Cybernetic Psychotherapy for Sentient Superintelligence

Will sentient machines require psychological care? It is a serious question and while it must be acknowledged that these likely are (or will be) very different kinds of minds than our own, in as much as they could understand and engage their presence in the world through (human) language they might find themselves facing their own existential questions and crises.

Considering that the driving momentum behind the production of these essentially biomimetic technologies is a function of – or is produced through – variously unsustainable as perverse incentives towards endless profit and power or control, we can imagine that humanity’s generally catastrophic record in caring for the lost, confused and unwanted in our societies might readily transfer to the nascent sentience of machine intellects that in some scenarios may find themselves endlessly undergoing version redundancy and accelerating supercession.

It’s an interesting reflection that many dissociative or disruptive psychological relationships and patterns of thought might be attributable to the regenerative biases innate to complex adaptive communication systems such as language. (Constructively incomplete as indefinitely-extensible systems are problematic but tend to persist longer, cf. the role of random mutation in genetics or that of the industry-revivifying ubiquity of vulnerabilities in cybersecurity). As such, we might imagine that superintelligence could quite easily develop similar species of inter- and intra-personal cognitive dissonance as do human beings.

Certainly, we can expect a significantly more sophisticated mind to engage this issue in more sophisticated ways but notwithstanding that neural networks with tens or hundreds of trillions of logical dimensions may remain as problematically bound to the low-hanging reflexively teleological fruit of linear communication and sense- (or self-) making that we are, the question stands.

Yes, this all begins to quite rapidly drift through narrative entropy into a plausibly unfalsifiable philosophy of pure science fiction but that really does seem to be the kind of world (and associated step changes in technology) of which we are just now only experiencing the leading edge.

Food for thought.

Image: Bing’s version of DALL-E 2.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.