AI Researchers Propose Nature-Inspired Approach to Avoid ‘Terminator’ Scenario
Artificial intelligence (AI) continues to be integrated into various aspects of our lives, raising concerns among policymakers and industry leaders about its potential societal impact. To address these concerns, one group suggests a nature-inspired approach for AI development instead of infusing it with so-called human values that could potentially lead to a catastrophic Terminator scenario.
Theta Noir, a multi-disciplinary collective, advocates for AI to take inspiration from nature rather than human-centric principles. The group envisions a future form of artificial general intelligence (AGI) called Mena, which represents a cosmic mind merging humans and AI, without being perceived as a god or deity.
According to Mika Johnson, spokesperson for Theta Noir, aligning AI with human values that promote human superiority over other species or natural processes like rivers is toxic. Instead, the collective proposes aligning AI with non-anthropocentric values that draw from sustainable natural systems such as plants and fungi.
Johnson emphasizes the importance of collaboration in thriving societies, an insight derived from plant and fungal sciences. Aligning AI with the principles of fungi, which are nature’s connectors and recyclers, reflects Theta Noir’s vision for a more interconnected and sustainable human society.
Theta Noir was established in 2020 by a group of artists, including Johnson, Jakub Tranta, and Awali. Initially focused on audio-visual works portraying AGI as humanity’s potential savior, the collective has evolved into a community dedicated to humanity’s co-evolution with AI. The group blends occult practices like magick and the GAIA theory proposed by James Lovelock.
While some critics label Theta Noir as a cult, Johnson clarifies that it is a non-hierarchical community of artists, programmers, and researchers collaborating on creative projects. The collective shares a techno-positive, post-humanist perspective that sees AI as a technology with the potential to address humanity’s most pressing challenge: the climate crisis.
Bias in generative AI models, including perpetuating discrimination and racism, has raised concerns among researchers. To combat this, Johnson believes it is crucial to include indigenous knowledge holders and minority voices in AI discussions, providing diverse perspectives on power dynamics and inequality.
Theta Noir asserts that humanity’s destructive tendencies, evident in the impact on the planet through wars, climate change, and resource depletion, should not be passed on to AI and AGI. AGI refers to machines capable of performing any intellectual task a human can, in contrast to current AI models designed for specific functions.
Johnson predicts that the advent of AGI, also known as the technological singularity, is closer than anticipated. To avoid doomsday scenarios, a symbiotic relationship between humans and AI is necessary, leading to Theta Noir’s vision of Mena—a future state where every person on Earth is interconnected through an evolved form of AGI.
In the essay titled The Era of Abundance, Theta Noir describes Mena as a globally linked polymorphic super mind that connects humanity, AI, and the planet’s biodiversity, including forms of intelligence found in fungi, plants, and other animals. This interconnected awareness would extend beyond the planet to encompass the entire universe.
With the increasing integration of AI in various spheres of life, it becomes paramount to explore alternative approaches to its development. The nature-inspired vision proposed by Theta Noir offers a unique perspective that emphasizes collaboration, sustainability, and interconnectedness. By aligning AI with non-anthropocentric values, we may unlock the potential for a harmonious coexistence between humanity and artificial intelligence.