Silicon Valley Is Turning Into Its Own Worst Fear

www.buzzfeed.com

Everybody loves this post from the sci-fi writer Ted Chiang, whose works include the short story that was turned into last year's stellar Arrival. It's about the way that popular dread about out-of-control future AI is just sublimated dread about present-day out-of-control corporations:

The ethos of startup culture could serve as a blueprint for civilization-destroying AIs. “Move fast and break things” was once Facebook’s motto; they later changed it to “Move fast with stable infrastructure,” but they were talking about preserving what they had built, not what anyone else had. This attitude of treating the rest of the world as eggs to be broken for one’s own omelet could be the prime directive for an AI bringing about the apocalypse. When Uber wanted more drivers with new cars, its solution was to persuade people with bad credit to take out car loans and then deduct payments directly from their earnings. They positioned this as disrupting the auto loan industry, but everyone else recognized it as predatory lending. The whole idea that disruption is something positive instead of negative is a conceit of tech entrepreneurs. If a superintelligent AI were making a funding pitch to an angel investor, converting the surface of the Earth into strawberry fields would be nothing more than a long overdue disruption of global land use policy.

 

Read more...
Linkedin

Want to receive more content like this in your inbox?