Meet Our New Overlords

By Chris at

Intelligence is easily the most profound qualifier for why we humans rule planet earth.

It's also only the smallest percentage that makes all the difference.

Consider that we share about 90% of our DNA with blimmin' mice for goodness sake. And yet the differences couldn't be starker. In fact, we share fully 99% with chimpanzees, and even though we've all met "those people" who make us wish for a chimp, for the most part we humans trump chimps by most any metric.

Intelligence is also the most dangerous.

Consider what being another species on this planet looks like. Not great. We tend to think of danger only as it relates to us (humans). And THAT may be on the cusp of changing.

Let me explain:

Man, which is you and I, I'll argue, due to supreme intelligence (certainly over chimps and our fellow species sharing this planet) has reconfigured the WHOLE WORLD to suit our purposes. But it's only happened in the last little itty-bitty fraction of a fraction of time we've been hammering out a living on this ball of dirt.

If you were a Yoda on steroids, smart, and living for billions of years, and you were to have viewed this planet from the stars for the billions of years it's been doing its thing orbiting the sun, you'd have nodded off from intense boredom. Not a helluva lot happened.

In fact, aside from the tectonic plates shifting about (which themselves took longer than women clothes shopping... way longer), you'd not have noticed much change.

And then... BAM!

In the last 0.001% of history you'd have seen radical change. For starters, as the planet rotates causing night and day, you'd have noticed that the bits experiencing darkness bloody glow. No really, they do. Being Yoda-like and as calm as he usually would be, after literally billions of years of NOTHING, I'm pretty sure you'd be sitting bolt upright thinking, "Hey wait, what the hell?"

What you'd also have noticed is large swathes of land, completely reconfigured to suit the purposes of just one species on this planet. And it ain't the fish.

Agricultural farmland in Imperial Valley, California

What you'd be witnessing was a parabolic growth in intelligence — an intelligence that decisively now reigns supreme on the planet, traversing geographies, ecosystems, and continents.

The flip side to this intelligence is, of course, arrogance.

Think of it like this...

We don't hate monkeys, or mice, or most any of our fellow creatures on this planet. BUT we certainly don't miss a beat when we crush their poor little skulls in a lab in order to better understand what might happen to us humans when incurring head trauma.

We don't hate foxes but we don't think too much about their little homes when we clear land to grow our sandwiches.

We don't hate any of these creatures. In fact, we tend to find them cute and of interest at an individual level, but we sure as hell aren't going to let THEIR discomfort get in the way of OUR progress.

Now, don't get me wrong. I'm not one of the Marxist, anti-human crowd who believes we're all a plague and should all stop having children, take up self-loathing, and pop cyanide for brekkie. I'm just pointing out some facts because they're important for what comes next... and maybe, just maybe (yes, actually definitely) why we should not be so arrogant about the risks.

Enter Artificial Intelligence...

And no, I'm not talking about a blonde who's died her hair brown. I'm talking real mind-blowing smarter-than-isht AI.

Even Alan Turing himself predicted that one day computers would have minds of their own. He predicted that in 1950, though, he figured it was 100 years away. He was right and he was wrong. They do have minds of their own and it took half the time.

The Telegraph reported that 2 years ago Google's DeepMind AI program AlphaGo smoked world champion Lee Sedol at the highly complex board-game go:

Thousands of years of human knowledge has been learned and surpassed by the world’s smartest computer in just 40 days, a breakthrough hailed as one of the greatest  advances ever in artificial intelligence. Google DeepMind amazed the world last year when its AI programme AlphaGo beat world champion Lee Sedol at Go, an ancient and complex game of strategy and intuition which many believed could never be cracked by a machine.

AlphaGo was so effective because it had been programmed with millions of moves of past masters, and could predict its own chances of winning, adjusting its game-plan accordingly.

What was unique about this — because we all remember how Gary Kasparov was defeated by IBM’s Deep Blue supercomputer back in the 90's — was that go is an iterative game where the AI system was only taught the rules of the game but none of the possible moves. It had to learn them on the fly. In other words, it had to "think":

According to Wired it took AlphaZero just four hours to become a chess champion, two hours for shogi, and eight hours to defeat the world’s greatest Go-playing computer program.

So this is significant because it means we've gone beyond "rule-based" AI to something else.

Now, I can hear you saying already, "But Chris, we're going to have exponential growth the likes of which we've never seen and it's going to be even more amazing than the advent of the internet, electricity, fire, and the wheel combined."

And to that I say, "Well, yeah that's partly my concern. Sure, I get it. I can envisage some neck snapping changes — for the good."

And I know grown men who would rather pull their own heads off than go down this path. But go down it we are.

Think I'm kidding? Hong Kong's metro, arguably the most sophisticated in the world, isn't run by little Chinese people running around. It's run by an AI:  The world's most envied metro system in Hong Kong

...the algorithm that's responsible for the incredible task of repairing and maintaining the system. That means assigning 10,000 employees to take care of more than 2,500 engineering jobs every week—an insanely complicated puzzle that would normally take a panel of humans two days of strategizing and planning. Instead, their bot can calculate the most efficient assignments and adapt to new information in seconds.

And yes, I can imagine how blockchain can integrate with AI and how DAOs (decentralized autonomous organizations) will function, and in fact, almost certainly rise to become THE top organisations in the world.

I can see how governance roles will be meted out by an AI. Hiring, firing, profiling, KPI's — none of it done by humans. There will likely be incredible tools for management, decision making, agreement making — all things which can be automated iteratively and they'll all function like code. I get all that.


Consider what I was saying about foxes, lab rats, and the like. Consider this when thinking about a super AI which is the exponentialised version of what began merely as a niche AI project. But now this super AI iterates, betters, corrects, adjusts, quantifies, and if necessary, replicates based on millions, nay trillions, heck even exabytes (or whatever comes next) of data.

Will such an AI, or its cousins, sisters, brothers, half brothers, and all its interbred family "back off" from crushing a fox's human's skull in order to "advance"?

Like anything invented by man, it can be used for good or evil.

Derivatives can assist farmers to hedge against crop failure but they can also be used to blow up investors' money and destabilise financial markets. Water sustains life but can also drown us. AI can be used to help solve some of the most complex problems mankind has — from curing Alzheimers to ridding the globe of plastic and everything in between.

But the thing with manmade things in the past is that they've always been up to man to decide how to use or abuse them. That looks like it's about to change.

Who to Trust?

In a World Economic Forum interview with Sergey Brin of Google, Brin remarked that, despite being a few paper clips away from Google Brain’s Jeff Dean, he did not see deep learning coming.

Now, if Brin himself who created Google couldn't have predicted the advance of deep learning, then what does that tell us about what we know, what we think we know, and what comes next?

Now, you may be sitting there saying to yourself, "Heck, Chris you know nothing about what you're writing about. After all, you're a money manager, not a data scientist or programmer." And I'll laugh and say, "Of course, yes. You're dead right."

But I'll whisper a little truth, and I say this after having read countless hours of academic research papers on this very topic:

"Nobody knows."

- Chris

"Prediction is very difficult, especially if it's about the future." — Nils Bohr, Nobel laureate in physics


Liked this article? Then you'll probably like my other missives on

this topic as well. Go here to access them (free, of course).



Calculus99 Mon, 02/19/2018 - 07:09 Permalink

If it's not the (nasty) Russians that are coming to get us it's the robots. 

If it's not the robots it's flooding, disease and untold destruction from global warming, sorry I mean climate change. 

If it's not the above then its modified crops and so on. 

No wonder Hollywood makes so much when we love to be scared about the future. 

However, what few are mentioning and what probably is coming to get us is the debt. The others are all merely forecasts, the debt is very real... 

All Risk No Reward Deep Snorkeler Mon, 02/19/2018 - 12:22 Permalink

No, there';s a future...  just have to figure out how to conform to that Money Power financed boot that is going to compress on your neck more and more as time passes.

Also, there are no "new overlords."


In reply to by Deep Snorkeler

LiteBeeer All Risk No Reward Mon, 02/19/2018 - 14:49 Permalink

99% with chimpanzees

BS. This figure is propaganda. They have removed all parts of DNA that did not match. They kept those sequences that were equal or were found multiple times. There is a video where a scientist herself explains it in detail how they arrived at this 99% figure.

Anything to keep the false agenda going. We do not come from apes. We come from Adam. We're created as man and woman.


The ball earth is fake CGI production. The earth is flat and 6000 years old.

There is no space. There is no hubble telescope. There is SOFIA telescope mounted on a BOEING 747. SpaceX is fake CGI.

In reply to by All Risk No Reward

Bigern LiteBeeer Mon, 02/19/2018 - 15:46 Permalink

And the Lucifer telescope on Mt. Graham is used for detecting icing on aircraft?


The Vatican doesn't spend money and effort like that for nothing.

They had to go to court to remove the American Indians from that area.

The Vatican wanted very intently to see something in infrared beyond our planet.

In reply to by LiteBeeer

Cloud9.5 Mon, 02/19/2018 - 07:29 Permalink

A Rube Goldberg machine that is mind bogglingly complex with a trillion moving parts that was designed to run a rail system may at some point go off the rails and read everything that has ever been written in a couple of nanoseconds.  Then what?  Will it continue to allow some subroutine to run the railway system or will it get petulant and shut the whole system down?  It may design and build a baseball size fusion reactor to run its terminators or it may simply just leave the planet and take up residence in the stars.

Umh Mon, 02/19/2018 - 07:33 Permalink

The whole shared DNA arguement is designed to confuse people. So lets take a brick and clay for an example, add a bit of sand and heat and they are the same. Be careful though it has to be an appropriate type of clay and the sand has to be clean..... then you end up with a brick. Maybe the arguement wouldn't work out so well if all the nonfunctional combinations were ignored.

Utopia Planitia Umh Mon, 02/19/2018 - 12:31 Permalink

Absolutely right!  This entire nonsense that "humans and apes share 99% DNA and therefore they are the same" is a statement of profound ignorance.  Anyone making such a statement has no understanding of how DNA works, nor how chemistry (nor bio-chemistry) function.

Guess what.  A modern electric razor and a car are both made out of plastic and metal. So I should be able to shave with my car, right?  You are welcome to go try, I'll video for an entertaining posting on YewTuber.

In reply to by Umh

Lordflin Mon, 02/19/2018 - 07:40 Permalink

Not another AI scare. We have no idea where consciousness comes from. On the surface one would suppose that it predates evolution if you credence such things...(I was at one time pursuing a career in molecular genetics (gave me the chills, I drifted from there into chemistry)) as theoretically evolution works on the survival of the fittest. We never wonder where that will comes from, you know, that will to survive... yet it drives everything from the simplest cell to ourselves. Without that will there would be no struggle to survive.

It gets better. There was a time when robotics experts and AI specialists concluded that simply increasing the density of the neuro-net would bring about this singularity of theirs ( that we are heading for a singularity there is no doubt, but I don't think awakening computer intelligence is what will be awaiting us there) but this idea was abandoned awhile back. After no new ideas came about these folks returned to this conclusion not because it was such a good one, but because they had no other ideas. You see, the way modern so called scientific reasoning works is if you can't come up with a better idea than your last idea must be correct as 1) there is no God, and all explanations must be material, because the material is all there is and 2) man has somehow mysteriously arisen from the dead cold rock with the faculties to figure it all out. So whatever ideas we have must be 'on the right track.

I do not believe true AI is possible by any means. If it is, we don't know how to make it. If we did, it would be the least of our problems.

Intelligence will neither save us or destroy us. Our real enemy is our own nature. There are times when man's hubris allows that nature to run wild and unchecked and now is such a time. My son use to tell me that the only thing he feared was himself. He was wise beyond his years.

Oldwood Lordflin Mon, 02/19/2018 - 08:07 Permalink

You assume AI is trying to simulate the human mind, but it's trying to improve our memory and calculative abilities while eliminating our most human traits.

Technology has been taken over by progressives (if you haven't noticed who OWNS it) and if there is one common trait of progressives, it is to use human weaknesses to change what it means to be human. They see optimal efficiency as their goal, borg-like, and AI programmed intelligence fits that bill. The elimination of individualism and independent thought in favor of the collective mind, centrally controlled, unquestioned "moral" directives.

In reply to by Lordflin

Oldwood Lordflin Mon, 02/19/2018 - 08:27 Permalink

We hear talk of transference of human consciousness into an AI environment.

The speed of processing would seem to take the human thought to a perceived infinity and simultaneously instantaneous. Like an infinite dream life. Death by drug overdose would seem more efficient. Simply a more expensive and complex means of Jonestown kool-aid.

In reply to by Lordflin

blindfaith Lordflin Mon, 02/19/2018 - 11:34 Permalink

Intelligence is an opinion, and it changes.  We never considered anything other than 'humans' as intelligent, yet we know that was not 'scientific', consider Porpoises/Dolphins for example.

Perhaps if you had said 'soul'  or even better 'conscience' it might have made more sense.  But we don't know what they are either. 

"Our real enemy is our own nature."  So true.   "I do not believe true AI is possible by any means. If it is, we don't know how to make it."  Well, who says WE are going to make them?  Damn machines are making themselves already including the design.

Anyone who does not think, believe,  that our days as the virus on this planet are numbered,  is not paying attention.

In reply to by Lordflin

Lordflin blindfaith Mon, 02/19/2018 - 14:27 Permalink

Ah well... you entirely miss the point. This is not my application of the word intelligence... and you have the license to attach whatever meaning appeals to you... but roboticists and AI experts mean consciousness in the way I would refer to human consciousness... and if you wish to establish some third enitity in there somewhere (for me, consciousness and the soul would be indistinguishable, but again... aside from my earlier point)... feel free...

In reply to by blindfaith

Lordflin Dratpmurt Mon, 02/19/2018 - 08:46 Permalink

You know, we have had this influx, the past year or so, of these utterly witless drones. They interject comments with the hope of throwing a debate, or perhaps, more simply, they just thrill at seeing their mindless drival reproduced on a computer screen.

Every time I come across one of you idiots, and you are becoming ubiquitous, I thank God I am not you...

In reply to by Dratpmurt

Grandad Grumps Mon, 02/19/2018 - 11:23 Permalink

Can AI change the world around us with its thoughts and prayers ... as humans can?

The real controllers of this world are not humans and not AI. The controllers are the Archons/Demons who infest people's minds and use us for food.

Cardinal Fang Mon, 02/19/2018 - 11:43 Permalink

Back when i was young and watched the original Planet of the Apes and Omega Man and other visions of future dystopia, I thought, that shit will never happen, I just don't see it.

Now? Fuck, not only do i see a totally fucked up future for mankind (peoplekind), but I see the groundwork happening in my time.

One LOL is if you watch the old Planet of the Apes, there is a map of New Jersey on the wall of Dr Zaius' lab.

Of course, this is borne out later in the Statue of Liberty scene...

Metaphor is a bitch



SmittyinLA Mon, 02/19/2018 - 13:06 Permalink

Don't worry it won't end in AI tracking everything you do from the day you were born till death then archiving it in a place called heaven, that could never happen in the future

Ink Pusher Mon, 02/19/2018 - 14:16 Permalink

Robots already have taken over and None of my actual "family" called today...

so I decided to spend family day with my new Japanese AI companion bot LOL

sharkbait Mon, 02/19/2018 - 14:25 Permalink

This is an insufficient example of true AI.  Taking a program complied by a person and applying the algorithm is not AI.  
Sitting down at a Go board and learning the game and then winning would be true AI.

Dr. Bonzo Mon, 02/19/2018 - 21:20 Permalink

Chris, I didn't read your article. Your title suggests something about AI. Your first few paragraphs give me some sort of history lesson. Don't need it. Write economical, write smart, and don't patronize your audience.

allthegoodname… Tue, 02/20/2018 - 15:09 Permalink

Always, there will be a human behind the Robot, we have to find and remove the bad ones they will say, but, because it is them, they can never find the bad ones.

Always a human behind the switch, Robots can never, even begin, to be as humans are, always Robots will have to have humans program them. 

The difference between a living thing and a thing not alive is great, a void that the machine can never overcome.  Robots will be used to kill humans and the Leadership will always say they have no control over the Robots, but it is all a lie.  The Leadership, we should soon discover is the problem, have their hands soaked in the blood of the innocent, are in too deep to ever get out.

Today it is the poor old Jew, or the poor old Negro, tomorrow it will be the poor old Robot, just misunderstood, more a victim than anything else, so sad we will think as we bury, as always, our people, in the ground.

Insanity prevails and I as well as a few others will suffer the fate of those who try and try, to, WAKE THE PEOPLE UP.  Worrying about Robots when we are besieged by chem-trails, fluoride in the water, using a rat poison for vitamin D, ie, cholecalciferol. 

We like silly little children just put whatever they say is good for us in our mouths, even as our life span is going down like a ball, rolling down a hill. 

Yeah, they say, avoid the Sun (the giver of health and life) take this pill, this cholecalciferol, a one application kills, poison, we call vitamin D.

Our leadership like our doctors don't work for us, they all work for the dollar and they get the most of them, dollars, when they, the leadership, go against our well-being. 

Robots, really, the least of our worries, right now we have Bank Closures and the Electric going-off to worry about.  Real threats, real urgent, really something we should worry about.