Long and richly-illustrated antidote to strong AI singularity fears, with mentions of Perry Bible Fellowship and The Emu War.

    We need better scifi!

Bryan Caplan's End-of-the-World Bet with Eliezer Yudkowsky


Not much of an antidote, much of this is a straw-man argument. Plus a lot of it is just shitting on the kind of people who are interested in AI-risk, or saying that because certain logical arguments are uncomfortable they must be wrong.

I'm fairly certain most AI-risk advocates agree there is a fairly small risk, but it's small like 1%. Plus if/when it does become a problem, it's likely to become a problem really fast, so it makes sense to be prepared. We've had decades to do something about climate change and we haven't, which will be catastrophic, making the same mistake again could be species-ending.

>But if you’re committed to the idea of superintelligence, AI research is the most important thing you could do on the planet right now. It’s more important than politics, malaria, starving children, war, global warming, anything you can think of.

There are already a few billion dollars being spent globally on malaria, I'm guessing a similar amount on food aid. A much much smaller amount is spent on AI research. MIRI spent about $1.8 million last year source; I'm guessing the worldwide total isn't more than $10 million. I'm not saying those numbers should be equal, but it may be that $10 million isn't enough. Or more to the point, a math/programming nerd interested in doing something which will help the world and hasn't picked a career path is probably better looking into AI-research than the other problems listed.

Reason being, some problems which lend themselves to just throwing more money at them; last I knew $5 at the Against Malaria Foundation bought a bed-net. So if you just want to throw money at a problem the AMF is your best choice (note: I regularly donate to AMF among other charities). We have several drugs which treat malaria and bednets are effective at prevention, we also know how to prevent and treat starvation (give the person food). These are problems constrained by resources and will, not by knowledge.

tl;dr Author is exaggerating though I agree with many of the conclusions

edit: So apparently OpenAI has a $1 billion endowment. So my guess is that the cause has enough money right now. Also I think they have an image problem, so if anybody here is good at marketing and also cares about AI-research maybe you could help them out with that.

posted by wasoxygen: 614 days ago