ALICIA FLORRICK: Mr. Dudewitz, are we in danger of A.I.?The good wife, Season 7, Episode 5, “DRIVEN”
ANTHONY DUDEWITZ: I think its getting smarter every day. Learning our boundaries and its boundaries. It’s evolving. I think there will be an adjustment period after it takes over. But eventually…
FLORRICK: Wait, I’m sorry to interrupt. What do you mean by “takes over?”
DUDEWITZ: The singularity. When the system is capable of recursive self-improvement, when it is better at recalibrating, expanding and spawning than we are. The brief blip of humanity’s reign will reach its inevitable conclusion…I’m just saying, they won’t have much use for us.
The above exchange occurs during a deposition in which Florrick is questioning Dudewitz, who was responsible for designing the driverless software being tested by a fictional Tesla doppelganger. A version of the test car is involved in an accident in which the corporation claims one of its employees failed to override the software when it did not operate as programmed.
Dudewitz is a modern day Victor Frankenstein. Except his monster is not made of body parts. His creation consists solely of zeros and ones. However, his testimony becomes much more relevant if you stop thinking about artificial intelligence as a mechanical substitute for the human brain. It becomes a metaphor for today’s body politic when you view the adjective “artificial” as the opposite of “actual.”
To paraphrase Jeff Foxworthy, you might be an example of artificial intelligence if…
- …you run for the U.S. Senate from Georgia but take advantage of a homestead exemption in Texas which you must claim as your principal residence. (Herschel Walker)
- …you compare the Russian invasion of Ukraine to asylum seekers on the U.S. southern border. (Marjorie Taylor Greene)
- …you oppose forgiving $10,000 in student loans after supporting forgiveness of COVID relief loans which totaled in the hundreds of thousands of dollars for some individuals. (GOP Governors, Senators and Representatives)
- …you tell Pennsylvania voters to go to the polls before Sunday’s Steelers’ home game on their bye weekend. (Mehmet Oz)
- …you advocate establishing a mandatory retirement age of 70 for the president of the United States, but never mentioned it when TFG ran for re-election at age 74. (Local newspaper columnist Howard Pine)
- …you run for governor on the platform “Keep Florida Free” but punish businesses that do not support your policies. (Ron DeSantis)
- …you do not understand how you can lose the Arizona governorship after telling former McCain supporters to get lost and mock the 82 year old victim of a violent attack in his home. (Kari Lake)
- …you admit TFG was largely responsibility for the January 6th violent insurrection but would still vote for him if he is the 2024 Republican nominee. (Mitch McConnell, Mike Pompeo, Bill Barr, etc., etc., etc.)
- …you run on a promise of bringing down inflation, reducing crime and securing the southern border, then announce the day after winning control of the House your priority is impeaching Biden administration officials and Hunter Biden’s laptop. (Kevin McCarthy and the GOP Freedom Caucus)
- …and finally, to be non-partisan, you think your party lost House seats in competitive districts because the candidates were not progressive enough. (Extreme left-wing Democrats)
Anthony Dudewitz may be right. These purveyors of artificial intelligence have made it pretty clear. 2020 was a learning experience. They are capable of recursive self-improvement. They will have a better understanding of voters’ boundaries and their own. They will adjust. And when their singularity arrives, they will have little use for us.
For what it’s worth.