“… a third threat to humanity looms, one presciently predicted mostly by chain-smoking sci-fi writers: that of artificial general intelligence (AGI). AGI is only being worked on at a handful of companies, with the goal of creating digital agents capable of reasoning much like a human, and these models are already beating the average person on batteries of reasoning tests that include things like SAT questions, as well as regularly passing graduate exams…”
I enjoy reading Erik Hoel’s writings. He has interesting and educated perspectives on topics I care about. After introducing the first two existential threats to humanity, that being nuclear war, and climate change, I felt the need to write something in response.
As to the claim that machines are learning to reason as well as humans do, I don’t believe it’s about reason. This amusing, fictitious theme has been playing out in Hollywood for over a century. Culturally, we tend to project our predictively-programmed and cross-generationally conditioned fears onto non-human things. We’ve been doing it since… forever.
In my opinion, this increasingly popular sentiment essentially calls out the issues with testing, exams, and grading (the “education”) of the “average person,” not that AI/AGI can, will, and does handily obliterate the common man on rote, data-centric, information-retrieval challenges. No shit, Sherlock. The truth is we’ve been trying to make automatons and machines of humans for well over a century, and not surprisingly, it still hasn’t worked. It never will. Though, if psychopathic transhumanists get their way (they never will; it’s mind control, fear-inducing propaganda, and a cover story for something else, like always), we’ll all get implants and upgrades, so we “have a chance” at competing with AI.
As always, it’s simply not good enough to be a healthy, organic, living, breathing, feeling, caring, mistake-making human. Not in the marketplace, not in science and academia, not in the corporate world or big industry. Not in medicine, not in education, not even in the arts. AGI is showing us how small, slow, lumbering, and pathetic we are, and if we don’t address this “problem” it’s curtains, again, for civilization and the species.
What a load of unmitigated, sci-fi-horror bullshit.
Be human. That’s the point of you. That’s your why.
If we buy into the hype and the prevalent noise of the day, humans are: frail, prone to violence, uncaring, divisive, parasitic, needy, dependent, greedy, stupid, sex addicts, racist, primarily white colonialists, disease spreaders, destroying the planet, multiplying like rabbits, religious nutballs, scientific illiterates, need to be controlled and managed, need government surveillance and supervision at all times, and most certainly can’t be trusted to do the right thing.
All fiction. All lies.
Sure, some humans exhibit these negative traits of humanity, even to the extreme; they don’t care about anything but power and money, and they don’t care about the damage their actions do to anyone, or the Earth. But the vast, overwhelming majority, do not, and never will.
Why do you believe what you choose to believe? Is there anything real about you? Why are you here, again? Why’d you decide to come back into the game?
What really matters to you? Not what mommy or daddy or the priest or the beautiful actor or Sydney, Suri, or Alexa said… You.
In an era when everyone [has been conditioned to believe] it’s fine and normal to flat-out lie about everything to everyone, to protect their feelings — to avoid offending their sensitivities, to avert venturing into adult conflict and debate, to go along to get along — we’ve seen an unprecedented emergence of cowardice, and an absolute degeneracy and corruption of character and morality.
Yes, you should be ashamed. Your kids are learning from what you do, not what you say.
No human, anywhere, at any time, has ever needed a “smart” device of any kind. They never will – not for surviving, thriving, deriving a fulfilling career, or vocation, to be of service, to maintain optimal physical and mental health, and certainly not for partnering, or proliferating the species. The more you expose yourself to and become dependent upon these superficial conveniences, the less you will rely on instinct, empathy, and imagination. You will become little more than a data storage device, a content provider, and an empty shell that’ll need empty carbs and predictable, empty programming to feel any sense of fulfilment. That’s a hopeless path, and a bridge that will never reach the other side of the canyon.
You don’t have time to waste.