It is very hard to wrap our heads around what’s happening now with AI development, but some things do smell a bit fishy. The Terminator scenario is suddenly being debated at the highest levels of politics, like in Congress or the EU Parliament, but I think they are just pulling the wool over our eyes.
Luckily, politicians don’t seem to be biting into this bait. If they were — or better yet, when they do — they will use it to divide us like they did with Covid or climate change, or any other threat so far. AI is not yet a left-vs-right issue. Maybe they don’t get it on a technical level, or maybe something else is going on. At the moment, only the tech people are making a fuss. Why is that?
For starters, the very same men who have the most invested in this tech, like Sam Altman, Bill Gates, or Elon Musk, are calling for its regulation. Sure, they ought to be the most informed and have some sort of insider’s knowledge. But, on the other hand, none of them is exactly a saint, are they? They are among the most brutal and competitive individuals on the planet, so why would they suddenly want to regulate their own field?
My best guess is that they want to clean up the competition and get ahead of the game. At this point, the AI community still resembles the times of Napster. If you have lived through it you will remember the spirit of freedom, it felt like the internet would indeed be a place of free transfer of data and ideas. The same feels now with the AI development. Start-ups are sprouting like mushrooms after a rainy autumn day. There is this feeling that the world is rushing into a new era, that the technology is truly going to liberate us and bring a brighter day. Everyone wants to touch and play with it. It is an exciting time to be alive!
That is until somebody figures out how to set up new fences to keep the sheep obedient and new gates to collect fees from anyone who wants to go through.
This is what is happening now, I think. The technology is young and developing at blazing speeds, and the industry — even those who are developing it — are in a state of panic and shock. They want to keep developing it to profit, but at the same time, they don’t want to change the operating machinery of capitalism. Or…