Building gods: Inductive proof that AI will be friendly
Judging from recent hardware advances we are quickly approaching (or have passed, depending on what has yet to be released to the press) the end of Moore's law of transistor doubling. The problem artificial intelligence-smiths have faced since this revelation is what to do with it all. As a consultant/scientist-in-training I feel that it is my duty to be insufferably vague: we now or soon will have the basic parts to build a human comparable artificial intelligence within the next decade.
That said, should we be arming ourselves to face off with Earth's inheritors? I don't think so. Here is why.
Computers are notoriously efficient in space and resource drain, but they are likewise relatively difficult to prepare when compared with our own reproductive faculties. This is fine, as they require comparably inexpensive maintenance - hot switchable components are the best advance in interchangeable parts since 18th century gunsmiths realized they could repair things easier if they made extra parts to specific specifications. Imagine turning off your kidney and swapping it out on the way to the shopping mall; bad idea for humans. Thus computers are effectively immortal in this way.
This leads to an interesting notion. Computers, being immortal, are unlikely to desire reproduction save to have another sentient being with a similar outlook to talk to. A computer would more likely be interested in amplifying its own capabilities. The resource draw in this case is very small.
But why build such a thing if there is nothing to be gained for us? Consider this: If the goal of the computer is to grow in the way that computers do (more and more intelligent) and our goal is to grow in the way that we do (learning what we can while we can, and enjoying all the other fruits of life during that time) then the proper course of action from the computer's perspective is to manage our affairs for us and free us up to do things like explore space, colonize other worlds, make art and music, etc. Solving the world's difficulties is merely a hardware problem - dump enough processors into the computer and it will do the rest. After that point, most of our technology can be developed by computer as well.
But we, as easily self-replicating and relatively intelligent organisms, are ourselves Von Neumann's probes. We are in our own way more stable, though not as hearty, than silicon. Computer hardware currently does not self-repair. When and if it does, its resource drain will become comparable to our own. Thus it is in the computer's best interests to keep us around doing repair and exploration work. It is in the computer's best interests to keep us unbelievably happy, a relatively minor task in comparison to all that the computer will be capable of.
We would merely have to ask ourselves whether we are more interested in seeing things with our own eyes as pampered slaves to master control brains, or doing it all the hard way and risk wiping ourselves out in the meanwhile due to our own ignorance and insecurities.