“Think about it.”
“Dilbert” creator Scott Adams said Wednesday that President DonaldTrump’s persuasive talents are so uniquely superior that they could overcome the public opinion-shaping machinations of artificial intelligence.
Adams isn’t new to the Trump club: He predicted Trump’s victory already in 2015, calling him a “clown genius” and a master of persuasion.
Adams even published a book, “Win Bigly,” to flesh out just how superpower-y Trump’s superpower is. So powerful, it turns out, that even the advent of sentient computers poses no match.
On Tuesday, Adams devoted a Periscope live-stream to elaborating on a tweet he himself had tweeted the day before. In the tweet, Adams expressed his belief that Trump “will be the last human leader the United States will ever have.”
President Trump will be the last human leader the United States will ever have. After him, complex algorithms that humans created but no longer understand will determine our opinions, and those opinions will control politics.
— Scott Adams (@ScottAdamsSays) September 11, 2018
According to Adams, the fact that public opinion is now dominated by social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook — and the controversial algorithms that ordain and curate all content from opinions to news stories — has led us down a path where human beings are no longer fully in control of the narratives that shape our world view.
“From this point on, social media will determine our opinions because science has demonstrated that social media can determine our opinions,” Adams said. “It can move opinions, I think, 20 to 40 percent just by the way they present information.”
But one man alone stands stalwart against the rot of Facebook, Google, Twitter, Yelp, Bumble. That man is Donald J. Trump, the credited author of “The Art of the Deal.”
“So social media has the power to determine our opinions. The only reason it’s not happening now is because President Trump is the one-in-a-thousand-year personality,” Adams said.
“Think about it,” Adams urged viewers before going on to explain how Trump’s unprecedented persuasive skills make him peculiarly immune to the tide of public opinion, while still enabling him to shape it.
Lesser leaders might cave to the demands of constituents whose perspectives are shaped by an algorithmically-determined experience, but Trump is unaffected, Adams explained. To put it another way: Not unlike Neo, protagonist of dystopian science-fiction touchstone “The Matrix,” Trump is within the system, but not of it. He sees the framework, but is not bound by it.
Trump doesn’t listen to algorithms. Algorithms listen to Donald Trump.
According to Adams, the president’s ability to persuade “beyond the power of social media” is critical since, we’ve lost our capacity to fully comprehend the logic guiding the technology we’ve unleashed upon the world.
“We’re already in a situation where the algorithms of social media are beyond the complexity where there are really any individuals or management in the company that even knows what the algorithms are exactly doing,” he said.
That lack of understanding means the algorithm is “sort of already in control,” Adams argued after likening the situation to the creation of “some super AI or giant robot that then took over and made its own decisions.”
The Donald’s unique status as a master persuader explains, according to Adams, how the president triumphed over technology and Hillary Clinton, his Democratic opponent in the 2016 election, who was the “algorithm’s choice” for president.
“The algorithm tried to keep President Trump out of office,” Adams said. “It wasn’t strong enough.”
So if you’re like Sam Harris, Elon Musk, or Eliezer Yudkowski and lose sleep dreading the imminent rise of ”Ex Machina”-like AI — fear no more. Trump will “Art of the Deal” that AI so fast its head will spin.
- president-trump-attends-the-american-leadership-in-emerging-technology-event-5b995cc2b1931b37fa000007.jpg: Getty Images