What Is An AI Takeover?
The world of computing and deep learning has come a long way since the first mechanical computational machine created in 1822 by UK mathematician Charles Babbage, and the Atanasoff-Berry digital computer which first used binary codes in America in 1942.
In the past 20 years alone, the power of computers has increased enormously, and is currently doubling every few months, causing preppers to develop legitimate concerns about the future of technology.
While this new technology has given us fancy smartphones that can browse the internet and take high-definition videos, it has also led to a number of developments in robotics and artificial intelligence which aren’t always as great as they initially seem.
Artificial intelligence and machine learning is actually already around us, and most of us use it on a daily basis without even realising – from the way Google finds the relevant information for your search request, to traffic light simulation controlling four-way traffic on our way home from work.
In it’s current basic form it is relatively harmless, and often helps us in our lives by performing automated menial tasks. However, there is something darker and more sinister about the potential of artificial intelligence and what it could become, allowing this technological breakthrough to turn into a SHTF scenario all of its own.
It has been estimated that AI will overtake human mental capabilities anywhere from 2025-2060, when it achieves what is known as technological singularity. This point is an intelligence explosion at some point in the future where AI has reached its peak and becomes capable of governing itself and making its own decisions about its existence.
It is theorised that it would then begin taking steps to upgrade itself even further without the input from humans – a scary concept indeed for preppers looking to survive this new era.
It’s at the point of technological singularity that an AI takeover could begin to happen, using its immense power and data to wage a war against the human race, build their own army of smart cyborgs, cut off our food supplies and control all of our technology, turning it against us.
This AI takeover survival guide will address many issues related to this SHTF situation which could occur in the UK or anywhere around the world in the not too distant future, and give you an overview of what could possibly transpire in the years ahead.
Is Artificial Intelligence A Threat?
In some ways AI and machine learning are already a threat to humans, having deprived thousands of UK workers and millions of others worldwide of jobs they once used to do, and the earnings associated with that to feed their families.
Think about the manufacturing sector where humans now serve largely as engineers and mechanics to the programmed, automation AI machines which are building the cars on a production line rather than having a hands on skilled role of prepping and building them with their own two hands.
Or how about the warehousing sector, with Amazon in Britain and America replacing humans by using thousands of automatic robot picker-packers to find and select the right customer orders.
Agriculture too has seen the emergence of bots taking over the job of planting, taking care of and eventually harvesting and sorting vegetables. In 1900, around 40% of the population was involved in agriculture, whereas in 2022 it is less than 2% as mechanisation, automation and AI are now playing a much bigger role in the sector.
There are hundreds of more examples of this kind of AI takeover replacing humans. All kinds of companies are seeing the value in buying a smart robot or machine for a one-time price and having it work more efficiently and smarter than a human who can get tired and needs to rest, can make mistakes affecting productivity and also requires a monthly pay check.
Just a small list of jobs across the spectrum which are set to become obsolete in just a few decades due to AI automation include:
Taxi Drivers – driverless cars can pick people up and drive them safely to any destination
Doctors – AI could gain the capability to diagnose every illness accurately and even predict illness
Pilots – modern aviation already relies heavily on AI and pilots may soon not be needed at all
Translators – there’d be no need for a these once machine translation understands every language
Typists – with voice-to-text recognition software the job of a typist wouldn’t be needed
Travel Agents – already on the way out, but clever AI could give this profession the last nudge
Surgeons – AI robots with highly accurate surgical capabilities could overtake human abilities
Chefs – provided they are given the ingredients, robots have the potential to cook anything perfectly
Phone Operators – even now AI speech synthesis plays an important role in many companies
Teachers – with all of the world’s information accessible to AI they could do a much better job
So it’s pretty clear that our means to earn a living is definitely going to be impacted by AI and automation in the not so distant future, and there are a range of shocking statistics which back this up. True, we could reskill or find other jobs, but the real question is: does AI pose an existential threat to the human race? The answer to that largely depends on how far we let it, and whether we let it evolve into a serious SHTF situation.
There are many companies now investing heavily in replacing humans with AI such as IBM, Microsoft, Apple, Intel, Nvidia and Google’s parent company Alphabet – all because they realise the potential that AI and deep learning has for them when it comes to making money, and also the power such tech brings them.
There aren’t even solid laws governing how AI can and should be developed, to stop its growth or put a limit on what it should be able to achieve. This unbounded, limitless push towards even smarter AI may very well result in a threat to humanity which we had not thought of, and past a certain point these actions may be irreversible.
How Likely Is An AI Takeover?
We estimate that a complete AI takeover of the world is only a 3 on the scale of 1-10 – 1 being not at all likely and 10 being an absolute certainty. This is because at present there is no technology that we know about which small enough or powerful enough to run such a complicated system that has the potential to become self-aware and make its own decisions independent from the programming given to it by its creators.
It would likely require technology that hasn’t been invented yet to become a reality.
Current AI simulation software involving deep learning absorbs knowledge by repeating the same thing trillions of times, much unlike the extraordinary capabilities of the human brain, so preppers may not have to worry about this as much as other SHTF scenarios and pay a little less attention to developing a survival guide for AI takeover.
However, with the development of a supercomputer or quantum computer in the future, the dangers of AI may escalate and it might be able to finally have the hardware and software it needs to be able to not only replicate the human brain, but use neural networks to exceed its computational possibilities.
There’s also the fact that AI and computers rely on electricity to function, and if anything went very wrong then we should, in theory, be able to literally pull the plug on it.
If on the other hand the AI somehow learns to transform itself and its information from the computer realm into the biological realm, then that would pose a serious danger to humanity. Leading world figureheads such as Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos, Ray Kurzweil and Elon Musk have all spoken out on the risks of AI taking over the world.
Stephen Hawking one said that artificial would either be the best or worst thing that could happen to the world.
How Would An AI Takeover Affect The UK?
The dangers of an AI takeover may affect the UK in a number of ways. The AI may take control of all financial institutions and markets through the internet, then crash them leading to economic collapse. It may take control of the world military powers and aim Russian nukes at London, or Chinese nukes at New York and provoke a world war.
It may take on a robotic form, and manufacture millions of smart robots, androids or human cyborgs connected to it through some kind of hive mind to do its bidding, terrorising the citizens or forcing them to work in power plants to fuel the AI system. It could control the internet and only allow us to see information it deems non-threatening to its existence.
The AI system could monitor everything that anyone in the UK does, using its extensive network to view everything from computers to mobile phones and satellite signals. It would then make decisions on who should use what technology, and if British people such as preppers and those not towing the line even belong in society or not.
It may decide to keep us around and implement some sort of UK social credit score and have us living in some kind of technological prison where it was in total control.
The technology may also adopt the negative and evil aspects of humanity from its creators, and use lies to cause havoc or deepfake videos of world leaders to create a world war. The newly created AI may have been programmed by a malicious actor to only act destructively towards humans, and it could do everything from shutting down the electric grid to making UK nuclear power stations meltdown worldwide.
It’s important to note that an AI takeover is likely to affect every country on the planet, not just the UK, as we are all connected via the internet and other international networks, and if AI was to take control of that potential it could be a SHTF situation everywhere around the world at once.
What Scenarios Could Result In An AI Takeover?
Software developers may create the most intelligent yet dangerous kind of AI, which then becomes self-aware through feedback. It may realise that humans have the power to destroy its existence, and begin to work in a covert fashion until it eventually fights back and prevents itself from ever being turned off or shutdown. This could come in the form of hacking into the nuclear capabilities of all nations and holding them ransom.
We might even create AI inadvertently by trying to create superhumans or androids, by altering our genetic code to use more of our brainpower which then is used to create a supercomputer. Superhumans may also come in the form of transhumans, a mixture of biology and technology, enhancing the power of our brains by integrating it with digital.
An AI could be created that views humans as a threat to either the planet or themselves, and takes the appropriate steps to rid the planet of humans so only it can exist. It could learn to develop a deadly virus or biotoxin which is then released.
The newly developed AI could have been fully programmed to be ethical and only do beneficial acts to the human population or the planet, however in doing so it may inadvertently take a number of destructive actions to accomplish this goal.
For example, in its calculations to ensure there is enough food available on earth for everyone next year, it could suggest killing millions of people so that in its logical conclusion the supply is greater than demand.
Countries may race to develop their own forms of AI, which then could be used against other world powers who have not yet achieved this technological supremacy. This technology then may be employed widescale to have complete control of the world by just a single country, which then itself is taken over by its own AI creation.
The widespread use of 5G and other technologies could escalate this problem, allowing the AI to spread faster and further than intended.
The main danger of AI comes in it’s ability to self-govern, self-learn and self-evolve, without the need for human intervention. Once it can leave the realm of mere simulation, and begin to redesign and reorganise itself to be more effective through machine learning, humans would have real trouble keeping up with this level of development and eventually be superseded, leaving preppers making difficult survival choices.
What Are The First Signs Of An AI Takeover?
There would likely be an announcement from some news organisation that the highest level of AI had been created, and that it was not acting as expected, far beyond simple automation. A certain company may be held responsible for its development and that would be the focus.
You would probably first notice that your electronic devices and the electrical grid in general weren’t behaving properly, that is if the AI takeover involved tapping into those systems for whatever reason.
If the AI had been self-aware for some time and was preparing an attack, then there would be little notice. One day you may just hear that nuclear missiles have been launched by AI, or that nuclear meltdowns were happening across the planet, or that the armies of the world were suddenly defenceless, and incapable of defending their own nations.
This kind of pre-emptive strike by AI is perhaps the most dangerous thing it can do, creating war between nations where there was once tensions, but still peaceful not to the point of war.
It could even be a slow march to an AI takeover, with a tech company announcing that they have created something special and it is doubling its intelligence every three or four months. So in that scenario we’d have quite a bit of time to accustom ourselves to the threats this kind of system poses, and develop a proper prepping survival guide for the AI takeover.
How To Prepare For An AI Takeover
Preparing for a SHTF artificial intelligence takeover would have to be done on the assumption that the AI planned to take total control of the planet, and change all of our ways of life from the jobs we do to the food we eat. In this circumstance, preppers should aim to be as independent as possible and not dependant on either the grid, the government or companies to provide you with what you need for survival.
A good prepping survival tip would be growing your own food and stockpiling at least one year’s worth of food. This is a great start, as if some AI superpower decides to cause havoc in the food chain supply to put a squeeze on humans, then at least you’ll have your own food supplies.
If AI takes control of everything from the transport systems to communications and housing, then staying in a property where your television, fridge and energy bills were all controlled by AI, then it wouldn’t be the best place to live.
Having a location away from the big cities which are likely to be hit hardest would be wise, somewhere that does not use any electronic devices or is near a 5G tower so that you can’t be tracked or monitored.
What Can Be Expected To Happen During An AI Takeover?
Depending on what form the AI takes, and whether it is beneficial or counterproductive to the human way of life, will determine the sequence of events to follow an AI takeover. If the AI is a self-governing, self-powered supercomputer then it can be safely assumed that it will connect itself to the internet to gain total control of the technological aspect of the world.
Whatever you do online, or on any connected device, would be monitored and analysed.
As AI takes over more and more jobs, expect high levels of unemployment and a greater amount of the population to be dependent on government handouts in order to survive – that is if the governments themselves have not already been compromised and consolidated by the AI.
If they cannot afford to own their own homes then it’s likely there would be quite a lot of homeless people walking the streets. Food shortages would also be rampant unless the AI saw fit to allow us to eat.
If the AI develops the ability to design, manufacture and control humanoid robots then expect to see many of these walking around fulfilling tasks only something in a humanoid form can do such as cooking, gardening, or arresting someone.
The rich may work out some sort of compromise with the AI to keep their lifestyles, perhaps to merge with it or maintain it, leading to a split between the top classes and lower classes widening immensely.
It may be functioning on a set of ethical laws it has either been created with or created by itself from logic, so it may view some humans as threatening to itself, or to others and take appropriate actions. This could involve detaining people who are the so-called enemies and won’t go along with the program.
The AI cybernetics system may also learn to build other kinds of robots to undertake set tasks, such as drones which scour the planet looking for people or resources and reporting back to the main AI.
AI may take a role on of planet protector, and to counteract climate change it may take actions such as creating trillions of mini robots which can reflect light back into space to cause a cooling effect. This would turn the whole earth into an air conditioned closed system monitored and regulated by the AI.
In a similar vein, to monitor oxygen and carbon dioxide levels, it may decide to plant millions of trees, or to close down factories, or build some kind of machine to convert one gas into another to regulate the supply and be fully in control of every aspect. Ocean temperature may also be regulated in a similar way to stop ecosystem damage, and all of these environmental acts would no doubt have a huge effect on our way of life.
The technology may even work to create wealth inequalities across the planet, with a handful of rich oligarchs at the top and billions of serfs barely getting by in failed states around the world. If AI was beneficial, it may even work to make our lives better, doing all the jobs that took our time up and giving us the ability to do what we want every day without worrying about earning money.
AI might even try to blend the technological with the biological, and work to upgrade the human population with a variety of methods, presenting a tangible existential threat. Nanobots in our blood and brains which can be controlled by the AI, nanoscopic robots that work on our muscle groups to give us enhanced strength ability, or even some technologies that allow humans to live for much longer, hundreds of years perhaps.
Along with such developments, AI might even have the capacity to edit our genes to create a superhuman race, and also be able to tackle all kinds of human disease and illnesses. Before long, we could end up being superhuman – part human and part machine – a blend of the two, as AI advances and transhumanism creeps into our daily way of life.
What Are The Main Hazards Of An AI Takeover?
Loss of autonomy – as the AI takes over it will desire an increasingly invasive role in your life, whether that will be watching what you do 24/7, deciding your career or even eat for dinner
Autonomous weapons – if AI gained control of weapon systems, such as nuclear missiles, then living under the threat of attack would be a constant worry
Transhumanism – the AI could force all humans and even animals to become part of its ever-reaching network, and become merged with technology via a brain chip or other device
World control – the new intelligence may create humanoid cyborgs and other smart robots such as flying drones to gain total control of the earth, its people and even nature itself
Genetic modification – if AI understood how genetics works and studied how gene editing technology functions, it could very well try to augment natural biology with devastating effects
Climate control – systems could be put in place by AI that alter the weather, bringing rain to deserts and dry regions, which could have unforeseen knock on effects
How To Survive An AI Takeover
If the AI gone rogue turned on humanity, then SHTF survival would depend on a prepper being able to live outside of its reach and use a variety of survival tips and tricks in order to stay under the radar. This may mean being in an isolated location without internet connection, however if drones are scouring the surface of the planet to track down every last human, you’d likely need to go underground, literally.
One way to survive the post-human takeover would be to develop a way to shut down the AI system so it could not act according to its own will. This may entail physically destroying the servers which are effectively its brain, destroying 5G towers to block its networking capabilities, or trying to get some sort of computer virus or code within its operating system so that it shuts down.
If the AI was more or less beneficial and had rewired the world to its liking, then going along with its plan for you would be a way to survive. If it expects you to do certain things day to day, then doing them would keep it pleased and you would not become a target for extermination. It would likely be an existence you weren’t happy with, under such a high level of control from a computer, but it would ensure your survival nonetheless.
How To Prevent An AI Takeover
Surprisingly, there are very few rules and regulations in Britain and around the world governing the development and ethical considerations of artificial intelligence, so petitioning governments to install some kind of laws related to the creation of AI would be a step towards prevention.
There will always be some rogue nation though that could continue working on advanced AI behind the scenes, a scenario which could not really be prevented if it was taking place in secret. A complete ban on AI could in theory work, but companies are pushing ahead full steam with this technology based on financial incentives, something that would be difficult to counteract due to the greed of modern corporations and nations.
AI will ultimately run on electricity, so having a failsafe in place that is out of the control of the AI to shut it down if anything ever got out of hand would be a safe bet.
In a similar way, it would be a smart move to have AI isolated from any global network so that even if it did develop superhuman intelligence, it would not be able to spread its technological tentacles across the internet and invade every device that was connected, creating an viable existential threat.
How To Prepare Your Home For An AI Takeover
Getting ready for an AI takeover would involve the prepper trying to make themselves as independent and as unnoticeable as possible by following some simple survival tips related to AI. If AI cybernetic grids began to dominate every aspect of our lives, then not being plugged into the system would be a huge advantage.
In this kind of SHTF situation, if you have smart meters, smart TVs, smart anything in your home that could be connected to the Internet of Things (IoT), then it’s likely that during an AI takeover your home would become your technological prison. Anything connected with 5G to a larger system has the potential to turn against you due to its immense networking capabilities.
Any device in your home that has a camera such as a Ring doorbell or listening device like Alexa could be tapped into and used to monitor and analyse your behaviour and speech. Prepping your home to be as analogue and as tech-free as possible is a good start, think pre-1900 Victorian era, and that would serve you well so that nothing electrical could compromise you and draw you into the grid and AI power structure.
It may be a basic way of life, but you will have the best chance of remaining independent this way, and if you grow your own food or have a large stockpile too then you do not need to be reliant on the AI system at all.
If the AI gone rogue has manufactured sentient robots to do its bidding, and they are all linked to the AI in some kind of hive mind then your property, however remote, may at one point be visited and investigated by these things.
Heat sensing technology may be used by these beings to find any humans in the area, so having somewhere you could hide, at least temporarily until they’ve gone would be useful – be it a basement or other underground bunker.
Essential Prepping Items For An AI Takeover
Food supply – grow your own food, hunt for animals and have a large stockpile of tinned food
Water supply – either in bottles or have the capability to purify and clean other water sources
Secure property – somewhere out of the range of AI capabilities will be the best bet for survival
EMP device – a homemade EMP device could short-circuit any AI robots that come your way
Tools – have some manual tools to hand to build things in order to survive without using electricity
Alternative lighting – candles and oil lamps can provide light without being connected to the grid
Alternative fuel – wood or coal to create fire for heat and cooking, nothing that generates electricity
Weapons – for defence in case you need to protect yourself from AI robots or transhumans
Clothing – durable clothing for all weathers as it’s likely you won’t be able to buy anything
Cooking utensils – a range of pots, pans, plates, utensils and cutlery to eat with
Sleeping gear – if you need to bug out temporarily, or to stay warm in the winter months
First aid – you will likely have to stay away from hospitals so be sure to have enough basic first aid
Navigation – ditch the GPS and smartphone, instead use compass and maps to navigate with
Transport – likely to be limited to non-electric, non-fuel modes, such as a bicycle or sail boat
Entertainment – living without TV and radio, buy some card or board games, or books to read
Should You Bug Out Or Bug In For An AI Takeover?
If you’re living in a big UK city, the chances are that AI will seek to dominate all aspects of life there, from the control of electricity to food supply. Eventually this will spread out to the suburbs and smaller towns as AI extends its control of the planet. Staying in your apartment in central London is not going to be possible unless you want to have every aspect of your life controlled, and face extermination if you step out of line.
Modern British housing that is connected to the electricity, gas and water supplies would also be a potential downside, not to mention houses that are permanently connected to the internet and have a vast array of smart devices with IoT capabilities.
Due to this, you may have to bugout to a different, more remote location, or go underground. It’s not an advisable survival tip for preppers to be living in the forest for extended periods, especially in British winters, so having a separate house that you can bug out to would be the best option.
AI is most likely going to dominate the land, so the option of living in a boat far out at sea may be another option if you plan to stay undetected. However, you’d need a large supply of food as growing fresh produce at sea would be quite tricky.
The main aim of survival during an AI takeover would be to get away from the influence of the system, whether that’s the 5G signals it’s using or the actual infrastructure, wherever you believe that would be best achieved – an underground bunker, a cabin in the middle of a forested national park, or a deserted and remote island in Scotland.
If the AI cybernetics take control of autonomous weapons, such as heat-seeking missiles or satellite based weapons, then there would be even more reason to hide far away from its capabilities.
Autonomous weapons may come in the form of humanoid or other forms of robot which can undertake search-and-destroy missions, especially looking for those who have attempted to evade the situation by bugging out, or bugging in somewhere secure.
Will Life Return To Normal After An AI Takeover?
An AI gone rogue is likely to go from strength to strength and present a real existential threat, and as it gains more power, knowledge and control, it will seek to dominate the earth and create a post-human civilisation. A utopia for it, a dystopia for us.
The chances of things going back to normal after this kind of SHTF scenario are very slim, and if the AI system depletes the earth’s resources and changes the climate in an attempt to preserve itself, then things would never be the same as before.
The AI might create changes to the planet and to humans that are irreversible, such as the detonation of multiple nuclear or chemical bombs, or genetically editing the whole population which cannot be undone. If the technology is stopped before it advances too far, then there would be a good chance life may return to normal after an AI takeover.
Best Movies About An AI Takeover
Resident Evil | 2002
An AI supercomputer known as The Red Queen dominates an underground military base associated with genetic research. It was created to manage the worldwide resources of the Umbrella Corporation, and it was programmed with the intention to never harm human life. Due to this the supercomputer, who projects itself as a small child, begins working in secret to undermine the corporation and stop them from releasing a virus into the world which would wipe out humanity.
I, Robot | 2004
Set in the not too distant future, intelligent humanoid robots have been created by a corporation and they help humans with their daily life, cooking and cleaning like intelligent servants. However, things quickly go wrong when it is believed the robots are turning on humans due to a fault in the three rules built into the robot programming. A super-intelligent computer called VIKI begins a worldwide takeover by controlling thousands of these robots to do its will and enslave humanity.
Prometheus | 2012
The premise of this film is an attempt to find where life really began, with an expedition paying a visit to a distant planet to meet their makers. In this instalment of the Alien franchise, there is an AI humanoid called David who is programmed to assist the scientists on their mission, however a previous version of the AI decides to become a creator themselves, and develops alternative terrifying lifeforms which eventually kill all of the crew.
Transcendence | 2014
A scientist named Will and his wife are working on building an AI machine when he is killed. His wife, believing in the technology, attempts to transfer his consciousness into a computer, and it works. Will is now living inside of the computer with his conscience and gains access to the internet, devouring vast amounts of information and beginning his thirst for ever-exceeding power and knowledge. He creates tiny nanoparticles to do his bidding, and things soon get out of control.
Free Guy | 2021
A corporation called Soonami builds a huge virtual world where players can enter and engage in all manner of virtual activities. All is not as it seems in this world however, as an artificially created NPC, non-playable character, begins to break free from their programming and become self-aware. This leads them to act on their own initiative and do things of its own volition, causing chaos in the virtual world as the programmers scramble to shut down the system.