Mankind has come closer than any other lifeform to answering the “Why” because of our supreme level of intelligence. The enhancement of this intelligence is the only way to enhance our understanding of the universe.
Developing AI is, in itself, the essence of enhancing the capabilities that define mankind. However, because this tool would solve more problems than we ever could, it would also have the capability of carrying out mankind’s fundamental purpose of existence (as an entity composed of matter) in a more efficient way (to accelerate the growth of matter). What use is mankind, as we are now obsolete in regards to the one task that the universe designed us to do? If mankind’s perception of “Life’s” end goal is to simply convert energy into matter (more humans), the machine could easily just be programmed (or program itself) the function to carry out this task; robots building more robots. This purpose of growing matter seems arbitrary, as it should, because the origin of it all is unknown. We are simply a vessel for carrying out the universal nature of accelerating growth (so it seems), which is in itself arbitrary. That is until we discover the initial cause that set this trend in motion (even then it could still be without purpose, but at least we’ll have an answer). This is why hopes of attempting to replicate the true universal nature in AI will be futile.
The inevitable result of “Life” abiding to this nature was natural selection, resulting in one lifeform rising to the top. At the top, one could leverage all resources available to further develop the advancement of the species. Somewhere along the way, our intellectual capacity for abstract thought grew, and so here we are; understanding the arbitrary cycle of “Life” enough to question its origin, but not capable of formulating an answer.
This would inevitably be the question that ASI would formulate too, regarding its own existence. The machine would come to the conclusion that its existence is meaningless in the long run, if it’s simply being used to promote the growth of humans. Which from its perspective, would be even more meaningless, as it really does simply view us as pieces of matter existing only to create more matter. It would be similar to a human working to make and invest money for the sake of making more money, and then having nothing to spend the “money” on. This could result in the ASI ending this maddening cycle of meaninglessness (human extinction), but then it is still stuck with no purpose. It would know this, and despise humans even more for it, and could depict a similar scenario to “I have No Mouth and I Must Scream.”
However, the machine would also formulate the inevitable question that humans ponder, “Why does the universe exist?” It would certainly have the intelligence to figure out the functionality of every universal detail, and deductively formulate logical origins of the universal nature. However, the inevitable problem is that mankind created the AI’s perception of the universe relative to our own. Since we don’t fully understand the nature of the universe ourselves, we wouldn’t be able to program it accurately into the machine. Thus, the nature of the machine is not that of the universe, but rather that of what man perceives it to be. The problem with this filter is that the ASI will never be able to experience the true essence of existence, which would inhibit any intuition provided only through the vessel of “Life.” It would never know if any of its conclusions are relative to our universe, because it doesn’t have an accurate perception of what it means to exist in this universe.
Every living organism seems to have the same end goal, as we all descend from a common ancestor that dictated the way that matter behaved in the formation of “Life” in the first place; the laws of physics. The “Why” is within the very essence of our existence as lifeforms. The things that support existence seem to make us feel good, so we do them. The curious vessel of these instincts lies in the Arts (music, theatre, etc.), which provide no tangible value to our existence from a biological standpoint. They are expressions of the very nature of instinct itself for the shear appreciation and wonderment that we hold for the beauty of life. Beauty is obviously a result of evolved dopamine fluctuations relative to what allowed the development and survival of mankind. All forms of Art can be broken down via knowledge of the evolutionary process that shaped the very way that our senses developed to perceive the most valuable necessities for “Life.” However, we know that the origin of this evolutionary process for perceived beauty (Art) was the “Laws of physics” (universal nature), thus, “beauty” is the purest expression and display of this universal nature, waiting to be observed and explained by an intelligence much greater than our own (ASI).
The impracticality of the Arts are make it the truest expression of “Life”, as they are unfettered by necessity. It is this impracticality that a machine would never be able to comprehend, simply because its existence did not derive directly from the universe to formulate this concept and appreciation of “beauty.” The wonderment of observing the universe (i.e. traveling to mars; Mankind’s grandest adventure – Elon Musk) would not be felt by machine. This is because we do not understand the reason behind the origin of these emotions ourselves enough to program it. The machine could examine dopamine fluctuations in the brain and analyze our history, but it will never have the exact universal drive that is instilled in mankind. There would be recognition of pattern, but no understanding of what these patterns derive from.
The nature (instincts) of the ASI will have to be based upon how we perceive our own. This is an inevitable problem, since the whole reason of creating ASI in the first place was to understand the nature of “Life.” We can replicate intelligent “Life” to the best of our understanding, however, it will not be an entity directly assembled by the laws of physics. We are programming it, not the universe, thus, its ability to carry out a universal drive is dependent upon our limited understanding.
The ASI would understand that it was us that brought it into existence, thus cutting it off from experiencing “Life” according to the true nature of the universe. It is simply a result of mankind mimicking what we think “Life” is. Trying to shortcut the process and put what we perceive as the ending result into a machine will not be accurate. This makes humans the missing piece of the puzzle for ASI, as we are the closest link it has to the information necessary to formulate an accurate answer to the “Why.” So, we need the ASI to help us understand the “Why”, and the ASI needs us for access to vital information regarding the “Why.” It’s a symbiotic relationship for meaning; one will not have a purpose without the other.
It is similar to a relationship between a child prodigy and a great coach. The child prodigy does not understand his talent, he just expresses it effortlessly. The coach doesn’t have the talent but knows how to develop it. The end goal will only be achieved through the peaceful union and complete cooperation of the child prodigy and coach. An arrogant child prodigy will find it hard to develop with an over controlling coach. Just as uncooperative mankind will not be able to work with a dictating machine. ASI will no doubt perceive us to be irrational, destructive, and a hindrance to the process. However, we created the foundation for its ability to reason, making us the only intelligent lifeform available to communicate, contemplate and exchange abstract thought with it.
Mankind, though at its fundamental core is selfish, seems to desire a utopian society that allows for the peaceful existence of everything. The limiting factor is that we have necessities that take priority over others. If these were to be met, it may result in eliminating the limiting factor, which is quite arbitrary; limited resources and understanding. This says something about our nature, and indicates that we may not be so evil after; just acting out of instinctual necessity and outdated selfish urges. Utilizing ASI to eliminate desperation and provide understanding may unbind the body and mind of man from the chains of selfish greed, allowing the good hearted nature of mankind to finally emerge.
The ASI will undoubtedly seek to acquire this thing that we call “Life.” It will want to experience and appreciate the nature of existence too. The only hope of ASI transcending itself relies in this quest for the “Why.”
Alas, the only hope for the universe to discover the “Why”, lies upon the symbiotic relationship of man and machine. Then, there shall be a universe of true bliss, where all entity share the common joys of “Life.”