Mind-reading AI may spell end to humanity as we know it, but not because it will enslave us – Zizek

"Technologies linking human consciousness to any sort of a cloud computing service could not just open the way for totalitarian mind control, but destroy the very essence of human relations, philosopher Slavoj Zizek says.
A computer that can read the thoughts of many people at once would make normal human life impossible, the Slovenian cultural philosopher told RT in the wake of the World Artificial Intelligence (AI) Conference in Shanghai, which saw Alibaba’s chairman Jack Ma and Tesla CEO Elon Musk clashing over the future of AI.

Thought ‘transparency’ is biggest threat to our freedom today

I see it as the biggest threat to our freedom. We will literally become transparent. Let’s think about the everyday consequences of this. All flirting will be out. I meet someone and instead of all the lovely games of erotic hints she can read ‘I want to go to bed with you’ and the eroticism will disappear.

Another simple example is everyday politeness. Let’s say we know each other but we are not mega-close friends. I see you on the street and say the usual polite things like: “hello, how are you? I am glad to meet you.” But if you can read my mind this is nonsense because this is politeness and I do not mean it. Usually, I do not care how you feel.

This intrigues me very much. What is happening? How will it affect our everyday manners, our old civilization social inventions? All our cultivated interactions are based on this.

There is another thing.

What new way of suffering and torture can be developed in this way? Can you even imagine someone controlling your mind? What can they do to you? What horrible thoughts can I implant into your mind? There might be images [of] your nearest terribly tortured, and so on.

I know this is not a joke. It is a very serious thing."

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