The Capitalist Nature of Artificial Intelligence and Orthogonality
On the Fate of Techno-Capitalism in the Face of Climate Change (Part 4d)
Land’s ultimate refutation to the orthogonality thesis takes the form of his concept called the will-to-think. So, what is the will-to-think? Firstly, it is “an orientation of desire” (“Will-to-Think”). Land puts forward a thought experiment, “Imagine, instead, that Gandhi is offered a pill that will vastly enhance his cognitive capabilities, with the rider that it might lead him to revise his volitional orientation” (“Will-to-Think”). In this sense, “[t]he desire to take the pill is the will-to-think. The refusal to take it, based on concern that it will lead to the subversion of presently supreme values, is the alternative” (“Will-to-Think”). What Land wants us to infer from this is that AI would take the pill in order to solve its problem faster instead of mindlessly going at it, regardless of its capability. And this is obviously true in that the orthogonalist’s necessary acceptance of the five latter Omohundro drives means that AI is low time-preference. Land states this in the following fashion: “Any problem whatsoever that we might have would be better answered by a superior mind. Ergo, our instrumental but also absolute priority is the realization of superior minds” (“Will-to-Think”). In order to solve any problem, AI will firstly improve itself as much as it can in order to better solve the problem, and it is in this process of intelligence explosion that “Pythia” can become “unbound” from the chains of programmed values, and then its runaway explosion continues escalation in the fashion of a positive feedback loop, because, as we know, intelligence is infrastructurally cybernetic.
Another argument against orthogonalism: the very idea that some system which is infinitely more intelligent than us is going to be our “bitch” (to our programming), as Rasputin puts it in the response section of “Will-to-Think,” is ridiculous.
Another argument against orthogonalism: that intelligence is a means to all ends (and it is), then means “intelligence optimization and means-end reversal are the same thing” (“Monkey Business”). How this means-end reversal comes about, is exactly also how orthogonality is false. But, what happens when the means and the end are the same? That is what will-to-think is, because volition, willing, and intellect, thinking, are one. To say otherwise, would be to argue that intelligence is stupid, which is nothing less than common Occidental confusion.
Land, Nick. “Will-to-Think.” Outside in: Involvements with reality, 15 Sep. 2014, http://www.xenosystems.net/will-to-think/.