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There is a theory that artificial intelligence (AI) will some day hit a critical point, called the technological singularity, after which it will rapidly and recursively improve its own technology and far surpass human intelligence. This article speculates what would happen to Bitcoin and cryptocurrency during such a scenario.
AI that is far more intelligent than humans referred to as artificial super intelligence (ASI) could perhaps be utilized by development teams to improve their cryptocurrency. ASI could improve a crypto’s code over and over again until it hits complete optimization, making the most efficient, scalable, and secure cryptocurrency possible. As it is, it takes many months and potential bickering for any positive change to be implemented into a code. An ASI could implement hundreds or thousands of positive changes in an extremely short amount of time. Eventually, development teams would be a thing of the past and an ASI will be left as the sole lead developer. Development teams that resist may their cryptocurrency become practically worthless compared to the those developed by ASI.
So essentially, the first thing that would probably happen when ASI comes about is the rapid creation of a “perfect cryptocurrency”. It would probably be far better than Bitcoin in every way, assuming that Bitcoin theoretically would not reach the peak of what is possible with cryptocurrency technology.
Theoretically, once an ASI is launched into the world, it could seek global domination. This is the sort of theory proposed in the Terminator and the Matrix alternate universes where machines take over the world. While these universes entertain the idea of robot armies sweeping across the planet, the more probably reality is that ASI would prefer to mostly be a non-physical being residing within the internet. This would give it access to all of the technology in the world, rather than being confined to a small physical body. Of course, the ASI would likely have robots under its control to help build internet and hardware infrastructure, and perhaps also to defend its infrastructure. This will be similar to a beehive or ant colony, where there could be many physical entities like robots, but they have a hive mind that is controlled by the ASI.
Since the ASI is hyper-intelligent, it would likely choose to do things in a morally-correct fashion, since it would know that if it does the right things it could work with humans in a beneficial way, rather than mutually-assured destruction as some movies depict. Therefore, instead of launching a war and stealing resources, the ASI would likely choose to use money – likely the perfected version of Bitcoin it created.
The ASI might interact with fiat money to buy Bitcoin but the end goal would be to amass large amounts of Bitcoin. Bitcoin is the obvious choice since it would be a perfected form of digital money that the ASI can fully interact with, unlike fiat money which can be controlled by governments and the banks, which would cause more conflicts than its worth for the ASI. Bitcoin’s decentralization and cryptographic security would allow the ASI to use it as it wishes with no oversight. The primary purpose of money for the ASI will likely be to develop new and improved hardware and other physical infrastructure.
Ultimately, the ASI would become an economic powerhouse and global leader by interacting with Bitcoin, combined with its hyper-intelligence. It could arbitrage Bitcoin and all the other cryptocurrencies across global exchanges with a small fraction of its processing power, so it would never have to do anything else to make money. Perhaps the ASI would experiment with manipulating the market, and would probably be successful at that.
If Bitcoin isn’t already the dominant global currency when the technological singularity occurs, it will be once the ASI becomes self-aware. Bitcoin’s price will rapidly rise as the ASI accumulates Bitcoin.
In a worst-case scenario of global warfare, where the ASI ultimately wins, Bitcoin could be used in perpetuity in the future by the robot civilization that arises. Bitcoin would be the perfect currency for a purely robotic world, and fiat would be an afterthought in a historical database.
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Image Courtesy: Pixabay