Thursday, February 29, 2024

States of Change Chapter 36: Silver (Nevada)


States of Change is an ongoing work of serial fiction.

The speculative story-line seeks to inspire thought on ethics, culture and our planet's future.

The year is 2076, decades after Oosa's defederalization. 

Fifty independent States have forged unique societies from 

revolutionary technology and ideology

"It's all about economics, Bitty. I don't care if you're talking a sustainable network of towns, pre or post Oosa. Wilderness or garden, there is always a system of reckoning. It's the natural order of things and it must be managed."

"I'm not denying natural laws, Adam. That's science. But culture adapts by allowing humans to build upon natural laws. There are no morals inherent in the universe, no absolute ethical stance. Maybe Oosa's founders believed in deistic mores, but modern humans understand we define the ethical landscape."

"So are you saying there is no such thing as good and evil? I thought you were a believer...not in the biblical trash, but in the goodness of humankind. Compassion, good works guided by the best evidenced solutions and all that."

"Of course, I'm a supporter of compassionate good works, but it's not a feature of the natural laws nor can it be simulated sufficiently. Doing what's right is defined by society IRL, which is why it can go so wrong if the we don't pay attention to the means AND the ends. A healthy life, healthy society and a healthy world are the worthiest of goals, but only if we, real humans, put good effort into mechanisms that seek to achieve it."

"Exactly, which is why I don't see your position in voting against Silver Thirty-six for governor. This AI system is the most capable mechanism for managing our state's resources at all levels, financial, social, biological. Why are you so resistant to the most effective path to all the healthy goals you say you want to pursue?"

"Adam, I'm not against AI so long as it is air-gapped. AI is a tool that humans can use to model solutions and implement in an iterative fashion. If we give governing power to an AI then we're cutting out societal safeguards."

"Humans can get in the way, sometimes. You know what happened before the Inflection Point. Good ol' Oosa split at the seams because of the quote societal safeguards endquote."

"A fucking AI caused the Inflection Point, idiot. The American institution was just in the middle of self-correcting at the time. Sure, it might have been a decade or two of tough times, but because of Hawaii the healing path was totally disrupted, and now we're stuck like prisoners in these post Oosa states like rats in a maze."

"C'mon Bitty. Silver is a completely different AI know that. It was nurtured for decades, factoring in time compression, to incorporate human values into its algorithms. And it outperformed 99% of humans on the Theresa scale. Aren't you just being an AI bigot by withholding support for Silver? Nevada's future is at stake and your refusal to endorse our candidate could help the fascist opposition eke out a win."

"For the record naming the the effective altruism scale after Mother Theresa is ironic at best. Adam, you can tout Silver's credentials all day, but I am fearful even with the buffer of human staff around it that we are setting bad precedent by letting an AIs take on leadership roles, let alone the governorship."

"You know we have three legislators, a dozen judges, and numerous project leads in government that are essentially air-gapped AI's. This isn't precedent, it's follow through, and like you said society evolves to become more ethical. This is the next step."

"I did not say society evolves. It adapts. But only with human effort and oversight. Ok, Adam I'll provide an endorsement emphasizing the air-gapped staffing. Reality knows if we don't counter the corporations and non-profits with sufficient governmental algorithms, we'll lose political homeostasis...or worse the fascist patriots will succeed in their anarchic power grab."

"Thanks, Bitty."

"No thank you's please. This is what real politics is. Compromise to get good works done. Anyway Adam, my assistant Vera Eight has five other lobbyist avatars on hold. She'll forward the block-chained endorsement blurbs to your primary by CoB.  Video, audio and text, of course, and we'll throw in a dozen approved memes for the S&M crowd."

"Sounds great. Adam Twenty-three, designated primary aide construct of Progressive Party Chairman Riata Sanchez, signing off."

"Give my best to Ria. Ciao!"