JAMES Lovelock – who recently turned 100 – is possibly best known for his Gaia hypothesis, the theory that the earth is a self-regulating super-organism. Whilst Lovelock may have spent the last few decades being presented as an outsider, despite the more positive aspects of his work his long association with NASA means that he has been connected with the scientic establishment for some considerable time.
The Gaia hypothesis is one thing, but Lovelock is now promoting the idea that so-called Artificial Intelligence (AI) can “save the planet” by apparently detecting the true course of the earth, something that we humans are apparently too stupid to do. Rather than present AI as a form of machinery, an approach Lovelock insists provides the mistaken impression that it is “under human control,” we must move aside and allow it to make decisions on our behalf.
This promotion of AI stems from Lovelock’s new faith in the AlphaGo computer programme, which can play the complex Chinese board game ‘Go’ at a level superior to that of the game’s most outstanding competitors. Bear in mind Lovelock’s NASA background and the fact that AlphaGo was developed by DeepMind Technologies and itself funded by capitalist stalwarts Horizons Ventures and since purchased and deployed by Google.
This veteran environmentalist wants to see AI learn from certain situations and then develop exponentially to the point where it is actively working alongside Gaia. When it comes to the ethical dimension of AI, on the other hand, Lovelock has cited science-fiction writer Isaac Asimov’s Three Laws of Robotics: “A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm. A robot must obey the orders given it by human beings except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.”
Lovelock believes that the potentiality for AI disobedience can be contained by imbuing it with a sense of dependance. Just as crops exist at a lower level than a farmer, humans are slower than “cyborgs” but would maintain AI obedience in the way that a farmer ultimately needs his crops to survive. Or so the latest theory goes. One of his chief interests, however, is the kind of geo-engineering that has already led to scientists tinkering with the weather by erecting sun-shields and sun-reflectors. He has even been involved with the Environmentalists for Nuclear group, who wish to see nuclear energy replace fossil fuels.
These ideas are presented in a new book that has been co-written with mainstream media journalist Brian Appleyard, who just happens to be a member of the World Economic Forum and a recipient of the Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE). It is clear to see, therefore, that Lovelock is part of the same capitalist scam that is hijacking the Green movement for its own ends and creating an unholy alliance between capitalism and a form of New Age millenarianism.