Free will is overrated, at least this is what we thought when we saw news that MIT Media Labs would be asking an actor to let the internet control them on 31st October.
The project dubbed BeeMe will see an actor give control of their actions to the internet. Think of it like a real-life “Twitch Plays X” where here X represents “human”.
Writes MIT Media Lab in a blog, “One individual will entirely give up their free will for a day, to be guided by a large crowd of users through an epic quest to defeat an evil AI. Who is in charge? Who is responsible for one’s actions? Where does the individual end and others begin?”
Elaborating on the experiment, MIT Media Lab’s Niccolò Pescetelli told Business Insider that internet denizens would need to coordinate at scale to defeat Zookd, an evil artificial intelligence.
“If they fail, the consequences could be disastrous,” said Pescetelli.
That having been said the actor will not be allowed to do anything that violates the law, their privacy or puts themselves in danger.
The internet can make the actor do things by submitting commands or alternatively up voting commands. When a command gets to the top the actor will have to take the action.
Beyond that however, very little is known about the game.
The BeeMe website features a flickering rhetorical question along with a camera lens but once the game goes live on Halloween at 11pm EDT (that’s 5am on Thursday 1st November here in South Africa) the experiment should go live.
Will the internet work together to defeat Zookd or will we gain some dark insights into the minds of humans when they’re part of a faceless crowd? Our money is on the latter.
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