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Wednesday, 25 July 2018

The White Walkers = AI

The biggest threat (or asset) to humanity's existence is accelerating towards us at an enormous pace. We are already seeing examples of these beings (that we created to help us) in action all around; on devices we use and in our supermarkets. Pretty soon these creatures will be taking over thousands of jobs across the world, performing them at a pace far better than humans. Yes, I'm talking about Artificial Intelligence.

As a self-professed 'Game of Thrones' fanatic, I am able to use the show in order to see its parallels with our world. For those unfamiliar; the white walkers are a race of humanoid creatures who were created by another species known as 'the children of the forest' in order to protect the children from humankind, who were destroying trees and natural resources. (Sound familiar?) Unfortunately, this plan backfired and the children and humans ended up needing to work together to destroy the evil white walkers, who ended up wanting to take over everything for themselves.

The most recent season of GOT ended with the white walkers smashing through the wall that separated them and humankind and entering Westeros. But like AI, we don't really know what white walkers want or what they will do. Maybe they are the good guys and humans are the shit ones? After all, humans in both GOT and real life bicker over power, status, money, religion, relationships. Humans (in our world) have destroyed a great deal of the planet, including causing many species to go extinct. We are the biggest, most dangerous and sick virus in the world, not to mention extremely  anthropocentric.

Of course we will see ourselves as the virtuous heroes and the other species as the 'villains.' But in reality (and according to this meme), the white walkers have actually done a bunch of good in comparison to humans. The Night King has raised people from the dead, adopted unwanted babies, and has indeed united the free folk with the rest of Westeros. Many of the characters in GOT are some of the most vile, disgusting and heinous kinds of people; Ramsay Bolton, Joffrey Lannister, Cersei Lannister, Walder Frey, Roose Bolton, Littlefinger. Even 'good' characters like Daenerys, Arya and Jon Snow have done some awful things in the name of what they believe to be right.

Humans are deeply self-centered; we see our world views as the 'correct' view and want everyone else to behave in ways we think are right. Each and every one of us has different opinions about a range of things, based on our experiences and upbringing. Most of us will struggle to admit that we may be wrong, or that what we think is subjective and that not everyone views things in the same way.

But will a super intelligent and fast-paced artificially intelligent robot have any time for that petty
nonsense? I doubt it. Maybe the next stage in our evolution is to let go of our petty differences, from religion and politics to what the best pizza topping is. Maybe AI will save us all from ourselves, either by destroying us and taking over or working with us to create a better world.

Humans are evolved beings in comparison to, say, a fly. We view ourselves as more advanced, complex and interesting. But next to an artificially intelligence robot, we are the flies with all our petty arrogant nonsense and pre-historic beliefs about the universe somehow being created by some sentient power just for us who is obsessed with our genitalia and whether or not we eat pork. And maybe in Season 8, the white walkers will in fact end the petty bullshit of greedy humans, for better or for worse, just as AI will come to sort us lot out in years to come.

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Credits to Thoughty2.

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I'm Zarina Macha, an author, blogger, and musician from London. I write about stuff on the internet 'cos having opinions is fun -- if you want to join the games, please note your thoughts below. All thoughts welcome, even if they're mean (just no spam links please -- can't tell you what a liability those are to remove).
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