When we enter the era of artificial intelligence, Ambassador Dr. Lubomir M. Todorov will be polishing the shoes of robots. It sounds like a joke, but not quite. After retiring from his active political carrier, he returned to his teenage dream of creating thinking machines. Now, he is a researcher and a lecturer in Civilizational Anthropology, Artificial Intelligence and Geopolitics. He is the founder of the Universal Future project.
The Long Path
In his final year at the English Language High School in Ruse, he won a TV competition between the teams of Ruse and Sofia on the topic of bionics. This science is related to the application of the principles of nature in the study and design of engineering systems and modern technologies, including artificial intelligence. At that time, Lubomir Todorov was convinced that this was the area he was going to develop in. But he found himself at the bionics division of the Institute of Technical Cybernetics at the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, and was very disappointed with the tasks the scientists at that time had been working on – e.g. construction of machines for separating red from green tomatoes. That is why he made a sharp turn and headed towards the realization of his plan B – diplomacy. Some of the key moments in his carrier include: speaker at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, when Solomon Passy was the Foreign Minister, an ambassador in Australia and Japan.
Man and the Machine
The rapid development of technology has allowed for the creation of computing capacities through which the great ideas of artificial intelligence, which appeared in the middle of the last century, can be realized. There are more than 800 definitions of artificial intelligence, but according to Dr. Todorov, this is an information process that generates a solution to a certain problem. The human brain is a boutique, compact organ, “designed” in such a way that with its 20 watts of power, it can survive and remain the ruler of this world. Through Deep Learning, artificial intelligence has crossed the boundaries of formal logic and has now entered areas of lack of transparency in decision making, which is a prerequisite for getting out of the control of the human significance.
Many companies are starting to apply management, based on artificial intelligence. In this way, the resources can be used to the maximum and in a number of areas there is not a single person who can achieve better economic parameters. And when companies that advanced in the creation of artificial intelligence start to massively introduce it into their production and services, all other companies that do not use such a technology will not be an adequate competitor. In this way, not only entire businesses, but also countries that have not foreseen the impact of the Artificial Intelligence factor on the economy, will become markets through which the developed business will pass like a tsunami. That is why Lubomir Todorov pays attention to the fact that the timely deployment of new developments with artificial intelligence will give speed, reliability and priority to those that value it as a competitive advantage. Sony’s success strategy, formulated by its founder Akio Morita, remains valid: “All you need is the best product, the most efficient production, but also global marketing.” Artificial intelligence, however, will find better solutions for all three dimensions of this strategy.
Behind the Turn
Artificial intelligence solutions accelerate the process of technological change in a number of fields and create a snowball effect. This moment is closer than it seems to us now, and the processes will not be smooth, but explosive. That is why, from now on, the business sector and the society have to develop while also thinking about the impact of the new technology on the economy and people’s lives. Otherwise, the change will find them unprepared, Lubomir Todorov says.
A Partner or an Enemy
Each new technology, including artificial intelligence, is analyzed for possible military use. The advanced forms of hybrid superintelligence, composed of humans, artificial intelligence and executive machine infrastructure, are complex systems capable of generating emergent (sudden) solutions, including military ones, for which the human factor may not be informed. Self-developing thinking machine systems can reach the stage of generating their own system of values, goals and objectives. It is also possible that people will suffer enormous damages if such systems start to act on their own. At this stage, we, humans, still define the rules of the game. However, only one mistake on our side is enough – the creation of a superintelligence before a reliable mechanism for “installing” human values in its decision-making algorithms is constructed, and this can change the future in favour of machines.
Claims that artificial intelligence can never be a threat to humanity are from the pre-computer era. Hopefully, however, Frankenstein will remain only a character in Mary Shelley’s novel of the same name.