Some rambling AI prognostication

I want to get in the habit of sharing more of my unpolished thoughts about topics I consider important. The hope is to shift from an equilibrium where I say little (and therefore feel like I’m endorsing whatever I do say as having an unusually high quality, causing me to say even less), to an equilibrium where I say much more and feel more comfortable sharing unpolished thoughts. I think “quiet” is an OK equilibrium (most people who should read some of my thoughts shouldn’t read most of them, and it would make sense for me to try and be selective). But it seems like a suboptimal equilibrium, since there are at least a few people who do care what I think, often to better understand our disagreements.

A similar social problem is possible, where a broader intellectual community tends towards a “quiet” equilibrium in which any public speech comes with an implicit claim of interestingness and worthwhileness. I think intellectual communities vary considerably in where they sit on this spectrum. Bloggers qua bloggers often write quite a bit; academics in computer science tend to be much more guarded about what they say. I think there are some virtues to the noisier equilibrium, particularly in increasing our ability and inclination to notice, understand, and resolve disagreements.

Anyway, in that spirit, here is some of my thinking about AI—an outline of the development scenario I consider most likely, and a general discussion of the impacts of consequentialist automation. Criticism is welcome, and you can leave comments on the (quite hard-to-navigate) google doc here.


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