Underdog refers to a dog beaten in a fight. Who am I, a human being beaten to oblivion by a robot? A stooge, maybe?
It's not vogue to fear AI. It’s like we are expected to just go along with it, dismissing 'job-stealing robots' as a myth. Well, I’m far from chill in this case. Tech tycoons, idols wannabe, trying to project their life visions onto the whole world, just make me more nervous and angry."
The AI push is quite natural, given high hopes that it will help improve productivity which has stagnated for decades. Just the mere fact that a company has “AI” in its title is giving its stocks a boost. People are being bamboozled right and left with the alleged innovations just so that they’d subscribe to some useless service they don’t actually need.
It seems to be quite similar to the beauty industry. While I’m no stranger to cosmetics, I feel bombarded with “innovations” constantly, either at some local shop or online, with latest “innovations” including some crystal hair remover, a LED mask for your face, and don’t even get me started on different tonics, serums, creams, moisturizers and God knows what else.
But with AI, every industry you could think of – from hospitality to education – seems to be involved, trying to either incorporate AI as a tool or just as a shiny marketing term. You can’t really blame them – they're just making the most of the AI fever. Or is it AI delirium?
“Does Sam Altman Know What He’s Creating?” The Atlantic recently asked. Well, ChatGPT is not exactly Oppenheimer’s atomic bomb, but it’s quite reasonable for us to expect that Altman and Co. know what they're doing, isn’t it?
Here are a couple of interesting points from the article. First of all, Altman believes that he did us a great service by releasing ChatGPT early in the day. If he had kept it secret for at least five more years, it would've been jaw-dropping and the public wouldn’t have been able to prepare for the shock wave that followed.
So nice of him to let us glimpse into the world order he envisioned for us.
Here’s what The Atlantic’s Ross Andersen writes: “He told me that the AI revolution would be different from previous dramatic technological changes, that it would be more “like a new kind of society.” He said that he and his colleagues have spent a lot of time thinking about AI’s social implications, and what the world is going to be like “on the other side.”
Only who will make it to the other side? Professor Ben Sawyer recently emphasized that we all draw a line at a certain technology. For some, it's a smartphone, for others it’s Facebook that makes one quit the digital world, for others it will surely be some AI application that’s just too much to deal with. But how much can you resist the AI revolution, really?
Machines are taking over. And not only mundane tasks. After all, they are “intelligence.” Or, as Altman calls it, alien intelligence. The only way forward here, to me at least, seems to be outsmarting them, learning how to control them, and subjugating them to our own uses. Make them a tool, not a competitor. How much of the world’s population, do you think, will suddenly learn how to tame AI and prosper from it? Thousands of people have already been fired because, you know, AI applications can now do their jobs. Much the same as with the industrial revolution – why would you use manual work when a factory machine can do that faster, cheaper, and without the annoying human element to it?
Personally, I’m not worried about AI taking my job. In fact, it has already improved my routine tasks in many ways, so I’m quite excited to see what it brings.
It’s the lack of transparency and accountability from tech tycoons like Sam Altman that, honestly, makes me furious. He, alongside Mark Zuckerberg, Elon Musk, and others, are not simply building a business case for themselves. They keep projecting their visions of society onto us.
Maybe listening to them makes us pagans. You pray to Musk’s idol to end the war in Ukraine, Altman’s – to help you save your job because your kids need bread and milk, and Zuckerberg’s – to keep your affair secret, if not from third parties, then at least from your significant other.
There’s another detail from the Atlantic article that I can’t let go of – the first wall of the OpenAI’s office is apparently covered with mandalas – spiritual representations of the world – made of different computation materials. Whether Altman does indeed believe in a world order in the age of AI, we can’t really know. But the juxtaposition of him and a Buddhist creating a sand mandala is an unlikely pairing which I can't quite fathom.
While going through search engines and reading bits and pieces on Altman, I stumbled upon his article titled “The Strength of Being Misunderstood.”
“The key observation is that as long as you are right, being misunderstood by most people is a strength not a weakness.“
Full of himself, isn’t he?
If you believe you're about to fundamentally change society, I don’t think you can afford to be misunderstood. Well, unless you're Thanos about to wear the Infinity Gauntlet and make half of the population disappear.
It’s normal to fear the unknown, and healthy to question the AI lightbearers instead of blindly worshiping them.
Who are you, Sam Altman? I must have misunderstood you, but, if you're right, that doesn’t matter. Right?
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