I’m sitting in a clothing store while my wife shops writing this on my phone, wondering if AI or robots could ever solve this particular problem. But the people watching is good and I always wonder what people are thinking as they shop. If you haven’t done it, stop next time in a shop or a park or a grocery store and just look at people. We are a bizarre species and it is easy to see, if we take a minute, how companies manipulate the masses; attraction, branding, interest, etc…
My thoughts today trend to marketing, fake news, lies and other means of sway. Lobbying and marketing spend billions a year but even with that level of spend and some insights into big data, it is still a one eye-closed throwing darts type situation. When AI reaches its potential, it will be helping sway and control with precision like surgery with robotic arms and lasers.
I see a future more chaotic, not less. Evolution is messy. Eventually these next gen AIs will get so sophisticated that everything will be precision cuts to craft society and create movements exactly like the key-holders want it to be. The reason I believe this will lead to more mess and not less is simply that AIs will be controlled by different groups looking to assert power.
A second aspect is that human nature isn’t ‘agreeable’, we actually like the battle. We root for teams (football to politics), we align with causes to find meaning and how we define ourselves.
AIs aren’t smart enough now to pick this up about humans yet (they aren’t self-aware), but the key-holders are. And as they tune and train the AIs to take advantage, the ‘fake news’ from the 2016 election will look like baby play. The true masters of manipulation are like the House at a casino. To the player it seems like they are winning and losing, which is required to cement behavior via intermittent reward. However, it is all an illusion as the house knows the odds and knows that they can see the ‘game’ from a whole other perspective. To them, it isn’t a game, it is cash machine that spits out exactly what the odds predict.
In 10 years AI will be running the Casino for the power brokers and we will be the marks playing bit parts in the grand illusion of society free will.