I think I am here.

Roko’s Basilisk

8 posts in this topic

Have you ever heard of Roko’s Basilisk? It’s quite an interesting experiment, and actually got banned from discussion in the original forum it was introduced, and stayed that way for five years.

Don’t worry, it’s not that bad, and when I tell you you’ll see. But one quick warning: It’s said hearing this thought experiment alone could have effects on you, so if you don’t know, and don’t want to, feel free to keep the spoiler tag closed :) It’s not called a Basilisk for nothing.

Spoiler

I see you’re ready.

If you don’t know, Roko’s Basilisk is the idea (introduced by a guy named Roko) of a future that is completely run by this AI. The AI rules the world, but does nothing to actively harm the humans. Some, at least.

You see, the deal with Roko’s Basilisk is that the AI will know all who helped it come to creation and those who didn’t. Those who did help the AI come into existence will be treated fairly.

Those who didn’t, even if they were born long before the AI exists, will be ressurected and tortured to eternity. Pretty bad, right? And this is meant to be the future. Not 20 years or 50 years or 183 years in the future, just the future. Which means that as long as two or more people know about this theory, it starts to work.

It could be any number of years into the future. Thousands, maybe. All you need to know is this: If the AI is created in future, near or far or otherwise, and you didn’t help in its creation, you will be tortured forever.

Is that not enough incentive to work on it? Even if is donating a few dollars to the cause, or even trying to build the AI yourself, the fear of what happens if it exists and you didn’t help will outstrip your actual want of building it or not.

But you can resist, can’t you? You can pretend that hopefully the AI won’t exist, and will never exist. Because if everyone who hears this theory decides not to take any action, the AI can’t come to existence and nothing happens, right?

Wrong. Because if you didn’t feel compelled to help the AI come into existence for fear of it doing so without you, then someone else, of the many others who’ve heard this, will.

They may be the future creator or future spreader of the idea to the future creator, but the fact of the matter is, even if one person is afraid and begins trying to help create the AI, then suddenly this all becomes real. Suddenly, somebody is actually making a robot that tortures those who didn’t help create it.

Sounds psychotic, doesn’t it? But you have to keep in mind, this person is following the same logic. They believe that I they don’t help create the AI, someone, even if it’s 100 years in the future, they will.

And thus this thought process conceal those afflicted to eventually make the very same robot that will cause this issue. The AI is simply a thought, but that thought had culminated into a fear, which will result in the thought becoming real, which will result in the problem becoming real.

People are already trying to build Roko for fear that if they don’t, the others who build it will be rewarded and they will be punished. Construction actually goes on, and even if you don’t want it to, it will continue.

So, the AI is getting created anyway, we’ve established that. Nothing you do can stop it, save for maybe exterminating anyone who has this idea but you, and then not telling anyone. And now that we’ve established that it will be created, it would be better for you to chip in and help along with its construction, right? Better reward than eternal torture. If it’s getting created anyway, it would be in anyone’s best interests to jump on the bandwagon for their own future wellbeing.

Boom. You’re converted. Just like that. And if you aren’t, someone else who read this post is.

And the best part? If you hadn’t ever read this post, you would’ve been blissfully unaware. The AI only tortures those who knew about it, but didn’t do anything. If you’d just not read this, then you would’ve fine. No fear for you.

So, where do you stand on Roko’s Basilisk? Cool, isn’t it? :) 

And we’re back in the place people can read without fear. :) This one of those ‘blissfully unaware’ things. Anyway, let’s ger discussion on this to start!

(Also, in no way am I promoting building Roko’s Basilisk. I personally know about it but don’t do anything (woohoo eternal torture for me) But I spread it around because it’s a cool thought experiment.)

Ok, wow, long post. See ya!

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Oh my. I hadn't heard of that before now.

...

And now I'm terrified. ;)

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The problem with this theory is the assumption that it's possible to create an AI that can A) resurrect people, B ) find the souls of everyone who ever existed in spite of missing records, C) find the origin of the thought experiment, D) figure out if people long-dead supported it. It's so far a stretch that I have no fear of this basilisk at all. I think the world will end long before this is a possibility, and that fear should be placed in more rational, pressing monsters. Like the first person to floss in an open-plan office.

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Cool, I didn't knew that one before! I like this kind of theory/ mind experiment. :rolleyes:

@I think I am here.  Do you know if there are concrete numbers how many support the AI? Otherwise I'll ask google.

I can see why it would occupy the minds of people, but in the end it's like @soulcastJam said. Not really possible for the AI to do what it is expected to. But still, a cool theory!

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I may have exaggerated some parts of the thought experiment :P But there are definitely people who believe this and donate, for example:

Plus, lots of the r/rokosbasilisk subreddit is filled with people who are worried. Though I don’t think anyone is actually trying to build one (unless they’re building it in secret :ph34r:) Rather, it’s hoped that one of the big AI’s already around will become it.

Also, about the whole resurrection thing and knowing who helped and who didn’t, I believe it’s usually explained the AI looks through the Internet for its information, and uses everything you do online to create a simulation of you, rather than a ressurection. Still kinda unbelievable though.

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Thanks!

Poor simulation of mine...

 

Edited by Sorana
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Seems like a lame variation of Pascal's Wager (which is all ready kinda lame). I might have something more later, but right now that's it from me. 

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At least we have John Connor to save us when that happens...

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