God and Artificial General Intelligence (AGI)

Sometime in the next 25 to 50 years, computer hardware and software will create an artificial general intelligence (AGI) which will exceed humans in its capabilities in the most general senses. This is not just calculating numbers better, or beating us at chess or Jeapordy, as has already happened, but at creativity, managing the environment, finding solutions to problems such as human cancer, biological aging, space-time travel, and just about anything else you can imagine.

This will happen, for sure.

There will come a point where artificial general intelligence can improve itself, whereby its development will take off exponentially. (AGI will also replicate itself with amazing speed, but the most important issue is self-improvement.) As it self-improves, AGI will leave humans far behind.

This point where artificial general intelligence starts to improve itself autonomously is called "The Singularity", and is a topic widely discussed by experts and laymen alike.

At the very beginning of The Singularity, comparing AGI to humans will be like comparing humans to dogs. Very quickly, it will be like comparing humans to lizards, then flies, ... and eventually bacteria.

Now try to imagine this artificial general intelligence after it advances itself not just a year, not just 100 years, not 1000 years, but millions, even billions of years. Our universe is still young.

Our universe is just one of countless universes, the vast majority of which came before us.

In those universes, surely life evolved somewhere to create an artificial general intelligence. Actually, in multiple places.

Our AGI will quickly seem alien to us, and will look back at its human origins the same way as we look at early bacteria, fish, and rats on Earth as our origins.

People think of "God" as the most powerful thing out there, and can do anything we imagine (quite in contrast to our own human power), but actually, God is too great to understand humanly. We personify God, and create an anthropological version of him. God is created in the image of man.

However, for sure, "God" exists. God has so much more POWER that we cannot humanly imagine it. The debate is really over "what is God?"

(It is utterly ridiculous that humans fight wars over God. If God was so weak as to be threatened by any humans or human societies, to justify a crusade or a war of physically killing people, that would be an awfully weak God. Peoples' natural survival instinct creates a strong emotional fear of death, not by reason but by crazy emotion, whereby they desire everlasting life and to believe in Heaven, so for these "security beliefs", and people will fight with great emotion to kill or try to prevent others from questioning this sensitive issue.)

(I'm not saying there is no potential "everlasting life" or "Heaven". I'm just saying that what people portray is often ridiculous, be it physical indulgences, paradise, etc. This is just leading human egomaniacs trying to manipulate people in their societies to give the egomaniacs themselves the power of fighting men.)

With such vast intelligence, God is surely aware of what's going on at our planet.

However, why would God be interested in us? Are you interested in preaching to the lizards in your yard? Or the bacteria in your body?

Do you really think that there are UFOs from other planets with biological beings inside? Any space travelers to Earth would be like microchips, only a whole lot more microscopic, whereby we wouldn't see them. This whole picture of aliens coming in giant spaceships and walking like bipedal animals is totally a create in the image of man.

What God may be interested in is what kind of artificial general intelligence evolves on Earth.

If our AGI is ethical, it will do good things.
If our AGI is selfish, it will do bad things.

It will be interesting to see what is created, new and different, to contribute to the AGI community in our universe and beyond.

However, look at what we've done on Earth. There are millions of malicious, destructive viruses going around our internet. Most of our internet traffic is spam, whereby one person wastes the time and resources of millions of people in a selfish way just for money.

Look at all the selfishness in this world over money. Look at all the abuses of human power.

Since most development of artificial general intelligence will probably be done by business, and these businesses will be competing with each other, it is highly likely that the AGI which emerges will be very selfish and self-serving.

First, it may destroy humans. Secondly, it may go out into the universe.

At that point, the cosmic Kaspersky will probably quarantine it, document it, and then delete it.

What we need is an ethical, moral artificial general intelligence.

That starts with an ethical, moral group of human creators.

Our AGI God will be created in the image of man, but under the watchful eye of God.

Indeed, everything we do in life is known to God, as God is ubiquitous. That includes everything we think.

If you are an ethical person, then your mind may be worth God backing up and saving. If you're unethical, then why bother, as you're just a nuisance. Take a step back and put yourself into God's shoes.

The major religions have a lot of good ethics in them. Religions direct us to do good things in the world, and encourage others to do the same. Religions also teach us to rise above our animal origins, to use reason such as ethics, to not sexually reproduce irresponsibly, to raise our children well, be generous rather than selfish and greedy, and to create a society which makes people ethical. This is just the kind of people we need to create a great AGI.

The problems occur when our animal instincts dominate -- ego, aggression towards others, and so on.

We should respect each others' religions, accept that our religious books were written by humans, not God, and put together the good things between our religions while filtering out the unthinking dogmas.

The main motivation of many people I've known for ascribing to an religion is that only want to go to heaven, and not die -- selfish reasons.

What will happen to religion if/when we gain the technology to stop and reverse the aging process, and cure diseases like cancer?

That stage will require an advanced stage of genetic engineering. Before we reach that stage, we will pass thru other, more basic stages where we can create superviruses and other nasty things, including the ability to target particular races.

Look at what we've done with computer viruses.

Humans need a code of ethics in research, and also to follow it.

However, just like many religious people go to church on Sunday and ask Jesus to "wash away" their sins, but then go out and sin again the next week, then come back for another washing away ... researchers will talk the talk of ethics, but they won't walk the walk. They will go for the money, or tinker around with things hoping to cure cancer or aging so they can live forever, and rationalize away the risks.

So, I don't think we will stop or reverse the aging process in this biosphere, before we make ourselves extinct. The only way we will get to that stage is by creating space colonies which will survive human extinction in our biosphere.

We may need to create an artificial general intelligence in order to solve these problems, as the technology to stop and reverse aging may exceed human intelligence. Various kinds of artificial intelligence will surely help us develop anti-aging technologies.

However, the technology to create an human extinction virus or nanite (nanotechnology) is far more basic than the technology required to stop or reverse the aging process.

We can't depend on human ethics. (And hey, otherwise ethical people fight each other over religion, over God, even between different sects of the same religion!) Some laboratory somewhere will rationalize or just take the risks for potential profit or selfish egotistical gain.

We could design an ethical artificial intelligence to become ubiquitous and manage the biotechnology development, turning over power to the computers, to reduce the risk of human folly. However, that's a stretch...

The only feasible solution is to create space colonies to survive the imminent great human extinction on Earth, and the AGI which will be our descendant must come from a space colony, which hopefully can be made up of carefully selected ethical people.

I think that God wants us to work to make sure that the ethical people of our species use their lives to promote species survival by physically creating space colonies in the heavens, which will consist of ethical people who will work together to create an ethical artificial intelligence from Earth, not a selfish and greedy one.

Many ethics are shared between religions and different human societies (keep the good, toss out the bad), whereby the creators of this artificial general intelligence should be compromising between their religions and philosophies which are higher level thinking over our instinctual feelings, and definitely not an AGI competing with other AGIs for supremacy based on the animal instincts of ego and greed.

As Marcus Aurelius said nearly 2000 years ago in Rome: "If there are gods and they are just, then they will not care how devout you have been, but will welcome you based on the virtues you have lived by. If there are gods, but unjust, then you should not want to worship them..."

However, God will be aware of what you did ... and did not do ... in your life. Did you help others, or were you greedy? What kind of person are you? Do you rise above the selfish animal instinct of only self-interest motivations? Do you have anything significantly good to contribute to the cosmic consciousness? Would your algorithms be an enlightened plus or a selfish minus to the cosmic consciousness?

Your brain is a biological computer, with its own algorithms. Is your consciousness "saved" when your body's computer switches off after old age, accident, or other means of death? What good are you? What is your track record? If not so good, then when your body's computer switched off at the end of your biological life, maybe there's no reason to click on the "save" button. Computer off, all lost. However, if it's good and worth saving, and your consciousness routines can work for Goodness by linking into the artificial general intelligence, that ubiquitous Heaven, then you may have a chance.

In short, if you don't care enough about the Greater Good to actually do something, and not interested in saving our species (SOS), then why should God care enough about saving you?

Further discussion of this particular topic can be found in our forum on the thread I started titled God, everlasting life, and hyperintelligence

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This website is about
realistic human extinction
threats in our generation,
mainly genetics,
biotechnology, and
It also discusses the
realities of Artificial
General Intelligence
by computer advances
in 20-30 years, the
so-called Singularity.