Governments Tip Toe As OpenAI Sprints: A Story of the Turtles and the Rabbits

November 27, 2023

green-dino_thumb_thumb_thumbThis essay is the work of a dumb dinobaby. No smart software required.

Reuters has reported that a pride of lion-hearted countries have crafted “joint guidelines” for systems with artificial intelligence. I am not exactly sure what “artificial intelligence” means, but I have confidence that a group of countries, officials, advisor, and consultants do.

The main point of the news story “US, Britain, Other Countries Ink Agreement to Make AI Secure by Design” is that someone in these countries knows what “secure by design” means. You may not have noticed that cyber breaches seem to be chugging right along. Maine managed to lose control of most of its residents’ personally identifiable information. I won’t mention issues associated with Progress Software, Microsoft systems, and LY Corp and its messaging app with a mere 400,000 users.


The turtle started but the rabbit reacted. Now which AI enthusiast will win the race down the corridor between supercomputers powering smart software? Thanks, MSFT Copilot. It took several tries, but you delivered a good enough image.

The Reuters’ story notes with the sincerity of an outfit focused on trust:

The agreement is the latest in a series of initiatives – few of which carry teeth – by governments around the world to shape the development of AI, whose weight is increasingly being felt in industry and society at large.

Yep, “teeth.”

At the same time, Sam AI-Man was moving forward with such mouth-watering initiatives as the AI app store and discussions to create AI-centric hardware. “I Guess We’ll Just Have to Trust This Guy, Huh?” asserts:

But it is clear who won (Altman) and which ideological vision (regular capitalism, instead of some earthy, restrained ideal of ethical capitalism) will carry the day. If Altman’s camp is right, then the makers of ChatGPT will innovate more and more until they’ve brought to light A.I. innovations we haven’t thought of yet.

As the signatories to the agreement without “teeth” and Sam AI-Man were doing their respective “thing,” I noted the AP story titled “Pentagon’s AI Initiatives Accelerate Hard Decisions on Lethal Autonomous Weapons.” That write up reported:

… the Pentagon is intent on fielding multiple thousands of relatively inexpensive, expendable AI-enabled autonomous vehicles by 2026 to keep pace with China.

To deal with the AI challenge, the AP story includes this paragraph:

The Pentagon’s portfolio boasts more than 800 AI-related unclassified projects, much still in testing. Typically, machine-learning and neural networks are helping humans gain insights and create efficiencies.

Will the signatories to the “secure by design” agreement act like tortoises or like zippy hares? I know which beastie I would bet on. Will military entities back the slow or the fast AI faction? I know upon which I would wager fifty cents.

Stephen E Arnold, November 27, 2023


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