Stop Smart Software! A Petition to Save the World! Signed by 350 Humans!

May 30, 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.

A “real” journalist (Kevin Roose), who was told to divorce his significant other for a chat bot published the calming, measured, non-clickbait story “AI Poses Risk of Extinction, Industry Leaders Warn.” What’s ahead for the forest fire of smart software activity? The headline explains a “risk of extinction.” What no screenshot of a Terminator robot saying”:

The strength of the human heart. The difference between us and machines. [Uplifting music]

Sadly, no.

Write up reports:

Eventually, some believe, A.I. could become powerful enough that it could create societal-scale disruptions within a few years if nothing is done to slow it down, though researchers sometimes stop short of explaining how that would happen. These fears are shared by numerous industry leaders, putting them in the unusual position of arguing that a technology they are building — and, in many cases, are furiously racing to build faster than their competitors — poses grave risks and should be regulated more tightly.

Isn’t the Gray Lady amplifying fear, uncertainty, and doubt? Didn’t IBM pay sales engineers to spread the FUD?

Enough. AI is bad. Stop those who refined the math and numerical recipes. Pass laws to regulate the AI technology. Act now. Save humanity. Several observations:

  1. The credibility of technologists who “develop” functions and then beg for rules is disingenuous. The idea is to practice self-control and judgment before inviting Mr. Hyde to brunch.
  2. With smart software chock full of “unknown unknowns”, how exactly are elected officials supposed to regulate a diffusing and enabling technology? Appealing to US and EU officials omits common sense in my opinion.
  3. The “fix” for the AI craziness may be emulating the Chinese approach: Do what the CCP wants or be reeducated. What a nation state can d with smart software is indeed a something to consider. But China has taken action and will move forward with militarization no matter what the US and EU do.

Silicon Valley type innovation has created a “myth of excellence.” One need look at the consequences of social media to see the consequences of high school science club decision making. Now a handful of individuals with the Silicon Valley DNA want external forces to reign in their money making experiments and personal theme parks. Sorry, folks. Internal control, ethical behavior, and integrity provide that to mature individuals.

A sheet of paper with “rules” and “regulations” is a bit late to the Silicon Valley game. And the Gray Lady? Chasing clicks in my opinion.

Stephen E Arnold, May 30, 2023


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