May 13, 2017 I Brett Tingley

LSD May Help Humans Win the War with AI

The writing’s been on the wall for some time. Our squishy little brains will look like the biological equivalent of Etch A Sketches next to the all-knowing, all-seeing, quantum computer-powered AI of the very near future. Artificial intelligence is already out-thinking humankind in many surprising tests and activities which were once thought to be computer-proof. Many top minds have already predicted a robot takeover is on the way with little we can do to stop it. What’s left to do? Why, drop acid of course. How else are we gonna defeat those cold-hearted, dead-eyed robots?

pink floyd
So you're saying all I need to do to crush those stinkin' computies is lie around and listen to Pink Floyd? Where do I sign up?

The mental boost provided by LSD might be exactly what humanity needs to maintain its edge over artificial intelligence. That’s according to Amanda Feilding, who operates the UK-based Beckley Foundation which is devoted to studying psychedelic drugs and their effects on the brain. Feilding is launching a series of crowdfunded trials which will pit humans under the influence of LSD against artificial intelligence to test her hypothesis. The ancient Chinese game of Go will be used to test creative thought against artificial intelligence systems which already handily dominate even the world’s best Go players.

Go is often used to test AI due to the game's complexity, variability, and the high degree of creativity and planning it requires.

A landmark study last year found that psychedelic drugs make the human brain go absolutely bonkers with activity, form new connections, and use various parts of the brain in surprising ways. Fielding recently told Business Insider that she believes such a brain boost could push human intelligence and creativity to new heights:

We want to look to see if we see those changes in cerebral circulation and connectivity and hopefully things like the ‘aha!’ moment that comes with creativity as well. It’s a study I’ve wanted to do for 30 years. I’m very interested in that level of cognitive enhancement which isn’t a full-blown psychedelic state but is a lift in productivity and cognition and amusement or thinking further than one usually does.

An increase in cognition and creativity might allow us to maintain our relevance in an age where AI computing power far exceeds what the human brain can do. Otherwise, it’s off to the human battery farm for us all.

At least we'll be warm when the nuclear winter hits.

The researchers plan to administer the LSD through a technique known as microdosing. Microdosing involves taking very small doses of psychedelics - so small as to not be incapacitating. When taken in tiny amounts, some psychedelic drugs like LSD have been shown to boost productivity and creative thinking in many people. So much so, in fact, that microdosing has become widespread among Silicon Valley engineers and designers.

Who knows, maybe your coworkers all microdose and you don't even know it. No wonder you keep getting passed up for promotions.

Microdosing has also been shown to be an effective treatment for many crippling mental health issues like, you know, Facebook addiction. Welcome to the future. Now get back in your battery pod.

Brett Tingley

Brett Tingley is a writer and musician living in the ancient Appalachian mountains.

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