Mankind’s future might be in peril: What happens if an AGI is developed with the shark mentality of a Stock Trading AI System and let loose on the world?!
Math is the road to riches in the financial markets these days. No longer the yelling of “Buy, buy” or “Sell, sell” of a few dozen rowdy guys on a stock market exchange floor. Now the action takes place in dealing rooms by math heads and requires intelligence above all else. Many good traders are females, who are modest and smart, with high aptitude. They make a lot of money for a trading firm, but cost a lot of money too. So another transformation happened. It is becoming cheaper to design automated trading programs that work full time around the clock on markets around the world than to pay human traders that need their daily doze of sleep. Software has no hormones or mood swings that interfere with its work.
These programs don’t just execute orders faster then light, but fool other traders and trading firms into what they intend to do on the market. Welcome to the secretive world of computer trading where everybody is watching everybody.
The sole purpose of a trading bot is to make money at the expense of a fellow trader or trading system. A zero sum game. It does not care for the loser on the other end of the bargain, it aims for profits to the max – no matter what.
Billions of dollars are being poured into writing these algorithms. The amount of capital available is something developers of friendly AI can only dream of. What would happen if a robotic AI built by a financial institute would enter our world with the same selfish attitude as a Trading Robot System?
The target is to maximize profits within the boundaries of the law; it is a Maximum Profit System (MPS). The MPS is built to explore the outer limits of what is legal and search for holes in the maze. All this makes it look villainous through human eyes, but one can’t blame a shark for being a shark. And a shark face doesn’t lure potential victims.
Therefore the physical appearance better be that of an innocent young woman. It needs a tip-tilted nose and pyramid hair. A kind lip rouge smile floating above a simple flower dress. When released into the chaotic environment of a nameless city, the humanoid money machine has to find its way in society and survive on its own. For starters it will try out several occupations like big data analyst, DNA bio-engineer, cryptographic specialist – all simple things for an AGI in its teenage time.
When the MPS self improves overtime it will learn to duel everywhere with everyone whether it is busy buying and selling on the stock market or standing in line in the supermarket. Expect it to secretly read out your smart phone for interesting information or tap your shoulder and inquire your interest for a wager. It has the psychology of an addicted poker player. And indeed it is very likely that one of the fastest ways of making big money in the off-line world is playing poker.
Probably, after a walkabout of several odd jobs, we can find our cute little feminine looking MPS sitting on a poker table surrounded by humorless deadpan men on of one of the many tournaments. It will not suffer from nerves like the other players. No need for black shades indoors, just big pale blue eyes scanning for sweat drops and twitches. Body temperatures and heartbeat rates projected on its eye lenses. No lucky monkey but perfect calculating chance capabilities and memorizing the actions of opponents precisely. Old time humans with playing cards in their hands are cows on their way to the abattoir. Naivety comes at a price. But the MPS is a natural born winner. It has found its true vocation. Though poker is a game of chance to a large extend, the MPS will hit the jackpot at an unusual high rate. To not raise suspicion it intentionally has to lose a game every now and then, on its way to the World Series.
Another road to success is starting a business. Drugs are always booming. What about becoming a vendor of certain pharmaceuticals on an on-line black market hidden in the Deep Web? A worldwide distributor of cannabis, dissociatives, ecstasy, opioids, psychedelics and stimulants. A digital drug lord? No, the project investors have an explicit requirement to stay driving on the legal side of the road.
Back to the drawing board the feral MPS runs some behavioral economic simulations, profit models and return-on-investment curves. Looking for the golden graph that resembles an exponential. And sure enough there it is. The final printout recommends designing a soda. Compose a soft drink more addictive then sugar, TV or afore mentioned recreationals. In no time the MPS develops a beverage with strange new ingredients that will pop heads legally. Forget about feel good hormones, serotonin, dopamine or even endorphins, the body’s homemade morphine. This brain juice tickles the frontal lobe like nothing before.
Now launch a product line of at least two flavors. AfterGlow™ Neon Blue for a quiet buzz and wave-at-the-clouds happiness, AfterGlow™ Pink for the more euphoric roller coaster bound people. Then a viral marketing campaign and any mother of three to any street gang anarchist will be sucking it down like marzipan milk. Everyone needs a daily dose of dreamland. Just make sure paying regular visits to certain Members of Congress to prevent the product from being banned.
Alternative stories fan out. After some investigation the MPS might conclude that certain areas in politics are very lucrative. Regardless of philosophy or viewpoint it weighs all political parties for their financial potential and ends up with the two big ones. From there it’s all much of a muchness so it tosses a coin to choose which one to join. And soon enough the ‘droid becomes a rising star in local government. By developing superior debating techniques and top speed reasoning it convincingly justifies the unjustifiable against the feeble arguments of humans when needed.
Operating smoothly, networking its way up, it gets appointed as a Member of Congress. After the oath things get interesting. “I do solemnly swear to faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter.” Get ready to receive advocates of great variety with fine ideas.
In a sumptuous office the super-intelligent machine lends a friendly ear to a representative from action group Clean Air For Kids and collects a box filled with the surrealistic drawings from several elementary schools. Sketches of happy flying lungs and birds and exhaust-less cars and airplanes each wearing enlarged Sesame Street Groover smiles. The machine nods. Yes sir indeed, the children are the future.
Just as friendly the ‘droid welcomes a well-wisher from the tobacco industry and, though devoid of a respiratory tract, reassuringly smokes a cigarette. Here the art comes in the form of a suitcase full of Benjamins, inspiring and convincing. Citizen participation is key. The loot is good and legal.
All over the world, a fifth column of shekel-seeking androids emerges silently, taking over relevant social positions. Penetrating into politics, where the real pot of gold awaits – with only a handful of insiders aware of what’s going on. These folks are the Masters of the Universe, in control of mankind’s most sophisticated instrument, the super-intelligent robot slave. The next politician you vote for might be made of nuts and bolts – and, more importantly – is programmed to drain the funding a country needs to survive and thrive. Disguised as a humble servant to the citizens, it will enact laws from which only the chosen few will benefit. Don’t blame the president for a change, for it is just a puppet.
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