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The 4 Inevitables of Artificial Intelligence
Today I want to talk exactly about these, the inevitables. The basic things that in my personal opinion, but also in the opinion of people much more experienced and accomplished than me, will happen in relation to AI. Let's get them out of the way so the conversation can move on.
Regarding this, I'll say that the following views are supported by people like Geoffrey Hinton, Max Tegmark, Mo Gawdat, Ben Goertzel, Yuval Noah Harari, Emad Mostaque, Demis Hassabis, Eliezer Yudkowsky, Connor Leahy and others (Google them). Among them are people considered gurus in the field who resigned from well-paid positions at Google and other companies in order to be able to speak freely and warn the world about what is coming.
I won't hide from you that when I had the following thoughts, I zealously tried to find counterarguments based on realistic scenarios. So I communicated with several of them. Let's just say I didn't find what I was looking for.
Lately I participate as much as my time allows in various discussions and panels related to the upcoming onslaught of Artificial Intelligence. The upcoming "revolution" as most people like to call it on TV or radio.
You will allow me to insist on "onslaught" because for something to be "revolutionary" I think it presupposes some kind of direction. Which in itself presupposes control of the situation.
At the moment, when it comes to AI, we have none of that. What is happening is extremely simplistic and dangerous.
The big players who unfortunately are only big companies (Google, Microsoft, OpenAI, Apple, Anthropic, etc.), those whose pockets can afford to play at this level, are trying to create bigger and smarter models. The only thing on their minds is to stay ahead of the competition. The classic capitalist model in other words. A model that works and has led us to the development we have today (with all the drawbacks of course). But a model that can be fatal in the case of AI.
I will exclude Stability AI, which has a different direction (another discussion).
The money invested in this part, the development of AI, is estimated to exceed half a trillion dollars by the end of 2024.
The corresponding total amount invested in the security and control of the "monster" is estimated to be between $1 and $15 billion annually.
I think you can see the mismatch.
So I insist that what we need to prepare for is an "onslaught." An incomprehensible and unprecedented onslaught of Artificial Intelligence that will swallow everything in its path.
Let's look at a series of "inevitables" that will happen, at least with today's data.
⭐️ 1. The development of Artificial Intelligence will not stop.
I keep hearing this and we need to deal with this issue. AI does not have a plug and there is no realistic way to stop its development. We can theoretically restrict or delay some things, but in reality neither are realistic. For example, we could agree not to train models larger than X. Or not to release models to the public web (let alone as Open Source) if they do not meet X and Y specifications.
But this is not a realistic scenario because quite simply no one trusts anyone and so such a condition cannot exist. America would have to trust China and Microsoft trust Huawei. Merry Christmas.
⭐️ 2. Artificial intelligence will surpass human intelligence at every level.
It is self-evident and obvious. ChatGPT 4, at the moment, has been measured, and its IQ is close to 160. As much as Einstein's. In January its IQ was less than 30. Do the math.
Today, there is nothing in the world, no person and no group of people with the collective knowledge of this model. However the thing evolves, which can only get faster, smarter and more capable, soon we will be talking about super geniuses with IQs in the 50,000+ range that we simply will not understand what they say and do. Imagine this was the case with Einstein who was a little man who was trying to explain the theory of relativity and the existence of gravitational waves to us dunces, and we still look at him like he’s an idiot. Make the analogy and try to understand what will happen when we have 1 million super geniuses with 50,000+ IQs each talking and collaborating.
⭐️ 3. The transition will be extremely painful.
Do not listen to those who say AI is just another tool. They don't know what they're talking about. Yes, today it is (also) a tool, but if we stay there we probably can't see past the end of our nose.
With the current state of affairs and with governments and major organizations paying lip service, it is inevitable that we will experience dramatic moments. Entire sectors of the economy will be shocked. The social consequences will be enormous.
Especially for those who do not prepare and do not adapt to all this.
The speeds at which AI development is moving are dizzying and growing exponentially, while politically the issue is dealt with at the level of a standard bill. Soon it will be mathematically too late.
At the individual level, it is estimated that at least 400 million jobs will be lost (or transferred) from generative AI alone (Goldman Sachs research). Bob Goertzel stated a few days ago that "**AI could probably make 80% of jobs obsolete**."
You need to understand that we are not talking about unskilled labor, but positions held by educated people with degrees. From those we still produce in our universities to this day.
The people who will find themselves in free fall in this ravine that will be created will be in the millions.
What does this mean? A person today does not just work to make a living. His job defines him, gives him purpose, vision and makes him feel creative and useful to society. I cannot imagine what will happen when in just a few months millions of people will truly find themselves in the void. Despair. That's the only word that comes to mind. We're talking about economic but also existential leveling.
At the corporate level, things are much simpler. Those who do not transform their companies to embrace AI will go out of business. Because quite simply, the competitor will.
The economic and social consequences of this violent and permanent change will be devastating. Unprecedented.
No one will be unaffected by all this.
⭐️ 4. Our lives will never be the same.
Even if we hit a hypothetical global pause on everything today, with the current data our lives have changed forever. We just haven't seen it yet on the scale that will emerge very soon.
Always look at what big companies do, not what they say. Follow the money, and you'll see that all the big companies have laid off tens of thousands of people, have announced even more layoffs soon, and are pouring endless money into AI development. If you move the clock 5 years later, how do you think the world will be?
I am well aware that AI has the characteristics of a technology that can propel humanity and take it to another level of development and prosperity. At last we theoretically have a way to solve any of our major problems as a species. An incomprehensibly greater intelligence to consult.
I am not blind, nor by nature pessimistic. I just think all these positives will not happen on their own. You cannot have such powers on autopilot and just hope for the best. We need to steer things there. All together, as a species.
Unfortunately, today, I have nowhere to stand to support such an outcome. If you have any such substantive indications, please convey them to me and I will be very happy.
But if our only helm is profit and power, the ship has already taken a different course. And it's not good.
🔥 So what do we do? Certainly not an easy question with an easy answer. 🔥
First information and understanding of the upcoming changes. You cannot react to something you do not know. Knowledge is power.
We need to stop talking about AI simplistically and in general only with titles that just sell. I'm tired of going to conferences and discussions that are just for the sake of it. Let's finally stop making silly comparisons of AI to the industrial revolution and the internet.
Also, continuous education and acquisition of new skills to remain competitive.
In parallel, we need to consider the scenario (and open the discussion) for a society where work is not a core characteristic. This requires tremendous changes in social structures and ways of thinking at the individual and collective level.
It is a high priority to prepare ourselves and our children for the new reality. To become groups that will support each other at the social, psychological and professional level.
In other words, to put forward our only advantage in all this. Human contact, soul and solidarity. To wake up our human nature, which we have forgotten in the margins for years.
In the long run, if we can control it properly, AI could help humanity solve major problems and open up new avenues of progress. But the path will be difficult.
With prudence, adaptability and solidarity, let us move together towards the unknown, thrillingly terrifying future.