Note: This question was heavily rewritten for two reasons: Firstly, many of the answers were not exactly what I asked for; Secondly, both the original question and all the answers to it were from before ChatGPT, which heavily altered the perception of what an algorithmic AI can do.
I want the setting I am designing to be devoid of any AI which can predict or emulate distinctly human behaviour. This does not inherently only include true AI or general-purpose systems; Even an algorithmic system only capable of predicting or mimicking a specific aspect of human behaviour would count.
"but," you may at this point be asking, "What counts as predicting or mimicking distinctly human behaviour?" A list of examples is included below, but it is important to note that it is by no means exhaustive:
- Predicting what products a person is more likely to buy, even if this is simply statistical and involves no real empathy, and even if it requires a long history of prior purchases
- Writing a short story with consistent tone and a plot where events seem reasonably connected to what happens before and after, even if the the story is uninteresting and/or surreal
- Responding to singular prompts in spoken or written natural language in a relevant way, even without the ability to carry on a significant conversation
- Writing a news article or other piece of nonfiction text in a consistent and naturalistic style, even without the capacity to ensure the information contained therein is factual
The simple explanation for why these AI and algorithms do not exist is that computers are just not as good; The problem is that this setting also has nuclear fusion (of the kind which does not come in bomb form and does not need to be combined with fission to work) and genetic engineering good enough to create wholly new classes on the Tree of Life (although not quite good enough to create wholly new phyla), among many other technological advancements in applied physics and biotechnology; Even assuming all those technologies are actually possible, they would inevitably require extremely good computer technologies to develop in the first place, as nuclear fusion would require a level of capacity to simulate plasma physics at least on par with the mid-2010s, and that kind of genetic engineering would require the ability to simulate the folding of proteins and identify correlations between genes and expressed traits in a way not even possible now in the early 2020s.
And so we come to my question: How is it that humans might be able to correlate physical things and perform simulations of physical systems both at unprecedentedly high level of speed and accuracy without also being able to construct an AI which can do any of the above in a short enough timeframe to matter?
The common answer would be that AI capable of predicting or mimicking human behviours is considered unholy and is forbidden by the dominant religious groups, but, whilst I will go with this if there are no other worthwhile options, I would like to avoid this explanation if possible.
Secular ideological reasons are fine, but only if an explanation is provided for:
- Why every major geopolitical power shares this ideological tenet
- How the policy of rejecting human-predicting and/or human-mimicking AI is enforced so effectively that there is not even one obscure rogue nation where it is openly used
In addition, if the reason is that such AI did exist in the past and caused so much trouble it was eliminated, some explanation should be given as to how the wealthy few who profit from such AI did not effectively suppress the anti-AI rebellion.
I know this is a very hard question to answer, but I'm honestly at my wit's end trying to work this one out.