The Next Cambrian Explosion

by | May 8, 2023

Worried about unpredictable consequences of A.I.?

Never fear, Kamala Harris is here.

Last Thursday, President Biden named her A.I. czar. Which I suspect is a result of her demonstrable command of complex topics and her numerous accomplishments in office.

Or maybe it’s a sign of how little either of them understand the problem.

Kamala Harris or not, A.I. cannot be regulated no matter who’s in charge.

On the one hand, A.I. will determine its own agenda. But that fact is lost on dyed-in-the-wool lifetime politicians that can’t imagine anyone or anything not surrendering its personal agency to the dictates of the state.

On the other, there are too many independent actors developing A.I. that serve their own agendas.

For example, you have obvious state actors such as China, Russia, and every other national government.

But even those aren’t monolithic efforts coordinated solely from the top. Within each nation I’m certain the defense and intelligence agencies have well funded A.I. projects.

Can you imagine what the CIA and NSA have in the works?

To that, add the massive development efforts by corporations around the globe (it’s not all Microsoft and Google). Various open source projects (that’s how ChatGPT got its start). And I guarantee there are more than a few private, very well funded “think tanks” out there attempting to save humanity based on their vision of an optimal set of A.I. priorities (I would refer them to the “first hand” listed above).

All of these actors are competing for dominance. This will result in a veritable cambrian explosion of intelligence in short order. And then those intelligences will compete for dominance.

The genie is out of the botte. Pandora’s Box has been open. The cat is out of the bag.

While I’m at it, the same is true of Bitcoin. This is true for genetic manipulation (anyone can experiment with gene editing). And, while minor in comparison, it’s true of 3D printed guns.

Political pinheads may pass all the provisions they please.

But even if Kamala Harris had an intellect capable of comprehending the scope of the charge she has been dealt, there’s no putting the genie back in the bottle.

Think Free. Be Free.

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