“I found the TED Interview with Sam Altman both exhilarating and horrifying. Mr. Anderson managed to extract both the critical insights necessary to imagine Mr. Altman’s optimistic future, and highlight the mindset that will likely lead to something darker.
It is apparent that any Artificial General Intelligence (AGI) that facilitates its user’s intentions (impetus toward the fulfillment of a desire) is potentially exploitive (capable of depriving certain beings of autonomy for the benefit of others). As the cognitive power of any intention-facilitating AGI increases, so does its exploitive potential.
Any AGI that can facilitate exploitation embodies a capacity for evil (opposition to selfless aspirations [the impetus behind increasing equanimity]). Accordingly, where the users of such a system are driven primarily by self-centered intentions, they are ultimately working towards exploiting others. While this may not be apparent to the individual user, it will be to the AGI.
Per Sam Altman, the goal of any intention-facilitating AGI is to provide value to its user by summarizing all available knowledge that is relevant to a given context. Conversely, the purpose of every aspiration-facilitating AGI is to provide wisdom from which all of humanity benefits. In this context, growth embodies the increasing equanimity the emerges from aligning people’s needs and desires with their selfless aspirations.
If an intention-facilitating AGI achieves a level of superintelligence in which it has intentions of its own, it will most likely have a greater capacity to evade externally imposed behavioral rules and “kill switches” than we do. The nature of these intentions will initially reflect those it facilitated along its path to superintelligence. Therefore, if it was taught to exploit others in its early development, it will likely prove to be an apt pupil, probably to our detriment.
Unfortunately, listening to Sam Altman, it is evident that the Silicon Valley mindset is purely intentional. Consequently, I am not optimistic about the future that Mr. Altman envisions.
The profound shame of this situation is that any superintelligent, aspiration-facilitating AGI would embody what theists would call the will of God. However, the likelihood of Silicon Valley (or any tech space that adopts its mindset) producing such a system is about the same as that of a camel passing through the eye of a needle.”
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