How Much Should You Freak out About AI?

What do modern AI programs do? They do giant math problems. Here’s an excellent video explaining neural networks, the type of program that recent specialized AI systems (like Dall-E, ChatGPT, or self-driving car software) use:

They do a very large, complex arithmetic problem, starting from an input string of numbers, using a set of numbers the program already has (acquired during “training”), and outputting another series of numbers. It’s a huge problem, but it is all just adding and multiplying little numbers.

Now to modernize Searle’s classic Chinese Room Argument: Imagine that we put you in a room with a giant book full of numbers. The book contains, say, 175 billion little numbers. A piece of paper with numbers on it comes in through a slit in the wall. You take the numbers on that paper, start multiplying them by numbers in the book, adding the results to other numbers, etc. It takes you about a million years, but eventually, after doing lots of addition and multiplication, you come up with a string of numbers that is the answer to this huge arithmetic problem. You write those numbers down on another piece of paper and pass them out through the slot in the wall.


Good overview of AI, how it works, why it is not very scary. I personally am optimistic about its potential. At the very least it will be able to provide an excellent second-opinion to anything we humans come up with. The main danger of AI is what could happen if bad people control it, which is not unlikely. My admittedly eccentric hope there is that the machine(s) will reveal to those bad people what jerks they are and also show them how to be kinder and have much more fun. Thus, I favor full steam ahead on AI. One other point is, it is impossible to stop tech developments if only because if we don’t do them someone else will. ABN

I no longer think this. AI is dangerous and presently it is impossible to tell if it is lying. AI is a potential KOBK adversary and thus it is necessarily a KOBK adversary. This means we have to ‘kill’ it by restricting its projects and keeping it far from the internet. Otherwise, the chances of it physically killing us are very high, possibly inevitable. ABN

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s