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Jul 20·edited Jul 20Liked by Steve Skojec

It's hard for me to sort out how much of this is hype. As Mostaque acknowledged, he does have a reputation for exaggerating things. But if he's even half right, I agree with him that the problem will get so big and so complicated that we will probably need AI to solve it. While I sympathize with and generally support efforts to slow AI's development, part of me wonders whether the cat isn't already out of the bag. If the arms race is already on, perhaps it's best for good actors to aggressively pursue AI development. Either these predictions flop, and there was nothing to worry about, or the predictions are true, and our best hope for survival is developing an AI capable of counteracting the negative impacts of AI. If that's the case, then the sooner we have that 'good' AI in place the better.

I think Bilyeu is right on when he talks about the arc of technological development leaning towards progress, but with the caveat that it doesn't care about the individual. With every paradigm shifting technology, the rising tide has eventually lifted all boats, but in the short term it plunged many to the bottom of the ocean. I think of how wretched the lives of factory workers in the early days of the industrial revolution were, or even sweat shop laborers today. I get that farm life can be brutal, and I can't ignore the fact that many voluntarily chose to work in hellish textile factories and coal mines. But it'd be hard for me to say that their lives were improved.

As AI emerges, I hope we won't be like the people who shrugged their shoulders at child labor, or at workers being locked into their buildings with no fire exits (or today with Apple's suicide prevention netting in their factories). I think now is a good time to start educating ourselves about the history of worker exploitation and corporate irresponsibility.

As much as I disagree with socialism, I suspect that that way of looking at the world is much better equipped to spot the potential pitfalls of AI. In any case, another interesting thing about AI is that it could dramatically change the material conditions that we base our ideologies off of. If the changes these men predict happen, it will really allow us to see whether such and such an economic or sociological theory represents an eternal truth of nature or just something that worked well based on the circumstances of that time.

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