Conspiracy Theories about AI Self-Driving Cars

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By Lance Eliot, the AI Trends Insider

What do these aspects have in common: Roswell, Area 51, JFK assassination, moon landing, AI self-driving cars?

They are all considered by some to be conspiracies.

Most of us are familiar with Roswell, New Mexico and the claims of a UFO that landed there. Likewise, most of us know about the claimed mysteries of Area 51. The JFK assassination, even after all these years and multiple investigations, still raises the question about who was on the grassy knoll and how was JFK actually shot. Could Lee Harvey Oswald have really been able to get all those shots off, in the short amount of time, and hit his target with such precision? Some would say, no way.

For the moon landing, you might only be vaguely aware that there are some that believe it never actually happened. It was presumably faked. Indeed, here in Southern California, on one of our many Hollywood studio lots, it is believed that there was a sound stage that was made into a lunar landscape. What you see in the live broadcast of us landing on the moon was actually taking place on a large set and the astronauts were really here on Earth. Some claim that we never got into space at all. Others concede that we did get into outer space, but that we had intractable problems and could not get to the moon. Thus, in order to save face within the United States and with the entire world, an elaborate ruse was put together.

So, do you think we landed on the moon?

If so, those that believe in the conspiracy theory would say that you are naïve. You have allowed the government to trick you. You are a rube.

That being said, the last item in the conspiracies list might catch you by surprise.

AI self-driving cars. Yes, there’s a conspiracy story going around about AI self-driving cars. It’s not reached the “big time” like Roswell or JFK, but it’s definitely something that is being whispered and wondered about. In fact, when I give presentations about self-driving cars, one of the questions I invariably get asked is whether or not there is indeed a conspiracy underlying the emergence of AI self-driving cars.

Admittedly, the first time that I got asked the question it was a bit disarming and I almost thought it was an April Fool’s joke. Say, what? A conspiracy about AI self-driving cars? What do you mean, I asked the person that offered the question.

Let’s back-up a moment and first review the nature of conspiracy theories.

Typically, a conspiracy theory involves a belief that there is some form of secret plot that has untoward intentions and involves multiple conspirators that concoct and try to carry out their evil doing. Furthermore, there is usually a tangled web that makes it hard for outsiders to figure out the true nature and structure of the conspirators. The conspiracy can possibly exist for quite a while before it is discovered. Even once it is discovered, the ability to ferret out the full underpinnings is often quite difficult and it is so well hidden and camouflaged that one might not ever get to the bottom of it.

I’ll add possibly a new word to your vocabulary, dietrologia. This is a word that entails the belief that any official explanation for something is unlikely to be the real explanation, and there’s something else really going on. Those that embrace a conspiracy theory are apt to have a tendency toward dietrologia. Whenever shown a set of facts or told a story, they are right away skeptical and assume that there is an unstated and purposely hidden reality underneath that needs to be discovered.

Of course, there’s a chance that sometimes they’ll be right. You might say that Watergate was an example of a true conspiracy. It involved higher ups. It involved subterfuge. It was hidden. It took a while to figure out. There were conspirators. It was done for an untoward reason. It had disbelievers at first. Those that thought it was a conspiracy were at first accused of being paranoid and making things up. And so on.

Thus, we do need to agree that there are real conspiracies and there are imaginary ones. Just because someone spouts out about a conspiracy does not suggest that they are delusion or crazed. We need to give a moment of reflection about whether the conspiracy might be real. This can be hard to do, in the sense that the conspiracy might seem so ridiculous, so out-of-touch, so imaginative, we could be tempted to provide a knee jerk response that it’s just a bunch of baloney.

There are some conspiracies that are shallow, and others that are deep. The shallow ones are usually easier to spot and figure out. The deep ones will often have a wide array of tentacles and once you find one part of the octopus, you later discover there’s another arm or leg that you didn’t realize existed. Inevitably, you begin to wonder how deep it will go. Is there any end to it at all? Maybe it involves everyone.

Some key principles underlying the basis for conspiracies includes:

  •         Nothing happens by accident
  •         Nothing is as it seems
  •         Everything is connected

Could it be that Lee Harvey Oswald just so happened on his own to decide to kill JFK and was able to pull off a seemingly impossible task? It’s hard to believe that this happened by the efforts of a solitary individual. Some believe that the industrial military complex was worried about JFK and whether he would support our defense spending. Some believe that the communists were worried about JFK. Somehow, all of these stakeholders plotted to assassinate JFK.

Enemies All Around Us

Conspiracies also play on the notion that there are enemies all around us. In fact, you are supposed to be considering these kinds of enemies:

  •         Enemies outside
  •         Enemies within
  •         Enemies above
  •         Enemies below

One consideration too is why a conspiracy would take place. When you think about it, you’d realize that pulling off a conspiracy could take a lot of work. Experts that have examined the moon landing have claimed that there were about 411,000 people that were involved in getting to the moon. If that’s the case, imagine trying to get that many people to keep a lid on the conspiracy. Seems almost impossible. Experts claim that at the normally predicted rate that people tend to divulge secrets, it would have taken around 3 ½ years to ultimately have the whole thing become publicly known and unravel.

I realize that my definition of a conspiracy indicated that the effort is being done for an untoward reason. Some argue that you can have a conspiracy that’s being done for the sake of goodness. Suppose the United Nations undertook a secret project to create a vaccine that could eradicate a devastating disease that’s found in developing countries. It’s possible then that a conspiracy could be undertaken for beneficial reasons. Most though would say that conspiracies are nearly always for untoward reasons. There are powerful actors that want to ruin other people’s lives. The conspiracy exists to harm people and it is inevitably a battle of light versus darkness, or of good versus evil.

Conspiracy investigators say that the first way to discover what’s going on involves asking the simple question of “who benefits?” and that then you can begin to find clues to the puzzle. Does the government benefit? Does private enterprise benefit? Who will reap the benefits of the conspiracy? For Watergate, we now know that President Nixon was intended to benefit, along with his administration, and presumably his supporters.

Having true conspiracies is especially handy for those that believe in imaginary ones. If all conspiracies were shown to be untrue, it would make things very hard to float any new conspiracies. Anyone could refute the new conspiracy by quickly pointing out that none of the prior ones held water. Fortunately for the conspiracy theorists, by having some bona fide examples, it provides a glimmer of hope that maybe, just maybe, the new one could also be true.

The twist to conspiracies is that they are usually very hard to disprove.

If you find a person that says a particular conspiracy is false, I might insist that the person is lying. They are actually part of the conspiracy. They were told to lie about it. For whatever you come up with to try and undermine the conspiracy, I can just try to absorb your contention into the conspiracy itself. I’ll just keep making the conspiracy bigger and bigger.  For Roswell, the local police say there’s no space alien that was there. Aha, the police are part of the conspiracy. For Roswell, the military says there’s no space alien. Obviously the military must be part of the conspiracy. The president of the United States says that there isn’t a space alien here. This means that the president is part of the conspiracy.

Or, another angle is to say that those that refute the conspiracy are blind to it. The president might not be part of the conspiracy, and instead he’s just living in a bubble and doesn’t know that it is actually true. Maybe the police are being tricked into thinking that the space alien that they saw was something created by the CIA. By and large, conspiracies are so malleable that you can just keep morphing it so that any resisters are either part of the conspiracy or they are oblivious to its existence.

Let’s now turn our attention to AI self-driving cars.

At the Cybernetic Self-Driving Car Institute, we are developing AI systems for self-driving cars. I genuinely believe that we are doing so for beneficial purposes of humanity. Along the way, we are also hopefully going to be appropriately compensated for bringing to society something that will aid us all.

Just to let you know, there are conspiracy theorists that would say we are either blind to the true AI self-driving car conspiracy, or we are naïve about its existence.

I leave it to you to judge.

The AI Self-Driving Car Conspiracy Explained

So, what exactly is the AI self-driving car conspiracy?

The most prevalent version indicates that the advent of AI self-driving cars is being done for evil purposes to harm humanity. It is being undertaken by powerful conspirators that are purposely seeking to subjugate humans to AI. First, AI will take over our cars. We will lose the ability to drive a car. We will become dependent upon AI for our mobility. We won’t be able to get around without the use of the AI. Once this happens, the AI will grow from there. Step by step, AI will ultimately become sentient and we humans will become its slave.

By seemingly innocently using AI for cars, the unwashed of us are letting AI into our daily lives. If we knew the true full plot, we’d be resisting at every turn. But, because it seems plausible that having AI for self-driving cars is a good idea, we are opening the door or the window to this AI. And, in the proverbial give an inch, take a mile, the whole thing is secretive and incremental. We will soon discover that AI have taken over our entire existence, and we allowed it to happen by sneakily letting it occur via our cars.

Who benefits?

The tech firms would presumably love to subjugate us all to technology. They adore technology more than they like people, or so we are led to believe.

Or, it could be that the auto makers are doing this, since they not only want us to buy their cars, they’d love to control where we go and what we do, presumably.

Maybe it’s the government. What better way to go toward Big Brother. Get us to use AI self-driving cars, and the next thing you know, they are controlling our minds.

Some would say it’s the AI community in particular. Many AI developers were earlier the butt of jokes as to not being able to produce intelligent automated systems. They got so upset that they decided they’d show us what can be done. It’s a pride thing.

It could be an overarching evil cabal. The tech firms are in cahoots with the auto firms, which are in cahoots with the AI community, which are in cahoots with the government. This is the grand conspiracy. All of these powerful actors are co-conspirators. They have plotted together for their evil doing.

Are you skeptical?

Of course you would be. You are part of the brainwashed herd. You can’t grasp the aspect that these powerful actors would want to undertake such an effort.

Why have AI self-driving cars so suddenly become of interest? Do you naïve believe it just happened by accident? That’s pretty foolish on your part.

Why are the government regulators being so easy on AI self-driving cars? Do you really think they would resist trying to regulate heavily these potential death machines? Obviously, they are in on it. They don’t care that some people will get injured or killed during the course of perfecting the AI self-driving car. That’s a small price to pay for getting ultimately to Big Brother.

Even the media seems to be part of the conspiracy. Only lately have there been any kind of media skepticism about self-driving cars. Up until now, it’s all been rosy. The media is either part of the conspiracy, or so out-of-touch that it does not see a conspiracy when it sits right in front of their noses.

Let’s try to disprove this particular conspiracy or prove it.

How could the auto firms, the tech firms, the AI community, the government, have all banded together to plan and carry out the conspiracy? Doesn’t seem plausible. Now, that being said, I don’t have anyone that can come forward and say they were part of the conspiracy and reveal its inner workings. Is there anyone probing these entities to find out what secretive memos they might have? We don’t know.

It seems we can neither disprove it, and nor can we prove it.

Well, here’s an idea. The industrial military complex, which pulled off the JFK assassination, they got together with the CIA that has kept Roswell a secret, and banded with the team that did the fake moon landing, and have come back together for purposes of bringing forth AI self-driving cars. This conspiracy includes them, along with the AI developers, the auto firms, the tech companies, the government, the police, and the space aliens. Yes, even the space aliens are part of it (they are going to seed the AI self-driving cars with a back-door that will allow them to take over humanity – it’s like the movie Inception, a conspiracy within a conspiracy within a conspiracy).

I’m sure of it.

Or, am I just saying so to keep the real conspiracy from your keen eyes?

This content is originally posted on AI Trends.