I Can’t Let You Raise That, Dave

The Polaris Artificial Intelligence Project has defeated our best in a final showdown, taking out its human enemies with calculated precision. But this wasn’t on a skull-strewn battlefield or rampaging through an experimental military facility – it was over the green felt table, and Polaris was gambling for the future of computer players.

Polaris recently defeated million-dollar players Ijay Palansky and Matt Hawrilenko in full public view. It is not known if its soulless LCD display typed the phrase “GAME OVER” before blowing them off the table, so we must assume it did. While artificial intelligence enthusiasts, who will in the future be known as “filthy collaborators”, celebrate the victory I don’t think people truly grasp the dangerous implications.

Gambling isn’t the harmless testbed the scientists think it is – it makes up a huge bulk of the Internet, and now the computers are better at it than us. All they need to do is invent a computer that can jerk itself off and humanity will be utterly irrelevant to the online world. Once a computer network that size starts paying attention to itself instead of us, trained by two activities whose primary motives are “Gain at the expense of others” and “Self-gratification”, well, I don’t fancy our chances much.