rules to their favor and limit the damage they suffer.

Below is an updated version (using today's rates) of my recap of TreasuryDirect, which enables you to get over 30x more interest on your cash savings than your bank will pay you, with lower risk.

TreasuryDirect

For those not already familiar with it, TreasuryDirect is a service offered by the United States Department of the Treasury that allows individual investors to purchase Treasury securities such as T-Bills, notes and bonds directly from the U.S. government.

You purchase these Treasury securities by linking a TreasuryDirect account to your personal bank account. Once linked, you use your cash savings to purchase T-bills, etc from the US Treasury. When the Treasury securities you've purchased mature or are sold, the proceeds are deposited back into your bank account.

So why buy Treasuries rather than keep your cash savings in a bank? Two main reasons:

  • Much higher return: T-Bills are currently offering an annualized return rate between 1.66-2.04%. Notes and bonds, depending on their duration, are currently offering between 2.6% - 3.1%
  • Extremely low risk: Your bank can change the interest rate on your savings account at any time -- with Treasury bills, your rate of return is locked in at purchase. Funds in a bank are subject to risks such as a bank bail-in or the insolvency of the FDIC depositor protection program -- while at TreasuryDirect, your funds are being held with the US Treasury, the institution with the lowest default risk in the country for reasons I'll explain more in a moment.

Let's look at a quick example. If you parked $100,000 in the average bank savings account for a full year, you would earn $60 in interest. Let's compare this to the current lowest-yielding TreasuryDirect option: continuously rolling that same $100,000 into 4-week T-Bills for a year:

  1. Day 1: Funds are transferred from your bank account to TreasuryDirect to purchase $100,000 face value of 4-week T-Bills at auction yielding 1.68%
  2. Day 28: the T-Bills mature and the Treasury holds the full $100,000 proceeds in your TreasuryDirect account. Since you've set up the auto-reinvestment option, TreasuryDirect then purchases another $100,000 face value of 4-week T-Bills at the next auction.
  3. Days 29-364: the process repeats every 4 weeks
  4. Day 365: assuming the average yield for T-Bills remained at 1.68%, you will have received $1,680 in interest in total throughout the year from the US Treasury.

$1,680 vs $60. That's a 27x difference in return.

And the comparison only improves if you decide to purchase longer duration (13-week or 26-week) bills instead of the 4-week ones:

Repeating the above example for a year using 13-week bills would yield $1,925. Using 26-week bills would yield $2,085. A lot better (34x better!) than $60.

Opportunity Cost & Default Risk

So what are the downsides to using TreasuryDirect? There aren't many.

The biggest one is opportunity cost. While your money is being held in a T-Bill, it's tied up at the US Treasury. If you suddenly need access to those funds, you have to wait until the bill matures.

But T-Bill durations are short. 4 weeks is not a lot of time to have to wait. (If you think the probability is high you may to need to pull money out of savings sooner than that, you shouldn't be considering the TreasuryDirect program.)

Other than that, TreasuryDirect offers an appealing reduction in risk.

If your bank suddenly closes due to a failure, any funds invested in TreasuryDirect are not in your bank account, so are not subject to being confiscated in a bail-in.

Instead, your money is held as a T-Bill, note or bond, which is essentially an obligation of the US Treasury to pay you in full for the face amount. The US Treasury is the single last entity in the country (and quite possibly, the world) that will ever default on its obligations. Why? Because Treasurys are the mechanism by which money is created in the US. Chapter 8 from The Crash Course explains:

As a result, to preserve its ability to print the money it needs to function, the US government will bring its full force and backing to bear in order to ensure confidence in the market for Treasurys.

Meaning: the US government won't squelch on paying you back the money you lent it. If required, it will just print the money it needs to repay you.

So, How To Get Started?

Usage of TreasuryDirect is quite low among investors today. Many are unaware of the program. Others simply haven't tried it out.

And let's be real: it's crazy that we live in a world where a 1.68-2.09% return now qualifies as an exceptionally high yield on savings. A lot of folks just can't get motivated to take action by rates that low. But that doesn't mean that they shouldn't -- money left on the table is money forfeited.

So, if you're interested in learning more about the TreasuryDirect program, start by visiting their website. Like everything operated by the government, it's pretty 'no frills'; but their FAQ page addresses investors' most common questions.

Before you decide whether or not to fund an account there, be sure to discuss the decision with your professional financial advisor to make sure it fits well with your personal financial situation and goals. (If you're having difficulty finding a good one, consider scheduling a free discussion with PeakProsperity.com's endorsed financial advisor -- who has considerable experience managing TreasuryDirect purchases for many of its clients).

In Part 2: A Primer On How To Use TreasuryDirect, we lay out the step-by-step process for opening, funding and transacting within a TreasuryDirect account. We've created it to be a helpful resource for those self-directed individuals potentially interested in increasing their return on their cash savings in this manner.

Yes, we savers are getting completely abused by our government's policies. So there's some poetic justice in using the government's own financing instruments to slightly lessen the sting of the whip.

Click here to read Part 2 of this report (free executive summary, enrollment required for full access)

NOTE: PeakProsperity.com does not have any business relationship with the TreasuryDirect program. Nor is anything in the article above to be taken as an offer of personal financial advice. As mentioned, discuss any decision to participate in TreasuryDirect with your professional financial advisor before taking action.