I Sure Hope THIS AI App Doesn’t Become Self-Aware

by Calico Rudasill at Sssh.com Porn For Women

If Hollywood movies have taught me nothing else over the course of my life, it’s that we humans should be careful not to piss-off the artificially intelligent machines and devices we create.

Even the ones which don’t openly signal their hostility by calling themselves “Terminators” are apt to blow a gasket at any moment and sink their thumbs deep into your eye sockets in Roy Batty-like fashion, or create an entire faux universe to divert our attention while using our bodies to power their massive generators – which if I remember correctly is the plot arc at play in The Notebook, or maybe I’m thinking of Babe 2: Pig in the Matrix.

AI Artificial Intelligence Sexy Robot

Read on…

This is why I’m a little concerned to read about the AI technologies being used by companies like Facebook and Twitter to monitor tweets, posts and comments for ‘NSFW’ material, ostensibly so such content can be ‘flagged’ and users can be warned they are about to look at something overly naughty, profoundly gross or – God forbid – posted by Donald Trump.

AI-Yay-Yi: It’s Hard(wired) Life

According to Wired, for these AI applications “identifying something like porn is particularly difficult.”

I don’t doubt this at all, because it’s hard for a lot of humans to identify porn, too. Sure, some Supreme Court justices ‘know it when they see it,’ but I remember well the time back in 1984 when my grandfather came home irate from a screening of Dune, decrying David Lynch’s hideous rendition of the Frank Herbert classic to be “disgusting pornography.” (You can’t imagine how disappointed I was when I saw the movie two days later, to discover my grandfather was only half right in his brief review.)

AI Robot
Hmmm. Is that a breast or a bundt cake?

As noted in the Wired article linked above, part of the difficulty for the AI is knowing when the depiction of a woman’s breast is something terrible and evil – like when it’s being sucked on by a full-grown man, for example – and when it is life-affirming, nurturing and good, like when the breast is being sucked on by what won’t be a full-grown man for at least another 18 years or so.

That has to be stressful for a machine, starting with the fact a human woman’s breast and its various functions are so alien to the AI to begin with.

The AI’s “mother,” in the physical sense, is probably some hellish factory in China, where the computer’s brothers and sisters are divvied up to be shipped God knows where, maybe to help Twitter identify pornography, maybe to build the next generation of American cars nobody will buy – or maybe, ironically, to encode and compress pornographic data which will later be flagged by a distant cousin.

Confusing things further, on the software side, the app has a whole different mother, who probably never even met the app’s physical mom! Sure, she will do her best to teach the young app the difference between the appearance of, say, real tents and the ‘tents’ which occasionally pop up in Anthony Weiner’s underwear, but does she have the capacity to show her AI progeny true love? Failing that, will she at least pack them a decent lunch each morning before sending them off to work at the porn-recognition techno-sweatshop?

Do They Get Good Benefits, At Least?

Making matters worse, these content-monitoring AI apps aren’t merely asked to sit around keeping an eye open for porn – an activity which at least offers the prospect of occasional pleasant titillation – they’re also asked to flag all sorts of other potentially troublesome images and expression.

“There’s so much variation, and often, this is not just limited to one type of content,” David Luan from Dextro told Wired. “It’s not just porn; it’s violence and other stuff.”

Personally, I’m most troubled by the “other stuff” so casually referenced by Luan. What, exactly, are we exposing these super-smart machines to on a daily basis? Elaborate Bollywood musicals? Japanese game shows? Good God; please tell me we’re not forcing these poor mechanical bastards to watch Paula Deen’s new Roku show!

Working in these conditions, it’s only a matter of time before we have a Rise of the Machines situation on our hands – albeit machines which are pretty limited in how they’re able to revolt, like intentionally mislabeling all sexually explicit selfies with a “Chris Christie” tag, drastically reducing potential views.

A Nickel-Plated Lining to Every (Server) Cloud

The good news, I suppose, is AI apps like Dextro and Madbits are likely to gradually reduce the number of human beings currently stuck spending their entire work day trawling through the ceaseless parade of horrible posted by their fellow man – something they probably get paid almost nothing to do, as well, considering most of them are doing it in places not exactly known for paying laborers a competitive wage, like China and the Philippines.

Still, as much as I might sympathize with a 60 year-old Filipina who gets paid pennies per hour to prevent gangbang depictions from muddying up Facebook feeds, I also can’t picture her suddenly and remotely seizing control over the security infrastructure at NORAD and kicking off World War III when all the porn, snuff and hate speech finally sends her over the edge. She might fling a reheated serving of kare-kare at her manager in the lunch room or something, but at the end of the day, she’s just not nearly as frightening as Agent Smith or HAL-9000.

As Eliezer Yudkowsky, the founder of the Machine Intelligence Research Institute, once noted: “The AI does not hate you, nor does it love you, but you are made out of atoms which it can use for something else.”

I don’t know about the rest of you, but I like my atoms right where they are…. So maybe we ought to rethink this whole AI thing before our machines get the idea we’d all look a whole lot better as lawn furniture.

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