Please, World, Please, Regulate AI. Oh, Come Now, You Silly Goose

May 23, 2023

Vea4_thumb_thumb_thumb_thumb_thumb_t[1]Note: This essay is the work of a real and still-alive dinobaby. No smart software involved, just a dumb humanoid.

The ageing heart of capitalistic ethicality is beating in what some cardiologists might call arrhythmia. Beating fast and slow means that the coordinating mechanisms are out of whack. What’s the fix? Slam in an electronic gizmo for the humanoid. But what about a Silicon Valley with rhythm problems: Terminating employees, legal woes, annoying elected officials, and teen suicides? The outfits poised to make a Nile River of cash from smart software are doing the “begging” thing.

523 will they fall for reg small

The Gen X whiz kid asks the smart software robot: “Will the losers fall for the call to regulate artificial intelligence?” The smart software robot responds, “Based on a vector and matrix analysis, there is a 75 to 90 percent probability that one or more nation states will pass laws to regulate us.” The Gen X whiz kid responds, “Great, I hate doing the begging and pleading thing.” The illustration was created by my old pal, MidJourney digital emulators.

OpenAI Leaders Propose International Regulatory body for AI” is a good summation of the “please, regulate AI even though it is something most people don’t understand and a technology whose downstream consequences are unknown.” The write up states:

…AI isn’t going to manage itself…

We have some first hand experience with Silicon Valley wizards who [a] allow social media technology to destroy the fabric of civil order, [b] control information frames so that hidden hands can cause irrelevant ads to bedevil people looking for a Thai restaurant, [c] ignoring laws of different nation states because the fines are little more than the cost of sandwiches at an off site meeting, and [d] sporty behavior under the cover of attendance at industry conferences (why did a certain Google Glass marketing executive try to kill herself and the yacht incident with a controlled substance and subsequent death?).

What fascinated me was the idea that an international body should regulate smart software. The international bodies did a bang up job with the Covid speed bump. The United Nations is definitely on top of the situation in central Africa. And the International Criminal Court? Oh, right, the US is not a party to that organization.

What’s going on with these calls for regulation? In my opinion, there are three vectors for this line of begging, pleading, and whining.

  1. The begging can be cited as evidence that OpenAI and its fellow travelers tried to do the right thing. That’s an important psychological ploy so the company can go forward and create a Terminator version of Clippy with its partner Microsoft
  2. The disingenuous “aw, shucks” approach provides a lousy make up artist with an opportunity to put lipstick on a pig. The shoats and hoggets look a little better than some of the smart software champions. Dim light and a few drinks can transform a boarlet into something spectacular in the eyes of woozy venture capitalists
  3. Those pleading for regulation want to make sure their company has a fight chance to dominate the burgeoning market for smart software methods. After all, the ageing Googzilla is limping forward with billions of users who will chow down on the deprecated food available in the Google cafeterias.

At least Marie Antoinette avoided the begging until she was beheaded. Apocryphal or not, she held on the “Let them eat mille-feuille. But the blade fell anyway.

PS. There allegedly will be ChatGPT 5.0. Isn’t that prudent?

Stephen E Arnold, May 23, 2023

No kidding?


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