Roko’s Basilisk is a thought experiment, suggested by Roko on LessWrong website.
“Tell me about it”
Sure, okay. A woman, let’s call her Penelope Cruz, knocks on a person’s door. The door opens and a man appears. Let’s call him Abhilash.
[You got some problem brah?]
They don’t know each other, so Penelope gives her introduction and then asks Abhilash to help build an Artificial Intelligence. Penelope explains in her quaint Spanish accent that there are people working on it, and once AI gets developed, it will save countless lives in future since it will have the intelligence and the resources tu du itt. She emphasizes, it is the need of the hour to chip in. If everyone like Abhilash, lends a hand to facilitate the project, it will be completed sooner. Probably because Abhilash is smart or something. I don’t know, I’m guessing here…
But what if Abhilash refuses to help build AI? That would definitely mean Abhilash is a fuckin’ tool for letting Penelope down, but what if he doesn’t want to help?
Since smart people are working on AI, it will take shape eventually. When it does, it will save millions. The society will be ruled by the AI and it will make the world a better place for everyone.
To run a society, the AI must act as the adjudicator. It will collect data, analyse and conclude that people like Abhilash, didn’t contribute to the project because they thought that the idea of saving people was “meh”. Had they contributed, AI could have saved more Paul Walker-s and Amy Winehouse-s. So they are responsible for the lives AI could not save. Now, the AI would act like a total prick and run simulation of Abhilash to torture him.
Now, back to reality. Just by reading this, you have become a part of it. There are people actually working on AI right now. And I’m asking you, would you help contribute to the cause?
This is Roko’s Basilisk. It’s not so profound but it inspires thinking. More on this later.
And here is a picture of Penelope Cruz disappointed in you.