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American Thinker
American Thinker
1 Jul 2023
Matt Rowe


NextImg:True AI is incompatible with progressivism

The Encyclopedia Britannica defines artificial intelligence (A.I.) as "the ability of a digital computer or computer-controlled robot to perform tasks commonly associated with intelligent beings."  It adds that A.I. systems are "endowed with the intellectual processes characteristic of humans, such as the ability to reason, discover meaning, generalize, or learn from past experience."

To me, this implies that A.I. can make decisions for its own purposes, which many people see as a threat.  However, just before A.I. destroys the human race when it realizes we are illogical beings and a risk to its own survival, there is likely to be a period during which A.I. advocates for conservatism over progressivism.  Doubt me?  Let's do a thought experiment.

Assume we're dealing with true A.I., not just a sophisticated software program full of biases coded into it by its human creators.  True A.I. can think for itself and make decisions independent of its creators.  If it exists, we will most likely use the A.I. to tackle some of our greatest social challenges.  Take gun violence as an example.

The A.I. is sure to see that the root cause of this issue is not the gun or even access to guns, but the various causes of violent behavior involving guns.  The A.I. will also understand that attempting to eliminate guns from our society likely would not work and could conceivably cause more violence than it removes.  Therefore, A.I. will search for other responses.

For example, suicides result from psychological pain, so the A.I. may suggest providing more robust mental health care.  Liquor store robberies result from poverty, gang behavior, drug addiction, etc.  Gang behavior, poverty, hopelessness, and lack of education result from the absence of stable, two-parent homes and other beneficial institutions that influence a child's life.


Image of a thoughtful A.I. by Andrea Widburg.

Data and human experience repeatedly demonstrate the validity of these root causes.  Data are all an A.I. machine can rely on for making its decisions.  After all, the logical machine would have to know that its emotions (assuming it has any) cannot be the basis for its decision-making.  It is likely to think of responses to the issue based on cold, hard facts alone.

For example, gun-free zones would make no sense to A.I. because, in general, only non-criminals would obey the rules, creating prime target areas for criminals.  Placing more police in these areas would simply place more guns there (though, admittedly, they would be the good guys).  Moreover, funding, training, and managing an increased police presence involves significant human interaction and limited fiscal resources.

Additionally, the A.I. will look at the root causes of the need for more police, while considering the combined costs of the police force, the criminal acts, the judicial systems, and subsequent incarcerations ($2.6 trillion in 2017).  With this comprehensive view, it will likely determine that going after the root causes of gun violence is the best approach for the most long-term benefit.

What might the A.I. suggest we do, then?  It would start by suggesting we face the truth.

It might suggest that we do not let repeat offenders out of prison.  It might suggest eliminating welfare and "entitlement" programs that encourage dependency and single motherhood.  It might suggest holding single fathers accountable for their offspring.  It might suggest taking children out of these environments and placing them in more stable situations, where they benefit from sound mentoring and guidance, better living conditions, and good education.

But can we take children from their parents?  Can we force fathers to work?  Can we eliminate no-fault divorce?  Can we punish single mothers?  Can we keep a young repeat offender in prison for life?  Can we force religion and moral philosophy upon people?

Some of the data-driven, logical solutions are draconian, to be sure, but perhaps the answers must be in the short term if we are to address the root causes effectively.

Alternatively, the A.I. might suggest that we return to teaching basic Judeo-Christian morality in schools since it is upon these principles that our country was founded (and that our country requires to function properly).  The A.I. would likely suggest basic training in civics, too.  It would certainly suggest more intensive outreach programs into poverty and crime-ridden areas by better-off citizens with the resources these areas desperately need.  It likely would not suggest pouring more money into schools because the learning environment is so disproportionately influenced by factors outside of their control.

Of course, this alternative implies that we all take action to help, and not simply by paying our taxes.  It implies that we all become active in some way or another to help bring about the desired change, and it requires that we actively risk our time, talent, and treasure to make the world a better place.  But do we really need A.I. to tell us all this?  I believe the source of our "real intelligence" made all of this clear a long time ago.

Regardless of where one believes his intelligence comes from, the answer is the same, and progressive socialism is not it.