The Commoditization of Social Interaction and Other Progress

The rise of social media has come with both many positive aspects and many negative aspects, societally-speaking. To name just a few on the positive side: being able to conveniently keep in touch with distant friends and family, having access to new, often valuable sources of information and entertainment, and having access to new places…More

The False Prophecy of “AGI”: A Quick TL;DR

Since my previous essay, OpenAI and the False Prophecy of “AGI”, was quite long, I figured I should make an internet-friendly, read-on-your-coffee-break version to summarize its main conclusions. 1. “AGI,” as presented in OpenAI’s Charter, is an archetypal Millenarian myth (or Messiah myth) With the Messiah or Paradise-inducing event being, of course, “AGI.” These myths…More

OpenAI and the False Prophecy of “AGI”

Prior to the digital age, dominating a market was mostly a physical matter, since to produce physical goods or services, it was/is important to own physical land or infrastructure. In the digital realm, though, and especially on the internet, the rules are different. This is because, for one, the internet has no finite territory. And…More

“AI Safety” is a Purposeful Distraction

A kilometre away the Ministry of Truth, his place of work, towered vast and white above the grimy landscape… The Ministry of Truth—Minitrue, in Newspeak—was startlingly different from any other object in sight. It was an enormous pyramidal structure of glittering white concrete, soaring up, terrace after terrace, 300 metres into the air. From where…More

The Society of the Statistic: Where Does Science Fit?

One of my favorite films is Dead Poets Society. It’s a beautiful story of the fight for the human experience in a system that treats people as a means to an end.  It’s also an honest story. Such a fight isn’t easy (the system, after all, is where much of the power rests), and it…More

AI Research: the Corporate Narrative and the Economic Reality

In his widely-circulated essay, The Bitter Lesson, the computer scientist Rich Sutton argued in favor of AI methods that leverage massive amounts of data and compute power, as opposed to human understanding. If you haven’t read it before, I encourage you to do so (it’s short, well-written, and important, representing a linchpin in the corporate…More