The System Shock scenario - Could it be real sooner than we might think?


Just saw these incredible videos what robots and AI can do already (courtesy: Boston Dynamics):

Now I thinking about what a mobile phone could do 20 years ago and what my iPhone can do today.

I’m wondering how these machines will evolve in the next 20 years or even 50 years.

Could a System Shock/Skynet scenario turn into reality sooner than we might think?


The singularity is near!


I’ve been listening to a lot of stuff about AI lately, and it doesn’t seem like we really have a roadmap of how to get to SHODAN or Daedalus levels any time soon. Getting there without the AI turning into SHODAN or Daedalus seems like a pretty big problem too.

Between the NSA, income inequality, giant corporations controlling so many aspects of my life, social unrest, pollution, VR, and the complete absorption of our lives into the internet, I do feel like I live in a cyberpunk dystopia already though (for better and worse).

If you take out the big conspiracies, benevolent dictator AIs, and genetic mutants, Deus Ex was pretty much dead-on.


Yes, it’s a scary thought.

I’d also say a SHODAN-like AI is very far away.

But then again, I am thinking of how wrong I was about self-driving cars. If you’d asked me a year or two ago when cars will be able to drive on their own, I’d have estimated it would at least take another 30 or 50 years.

Until I found out, it is real already. I was totally surprised that the technology is already working.

Then there is Deep Blue beating Kasparov and Wilson winning Jeopardy…

You get my point: It’s getting so much faster than many of us believe.


Well, Ray Kurzweil predicts the singularity will be in 2045, which should be in most of our lifetimes.

I still haven’t figured out if I think Kurzweil is a crazy person or not yet, though.

Either way, the idea of a world where humans aren’t the most important beings is potentially terrifying. So many ways that could go. Ideally, I guess, we would cross the threshold ourselves and digitize and/or enhance our brains to join our techno-overlords in a hyper-intelligent utopia.

Or they could just decide to squash us like bugs.


When I saw the guy pushing over the robot in the video, my first thought was: What happens if one day they start fighting back.


This here is really a must-read.


Well, as AI becomes more complex, it will be able to learn things much like we do, so a simple AI may become exponentially more intelligent real quickly. Then it becomes even easier to create even more complex AI using the first one as base, or even creating new AI through the first AI.


But then when I watch Stan win the US Open, I am wondering how long it will take for a robot to win a tennis match. There is really a lot of calculations you need to do, in terms of calculating the position, speed, strength, and angle of the ball vs your racket etc.

It probably can be done with a self-learning and self-adaptive algorithm some day. But it’s still going to take a while.

And there is a point that I think Sam Harris once made: Wilson may beat you in Jeopardy, but he’ll lose if you play tic-tac-toe. Of course, this is an oversimplification since one could simply extend Wilson’s software, but the point I think Harris makes is that for the foreseeable future, we are going to create highly specialized AIs that are very unlikely to transcend their field of “expertise” and become our new overlords.



Not directly related, but also very scary if you ask me.



There is NO remote control here…


And this one is from 8 years ago. I find this pretty scary.

What will those robots do in 10, 20, 30 years? We better start thinking about it now.


At the end of the video, this guy predicts the SHODAN scenario pretty accurately…


And in other news, there might in fact be life on Tau Ceti V:



Yeah, it’s Paul Neurath occupying that space all to himself.

His power is weakened though and he fears discovery, which might explain why modern Im Sims suck. They’re no longer incredibly entertaining and not distracting humanity from making progress via unadulterated, unrivalled entertainment. Keeping us complacent. Hopefully, UA can change that but that’s wishful thinking.


Super-interesting discussion: Sam Harris and Max Tegmark on the future of super-human intelligence and the challenges of “enslaving the Gods”:


Anyone read any Kurzweil while we’re at it? Super interested in the topic. Food for thought.