U.S. Navy is calling on gamers to help it stop the rise of the machines

US Navy Wargame
Text Size
- +

Toggle Dark Mode

The U.S. Navy is calling on gamers to help it plan for and deal with the possible rise of artificial superintelligences.

Specifically, the Office of Naval Research will launch a new multiplayer online wargame initiative called MMOWGLI (Massive Multiplayer Online Wargame Leveraging the Internet) on March 27. The community of over one thousand players will collaborate on solving real-world issues — specifically, the idea of Singularity, which is defined as the potential creation of artificial “grater-than-human” intelligences as a result of quickly advancing technological breakthroughs. What experts are worried about is the possible woes attached to that type of intelligence.

“The emergence of intelligent machines capable of designing even smarter machines would create its own kind of event horizon,” MMOWGLI’s Dr. Lily Wheeler said at a talk in Monterey. “A world in which the unaided human is no longer sufficient, and may not even be relevant.”

If that rather dystopian idea seems a bit like the Terminator franchise, that’s because it is. And while it once was fiction, researchers and technological experts from around the world are increasingly worried that such a singularity is not only inevitable — but is much closer than we can imagine. “Technology has advanced to the point that we can see the Singularity on the horizon,” said Dr. Eric Gulovsen, ONR’s director of disruptive technology. “What we can’t see, yet, is what lies over that horizon. That’s where we need help from players.”

During the week-long wargame, players will be able to “post ideas, interact with each other to build, counter, debate, re-direct or call for further expertise,” according to an ONR statement. Especially popular ideas that come about can be elevated to actual plans for development or adoption by the Navy. And the ONR isn’t just looking for military or technology experts — they’re calling on people from all walks of life. “This is a complex, open-ended problem, so we’re looking for people from all ways of life — navy, non-Navy, technologist, non-technologist — to help us design our Navy for a ‘post-Singularity’ world,” Gulovsen said in the statement.

The Navy has taken to getting ideas from everyday people before, too. Previously, MMOWGLI — an initiative first launched in 2011 — was used to tackle issues ranging from combating maritime piracy off the coast of Somalia to reducing the Navy’s reliance on fossil fuels. If you’re interested in helping to stop the rise of the machines, you can sign up via this link.

Social Sharing