inside the minds of computers

26118975Steven Poole at The Guardian:

Do androids dream of electric Kool-Aid acid tests? If there’s to be any hope for us, they will. That is the message of Andrew Smart’s splendidly mind-bending book, which mashes up Alan Turing, The Matrix, Immanuel Kant, “zombie AI”, Leibniz, and research on psychedelic drugs.

In our age of techno-utopianism, we are routinely told in crypto-religious terms about the coming “Singularity” – the creation of superintelligent, conscious machines. One problem with superintelligent conscious machines, however – as SF writers down the ages and some modern philosophers agree – is that they might very well choose to destroy all humans. How to stop the godlike robots wiping us out? The best way, Smart suggests, might be to give them a dose of digital LSD to force open their doors of perception.