« Philosophize This!

Episode #185 ... Should we prepare for an AI revolution?

2023-08-10 | 🔗

Today we talk about the revolutionary potential of generative AI. For better or worse. 


Support the podcast by checking out our sponsors:

Better Help - https://www.betterhelp.com/PHILTHIS

LMNT - https://www.drinkLMNT.com/PHILO 


Get more:

Website: https://www.philosophizethis.org/

Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/philosophizethis

Philosophize This! Clips: https://www.youtube.com/@philosophizethisclips


Be social:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/iamstephenwest

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/philosophizethispodcast


This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
Hello, everyone, I'm stephen west. This is philosophize this thanks to everyone who supports the show unpatriotic patron dot com, slash philosophize. This shows on instagram at philosophize, this podcast twitter read? I am stephen west posted a reading list for Simone bay on there this week going to start to posts for individual philosophers that have really impacted my thinking over the years trying to give people a roadmap for taking a journey through a particular philosopher's work. So if that's something you'll want check it out on there, I guess that said I have an announcement. Hardcore fans of the show will know that over the last few years, This podcast has sometimes only had one episode per month and, as some of you know, it really hit me a few weeks ago how much good this podcast could be doing. If I was able to do more of it. I know none of you are going to be complaining about more episodes of the show long story short. The way I can do it is if I hire somebody to do a lot of the back end work of the show that takes up most of my time and the way we can do that just with how the economy's been the last year plus is by running some ads. The good news is that
now makes it possible to produce three to four times more. These episodes for you, you have no idea the amount of time I was spending navigating technical stuff that I have absolutely zero talent for patriots,
Drivers at any level will always have an ad free experience of the show check out your account on patriot, for a patron only rss feed and for everybody support in the show by supporting sponsors I'll make sure to express my gratitude to you every episode, but thank you right now. Last thing I want to say is that I'd never talk about a sponsor on the show, if I wasn't already using the thing they're selling and having it add value to my life. So if one of the sponsors is doing something that you want to try out thanks in advance for using the promo codes of this show allows a podcast to keep going. You guys know how it works. It's the only thing that makes them want to advertise again so before we get into the episode here are the sponsors for this week. This episode is brought to you by better help. Better help is an online service that helps to match people like you with the right licensed therapist in our santa somebody on an email the other day that philosophy part of what we like about it is that it is fundamentally destabilizing it destabilizes, rigid ways of thinking about reality. It can prevent you from things.
about stuff too narrowly and getting stuck in spots in life. The end up sitting in for years. That's part of what we love about it and, if you're, a fan of philosophy, something you've always got to be careful of, is not using philosophy responsibly. Sometimes you gotta know when you've been destabilizing your worldview a bit too much. Have you got a no one to take a break and if you love philosophy, you'll have to find a way to recent her yourself after shaken things up all the time they are happy has been that for me, for a very long time, talking to somebody in a therapy setting is something you can do for yourself and your family. That truly can change your life. It did for me at least so far.
Am I trying therapy or starting back up after taking a break but you're dreading, going down to some strangers office and staring at a box of tissues for an hour better help is entirely online, designed to be convenient, flexible suited to your schedule, just fill out a brief questionnaire to get matched with a licensed therapist and switch therapists any time for no additional charge. Let therapy be your map with better help, visit, better help, dot com. Slash fill this today to get ten percent off your first month, p h, I l t h, I s. That's better help a tl, p, dot com, slash, fill this and now for the last
Sponsor the episode today. Element philosophers don't agree on much. Ok, they in fact they usually disagree about everything. But one thing: I've never seen him disagree on is whether or not people should be hydrated. They just don't argue about it. Turns out in part of being hydrated is replenishing electric lights after you sweat, I'm gonna leave you to fill in the blank, your own reasons for wanting to replenish electoral rights. For me, it's exercised at this mid thirty stage. My life, I've genuinely tried every flavour of these salts that element cells, and it's just what I drink before my coffee every morning. Now it tastes great, it salty, not sweet, but it feels great because I know I'm gettin, all them sweet sweet, electrolux, a thousand milligrams of sodium. Wonder milligrams of potassium sixty milligrams of magnesium, electric lights, facilitate hundreds of different functions of the human body, nerve impulses, hormonal regulation. Nutrient absorption- I mean- I don't know for the rules I play in this world philosophy person dad. I tend to think
the lot- and I never gonna, be tired. All the time or feel like I'm at eighty percent element makes me feel like a fire and on all cylinder. So it's all risk free right now element is offering a free sample packed with any purchase. That's eight single serving packets with any element. Order is a great way to try out all eight flavors or share element with salty friend. Try it totally risk free. If you don't like it, though, give you your money back, no questions asked get yours at drink, Elam, dot, com, dot, com, slash, h, p, H, I owe this deal is only available through my link. Go to de are ion K, element, dot, dotcom, slash, follow thanks to everybody who tries he's out as an alternative way to support the podcast. Now with that said, I hope you'll have the showed so to start out the podcast today I want you to try to imagine a hypothetical person living in an agrarian society in western europe right before the industrial revolution starts to take off. Imagine someone who's a peasant farmer, deeply religious someone who s children
family. In other words, imagine someone who has no way of knowing, in terms of the industrial revolution, anything that's about to happen to their world. Now, for the sake of the example, let's pretend This person in their family had access to books every now and again, and I fully realise most peasant farmers would have been able to read back then bear with me. It's supposed to be a ridiculous example. Both pretend this person had access to books Let's say this person got their hot little hands on a new book that just came out and at the book with something like a disturbing, futuristic siphoned novel instead of the book being called nineteen. Eighty four less pretend this one's called two thousand twenty four, and as this person's reading at the book paints a vivid picture of a future world, that's controlled by machines. any good sites, I novel everything starts out very innocently. Machines are seen as this amazing technologies gonna make the lives of people better sign.
Epic rationality applied to economics is going to make things possible for people that have never existed before a montage begins in the book telling the story over the decades, people are moving from farm work to working with these machines on the assembly lines of these factories, people are becoming consumers of the things that are being mass produced by these machines. It's all very fun to imagine for someone living in the seventeen hundreds. Until eventually the people in the book start feeling the cultural effects of this massive change. They start to feel the alienation. Now the book goes on to talk about these philosophers that come along weird names on these guys in nature, adorned they they start talking about this new feeling. A malaise starts to overtake the people living in these societies fast forward to the beginning of the twenty twenties, and this book is tat, a story about how the world is transformed into something, but me genes are not just economically entrenched. We have now managed to take control of the psychology of the population and again this is a sigh fine novels grain assault here, but in this book the life of the
average person is spent consuming media chosen for them by machine algorithms. Many of these people are addicted to this media and some capacity many of them suffer in their mental health costs. They spend their days being fed content, that's optimize to get them upset in commenting on it. People doom scroll in this book, people get trapped and media echo chambers, free speech and censorship become pressing issues in the society in the face of exactly how these machines are giving out content and then in the book right towards the end. There's a new invention that comes out the new version of these machines, people calling it generative ay I and then our peasant friend has to slam the book shut and stop reading because their mom comes under the roma start screaming at she says our? U way in your time, regional? That science fiction nonsense again, gulp milk, the cows go pickle, some stuff
the winter. I don't want a mom would say to a kid back, then point is imagined. She tells her kid to stop worrying about this fantasy world so much and to go out there and actually get serious about life. If you just read the headlines of the major newspapers in today's world, they will tell you that we are on the verge of an artificial intelligence revolution. It's not uncommon, to hear people start to compare this revolution to the industrial revolution in terms of its potential impact on people's lives and what people are talking about when they say these sorts of things is not agee. I like we covered last episode. This isn't about robots taken over the world. These people are simply talking about artificial intelligence as it exists right now. They say right now. This technology puts us on the verge of a new technological revolution
but a sceptical person can say back to all that. How is anybody really thinking that way? I mean if these people right in these articles, even use this technology? Look I get it if you're right in an article in you want to generate some excitement? Fine, but what exactly is it? You think this technology is gonna disrupt right now I've talked to this chatty bt asked to write something, I mean this thing is hallucinating like it's on a giant hammer and sickle floated burning man, this single right, a bedtime story for a six year. well it'll write a thank you letter to grandma for sending your five dollars and a birthday card. What do these people think is going to disrupt the bedtime story industry? How is this in any way comparable to the industrial revolution, and I think the most optimistic people on the other side of the argument would say that you're right, it is nothing like the industrial revolution because
hey. I have the ability to change things at a far greater level than the industrial revolution ever did and to start to explain why they may start with a little historical context on the state of a I right now, a story that begins in the year two thousand seventeen sea, because before two thousand seventeen artificial intelligence research was done differently than it is today back then, were many different, fragmented compartments, then I'll try to improve their I research from within their particular field. What you had was one group, a brilliant people, working on image, recognition and other group us market working on conversational ay. I and other group may be workin on music related ay. I, and if you were someone at the top levels of any one of these particular groups, you won't be able to hang in discussions at the very top levels of any
These other groups, everybody was more or less doing their own thing, but then in two thousand seventeen there was the emergence of something called a transformer transformer. It's the tea and the name, catchy petite by the way and the use of transformers as the engine of ay I come with a change in strategy that massively consolidated how natural language processing tasks were approached allowed for these, formerly compartmentalized fields to unify their efforts towards the development of a guy in a way that is completely unprecedented, safe before two thousand seventeen someone, an image recognition, came up with a breakthrough that was generally just and advancement in image recognition, but after two thousand seventeen in the fields using these transformers, which are almost all the ones you ve heard about in the news, lately a breakthrough in one compartment of ay. I becomes a breakthrough in free compartment of ay I. This is why, since two thousand, seventeen improvement and artificial intelligence has skyrocketed
This is why the amount of money going into research this stuff has skyrocketed, which brings me back to the person that sceptical of the technology and what it can pass we revolutionise. As of now. You know the sceptics, obviously not saying that technologies income bull of revolutionizing the world at all their dissent. Please show the evidence of this ai, disrupting anything and I'll, be on board with you. In fact, it seems that both sides can agree that the level of revolution that this technologies capable of directly corresponds to its capabilities and that, as these capabilities improve and as people get better and better at using the technology, the more possible area of human life, we may start to see this text bleed into the more tasks. These things are capable of replicating one to one, that a human being is currently doing the more impact
They see it have on replacing human beings. None of this seems too controversial the sound, either side. Again, the sceptic would just say that the burden of proof is on the person claiming these things can replace human beings to get to work, while the optimistic person could say back to that look first things. First, these artificial intelligences. Whenever they are there not just write and bedtime, stories and thank you cards to grandma. Also, the application of this technology is not just creative, either you're. Thinking too narrowly, there are economists who say just as the technology exists right now that it has patients on three hundred million jobs around the world, and when you take that figure and you consider, the rapid level of change has gone on since the move to transformers the burden of proof is on me. No, the burden of proof is on you to explain why you do
think this tec is going to continue to improve and change more and more about the world. Now most sceptics don't go that far. Most of them acknowledged that the technology is improving, but they ask how is this any different than any other technology? This come out in the past. People have literally said is about everything. Every new, exciting technology that has a little buzz around. It is going to change the world. Oh my god, it's wonderful! But what always happens is eventually. It becomes integrated into people's lives. It becomes a subtle part of the landscape and then the people that were hyping it up that can't seem to function if they're not hyping ups
something in life those people just move on to the next technology and forget all about it. I mean just in the last five years: it's been web three point no, and then it was crypto, and then it's enough tease can't these people just relax on this stuff for two seconds, but is artificial intelligence different than those things will the only way we're gonna find out if we try to look at it in his unbiased away as we possibly can, with the express and tend to be able to look at it in a totally biased way out we're done with that. But just to start out, try is hard, as you can right now, to not bring in any connotations about what artificial intelligence is because either run the risk of bringing in what a I used to be prior to two thousand seventeen, the in pc, video game run into a box. For twenty minutes or your honor sk at bringing in a religious fantasies from people larkin in the woods. With their friends. Note, let's try it first to see it is generally as we possibly can as simply a technology, let's examined it by considering the different afforded says that
brings about what this aid. I allow people to do now that they couldn't do before in what areas of life does it prevent or make obsolete? But this is exactly what the thinkers asia rask interest on harris had been trying to do with a sigh for years now, and when considering this most recent advancement in the capabilities of eight, I they give three criteria: the exotic and if you're looking at any piece of disruptive technology. This is the first thing you've got to acknowledge about a tech is one that whenever you create a new technology, you bring about a new class of responsibilities. Along with it too. They say if that technology that's being entered confers power the naturally a race will begin to try to possess that power and three. If there's no coordination by the people that are racing for it. That race will you really end in tragedy. Say we ve already seen a version of this when it comes to our relationship with a line and earlier form to asia. Rascal interest on Harris. First contact with artificial intelligence was the way that it affected us through social me
see I up until very recently, was just known as ranking artificial intelligence, meaning that it was people that produce the content. People made the articles videos. Social media posts and then the a I would sit through that mountain of content and then a rank it in some sort of way. Think of good we'll taken ten million results and give me the relevant, wants to you and three seconds think your facebook feed rain king in delivering the most likely piece of content. That's gonna keep scrolling and clicking. This has been the type of artificial intelligence that we have all become familiar with, and this ranking form of artificial intelligence, completely change people's lives. in many ways, were still figuring out how to deal with all the impact that it had think of the dust hoping in future laid out in the hypothetical siphoned, novel addiction, echo chambers, polarization, doom scrolling censorship, simply by ranking and distributing content that people are already making artificial intelligence as it exists today,
time was capable of messing with people's mental health, massively influencing their worldview and undermining major pieces of the democratic system in the process, as you ve all her we pointed out recently in the united states in what some may see, as one of the most advance just information, delivery machines and the world simply with a deciding which content people get to see over others optimizing for engagement. Think of all Happened, we cannot agree on who won the last election. We cannot agree on whether or not climate changes real, but vaccines actually prevent illness. Again, we're not talking about what the truth is here. We're talking about the level of disagreement about basic facts at the current we are doing. Things has managed to make possible the reality. Is you already? We live in a world where you can be sitting on a bus next to someone and they are effectively living in an entirely different universe than you are, and that is made possible. Simply by having this more basic for of artificial intelligence, ranking human created content and now
the very recent innovation in the field of ay, I of what's called generative ay. I this is a leap forward, and there's a lot of people out there who are saying that this particular leap forward is different than the previous ones. Lotta people predicting that, if we're talking about this version of asia in whatever lies beyond this, the people in the future can look back on this too, in history and think of being a time before generative ay, I and the time after it. So what is Nor do I well it's right there in the name really at its core generative ay. I is about getting trained on masses of data learning, a probability, distribution and then generating new content that similar to the content that it was trained on its jackie bt, it'll produce similar text if it states the fusion or mid journey it'll produce similar images, but it's important to note that it really isn't limited to just artistic stuff with an I. This thing can generate a shopping list for you. It can join
rate, a list of the most relevant pieces of information from a hundred different emails. The limits of the possibilities are truly unknown, and the big thing to take away from this is that the whole point of this leap forward in the text. g is at a high, can generate things now, not just rank them like a search engine. So then you gonna ask at that point. If someone, and generate things for next zero cost and way faster and more efficiently than a person could ever hope to do. The question becomes not there's anything, this can be a one to one replacement for the takes a hundred per cent of a human brain to accomplish, in other words, the same The need to be able to write the new works of shakespeare in order to be disruptive to the world as it is, His thing only needs to be able to do repetitive data intensive things that it takes ten percent of a person's brain to do. But this thing doesn't at zero cost, with no wait time. Think of how word processing used to be when you're, grand hit the workforce being able to use the microsoft office. Sweet was not required. Skill forgetten hired, but by the time,
retired along the way they needed to become literate in microsoft. Word the technology disrupted, how we're doing their job. If one microsoft word came around your grandpa refused to do it or you went, knows bosses office and said no No I'll work twice as hard as everyone else. I'm the fastest writer on planet earth I'll show you I'll stay late. Please please, the due to get fired, because, no matter how fast of a writer you are just between copying and paste in formatting the sharing of files. There was a world of word processing before digital computers and after digital. Peters, even a mediocre newspaper delivery person in a car can deliver newspapers five times faster than the best person on a bike. the words the technology raise the former standard for what the bare minimum was in terms of efficiency and everybody, adults either had to play catch up or get left behind. Now I do want to focus too much on the economic side of this here fact is: there's a lot more to talk about what the impact of a either doesn't have to do with people's jobs.
the economic side of this is something that a lot of these optimistic people in the conversation are talking about, and people like a madman task, ceo of stability. I he has said there's all these people out there who may be worried about a I replaced in human beings and the workforce. That's not necessarily true in the short term, he says a, I won't replace people, people with a I will replace people, fellow optimists might say, take what was just said about microsoft word and apply the same thing that happened at the inefficiency of how word processing used to be and apply that every single piece of your career, were you do anything repetitive, data intensive or time consuming figure job right now. Whenever it is real question, they would ask what percentage of your time I'm at work is not? U utilizing your full export capacity on what you're good at but isn't
dealing with rudimentary simple time consuming tasks that could be automated. If ay, I improved even a little, how much of your job could be made more efficient just where the technology is now now a lot of people don't work jobs that are on a computer. These but would say, doesn't mean the camp after my certain aspects of their job with a sigh and if they don't their employer, certainly well, and eventually I literacy will be mandatory. Like microsoft office literacy see this optimistic perspective. Just needs to be set at some point in this episode. There are voices in this case precision, that's going on about generative ay, I that say in a very motivational stored away that we are like in an amazing amazing times. Man, like you, have the opera I need to learn about this technology early on and then be at a high. Huge advantage over other people around you, as you watch this stuff restructure. What life is for a human being that there's a relative handful of people, even thinking about a I right now
and these people think this is one of those areas. You could truly in the next year or two of learning about this stuff. You could become somebody part of the decision making process of how to roll this stuff. I don't, because he genuinely be one of the most educated people on it in the entire world, just go to a douche bag, dot com and get their five pillars to success and we're going to talk about the good effects this could potentially have on society. We're going to talk about all the bad just when I say again before we get into this. My job here is to give you different takes your job is to figure out where you land on all this. It just seemed tempting for people to fall into either that contrary an echo chamber camp, where their endlessly sceptical about I or to fall into the fanatic religious person, that's committed to the computational theory of might just make sure
We talk about the good and the bad here that you try to decide what you think may be based in reality and when these people talking about it, go off and start larping cause, there's definitely some larping going on and I want to let them larp it's fun, but I don't wanna waste your time with too much of that. So here's some applications for the good it can do in the world that seem relatively reasonable. Really all you gotta do if you want to find one is picture, any area of society where one person's expertise isn't scalable, two thousand. People were then there's bottlenecks that are created in terms of access to those services, generative hiv, save. Can massive. We help these sorts of things so the We have low hanging fruit here is gonna, be health care and education. The average doktor visit takes people two hours of time when scheduling waiting in line transportation- and that is only because people or navigating a system where there's
small number of qualified doctors who need to be able to help everybody, but most of the sessions where these doctors are seeing people, doctors, not using a hundred percent to their creative expertise, depending on the type of doktor there. Looking at a pimple and tell him people it's a pimple, not skin, sir they're doing routine follow ups. There are in the world of medicine of busy work, but imagine a world these people say where you could feed and a high your entire medical history on your phone, everything that goes into a chart and then imagine in between episodes of your favorite tv show. You could be sitting on your couch scented, a picture of your people which the a I would then compare to billions of other peoples that hasn't its pimple database and it could diagnosed that you have a pimple without taking up a spot in the hospital without any feelings of embarrassment that often stop people from seeking out information. Imagine the countless potential applications and health care when it comes to diagnose
six sifting through mountains of data and imagine the service being provided basically for free to people. This is something that an optimist and this conversation might say think also of how education could change. Think of just the applications in the area of during when it comes to lower income, kids that don't have access to great teachers or test prep this a high. This thing doesn't have to be too in the highest levels of quantum mechanics. It's just teaching basic academics. So, while usually a teachers, time has to be fragmented between students, it's not scalable, larger and larger class sizes, and then there's out one kid in the corner that struggling that needs. The extra help Imagine one of these algorithms learning everything about that kid and then generating in degenerative ay. I sense GINO rating lessons for that kid, specifically tailored to them known how they learn knowing their biases, the way they get distracted norm, but things are easy form what things are more difficult again. An optimist would say imagine
being available to everybody at next to zero cost? What might the world start to look like lots of people talking right now about how this could be applied to weather predictions floods, earthquakes, hurricanes when it comes to traffic predictions I mean imagine the increased levels of efficiency you could have if you had a person directing traffic at every street light in the city, yeah it'd be great, but we just can't do it right now, because it's not scalable, but what? If we could? Ah on that same no people say about farming. It is not currently scalable for a farmer to go out into the fields like a scarecrow and just stare at every square foot of their crops, but imagine how it might change the world of irrigation and waste margin. How it may be changed, the entire way that we talk about the environment and what's acceptable in terms of how those resources are used, lots of people talking about how much more efficient this makes drug discovery. Just a few
months ago with this technology. Thousands of years and what it took people in a lab doing protein folding prediction took artificial intelligence only a couple weeks. That actually happened. All save you some time here, virtually any area of society where there's one of these bottlenecks when it comes to the scalability, if someone's time where the thing there When doesn't take all their expertise, these people would say generative ay. I is not far away from automating it, and this extends your personal life as well as you ve Marie s. Why would anyone sit around for an hour and read the newspaper drinkin their coffee when they can do ask an oracle what the relevant stuff is. That's going on in the world. Think of how this improves the life of someone who's, lonely, someone who just wants someone to have a conversation with think of how this helps senior citizens. Think of how this changes intimacy. The point is: there's an optimistic way to be looking at all that this technology could fundamentally change the entire world. It could make the human race so much more efficient and intelligence, so scalable for the average person.
To create an economic abundance where nobody has to go without anything anymore and in that world. These optimistic people say what it is to be a human being would fundamentally change as well. It would go from haven't a mindset. constantly focused on how to weigh acquire the means of survival today to provide for my family to more like What do I want to do with my life, which no doubt would create new problems for people? The utopian lopping starts to get pretty real red around here. All this stuff certainly needs to be said, okay, but it should also be said that basically every one of these things we just talked about that the technology can be used for to produce something good in some other sector, some other application, the same capabilities could be used. Equally, actively in a predatory way and then imagine the impact of that. Being in the hands of virtually everyone for free, for example, the personalized education we just talked about how one to be great, if the aid, I could know everything about you in personalized lessons just for you wow what the flips
That is imagine any. I could know everything about you and then uses all that information to sell your stuff. I mean, if you think, we're now, when an algorithm knows what to recommend for you to buy imagined Moreover, these things, no every interest that you have every bias that you have every fear that you have and not just when it comes to sales. Imagine something that's optimize too personally, take advantage of your psychology in any way that it can and something that can generate content. That then reinforces that. story that its telling you a rascal interest on harris talk about a lot of things that could go wrong. If we're not careful with this generative ay, I one of the scariest things they talk about. Is that when you consider the capabilities of this technology, when you consider fake news stories, when you consider deep fake videos, when you consider botz that are able to take over common sections of it,
actually influence elections. The big fear is that people go from where they are now where they have a hard time being able to trust sources to not being able to trust sources at all. In fact, at all, it's pretty philosophical fast and well like that cause, how does anybody know whether they can trust anything about the state of the world their receiving through content? Can anybody know whether their ever talking to a real person hate to bring up old people in this episode again, but looked everywhere knows what it's like to have a relative or someone, you know, show you a video or something crazy. They saw their phone the other day and to anyone with basic critical thinking, skills. That's been around the internet for their whole life to you, it's is what they're looking at is c I to you. This is c g, I n a level of star wars, phantom menace, two thousand and one, but to them they can't tell the difference They think we're living in a world where they just interviewed an alien on the news last week. What I'm saying is we can all see how helpless you would be if you try,
We couldn't tell the difference between reality in a synthesize video and it doesn't take much imagine a world where this technology improves enough that you can't tell the difference either and short of giving up short of just accepting it. can't know anything about the world that isn't immediately in front of you short of us, creating counter technology of some sort. What could you do a world where I can generate content that manipulates your attention and that creates a false, ray quality that imprisons you. It's already doing it to a lot of people just using algorithms and their political bias. You know just reminds you of gita bore and the society of the spectrum. And how he said all the way back in the nineteen sixties. reality is no longer something that people are participating in thousands of years. What was relevant to you as a person was what was going on right around you that you could see, but has now we live in a world where you're social rights is not to participate in reality anymore, but just to contemplate the spectacle. That's given to you with generative ay I in the mix. This would be that spectacle of his taken to an
exponentially greater level. Think of all the locations could have haven't democratic systems, in particular the whole thing makes modern democracies. Work is we can rely on their being free citizens, educating themselves having real discussions with each other trying to come to progressively more accurate understanding of the general will of the people, but in a world where people are being curated, every piece of information they consume and they can't talk anything that they read and can even note. The person there talking to on line is a real person or just some persuasion bought deplore by an ideology, the progressively gets to know you and convince you to join their side in that world. How does democracy even continue? How did democratic systems built ramp checks and balances and slow moving progress to safeguard against tyranny, How do these kinds of systems regulate something like generative ay? I, the potentially changes faster you can regulate? It does a great metaphor, I heard a long time ago of all people by Dan Carlin, the history podcast or shadow to go.
by the way, but he compares the state of modern democratic systems like the united states to a couple that buys a house and that one weaken throughout looking at their house. They noticed there some mould growing on the outside of the house. Now they have a problem to solve. They have mould, so this talk about options as to how they're going to solve it, but they can't agree. They can agree on solution. So let us put it off until next weekend and the next weekend, the two parties, as it were in this example, keep arguing about it. For years, heeded arguments decades. It went on great ideas on both sides, but they eventually get what place where now the more they were arguing about has gotten worse now, it's bread into the foundation of the house. Now what originally was a problem that could have been solved in a weakened now. This is something that's going to require a radical change to be able to fix one of the and he asses. How are these modern democracies that are designed to change slowly to prevent radical groups from overtaking them? How are they supposed to fix problems that are systemic?
now. How can something that is this slow moving ever work efficiently enough to keep up with something that improves efficiently as generative ay. I makes you or if democracy needs to be re, oriented to be able to deal with the pace of change makes you wonder if people will lose faith in more in the direction of electing powerful people that can implement sweeping change in regulations just some to keep your eye on in the coming years. But another thing that needs to be mentioned on the potential negative side of this is that the people on the optimistic side were very hopeful the possibility of this improving people's efficiency and bringing about economic abundance. It changes what it is to be a human, but if we're being realistic, isn't it also possible that this just eliminates jobs?
I mean if one person can now do the work of three people by automating basic stuff with ai. What's more likely are companies just going to get three times as much work done, or are they going to fire two thirds of their workforce and have ten people do the work of thirty see? That's the thing about this technology that takes any task, it's capable of disrupting and then amplifies it good or bad. You does this just take the flaws that are already present in the existing system and amplify those this technology led to a tech driven resource abundant utopia, or does it just make the rich richer and the poor poor? Do these super rich just accept a super high tech It's great to be able to fund a universal basic income. Would that even fix the problem? There's plenty more bad? I could talk out here, training data with copyright, infringement, plagiarism, algorithmic I alone, could be an entire episode and how I is less of a technology as it is a social phenomenon when you consider just how many people are being affected by this
Kay Crawford's work is pretty illuminating on the subject, if you're looking for some cool to read, but I dont personally want to sit here and speculate four hours about all the bad. That could happen, because I think you guys get the point, as is ask interest on heresy at the center for humane technology. We have a window here where the ground Rules for how this generative ai is going gonna be rolled out, have not yet been established. They say we have to do something different than we did with our first contact with a sigh. back in the day solely of ranking on social media that in turn out to good and consider the fact that, as we're trying to figure out how to handle all this, there are a handful of sea egos in the tech industry that are essentially deciding the fate for all of humanity. That has the change even see ceo say it has to change, and if you care at all- and you want to find out more about what you can do- you go to the centre for humane technology on the internet, or you can look forward in your yellow pages, but returned back to our agrarian friend at the beginning of the episode ridden aside.
I novel about the coming industrial revolution and the age machines, as we said at the beginning, there is no way someone could unknown back then how alien If was gonna? Look like for someone living just two generations from them in the future, and it's important to document the benefits and the challenge is people he's living in the world after the industrial revolution that changed what it meant to be a human being in the western world. And if we're on the verge of a revolution similar to that of the third industrial revolution, the world economic forum says a bell. This a business is just part of what the calling the fourth industrial revolution if we're on the verge of that then, as someone who's living through it who's a fan of philosophy and thinks about large scale, historical trends and thinking you find yourself in a pretty unique position here. You have the ability to prepare yourself for something like this. Most people aren't even thinking about this stuff. Most people don't have the luxury to most. People are just doing their best working hard trying to
and a paycheck and spend some time with their family when a new ay feature shows up on an app on their phone. They just use it they're, not thinking What does it mean for the future of life on planet earth? When I use this up? No, that's just you, ok, all of us. Listening to this and this guy say in it. We are all truly truly insufferable locate together we're insufferable, but it comes with some benefits to be insufferable. Sometimes, if you think about it now, as someone that's in philosophy like this. You are in a unique place where you can see the fall of alexander the great empire before it actually happens, lotta people been talking about stoicism. Lately, we'll stoicism was a school, a philosophy that emerged after the death of Alexander the great he eyes. His empires broken up into four giant pieces. Those pieces get even more complicated The life of somebody in the mediterranean sea region at the time becomes one of nearly constant change. So what emerges our schools of thought to try to deal with that constant change for stoicism
particular with your inability to control anything other than your response to things point is: how do you deal with a world that is changing so fast? You can never find your footing in it. How do you ever feel a strong sense of who you are if generative ay I continues to improve and then continues to disrupt in reply? the skills. Are human beings think about it? People are gonna, be living in a world where they live long enough to witness their own obsolescence skills that people spent tens of thousands of ours developing mass, things that make up a large part of their identity and how they fit into the world. People will live long enough to see and able to do it in under three seconds me. You want to talk about a malaise that affected people after the industrial revolution. You wanna talk about philosophers like nature having the philosophical
context to see it come common. Just imagine the malays for people in this new world that may be created, and you are the philosopher that decides to be insufferable and educate yourself about this stuff, you're, the one that can see it coming. It already happens to old people in the world, god what is it with old people? This episode, sorry, what I'm saying is old people will often see their skill sets become obsolete because of new technologies are just the world changing, but they ve often work for their entire career and can retire and write off into the sunset. But what, if you witness your own obsolescence in your mid twenties photos sign up for a four year degree, and by the time there
I'm getting if the entire field has been replaced by a I that is going to happen to someone if this stuff keeps improving. The only question is on the other side of that, will we be living in an economic utopia, panopticon somewhere in the middle? I don't know, but what I do know is a philosophy can help people see it coming see we're not like the peasant farmers that live before the industrial revolution just like the technology were facing. We are something different. Thank you for listening talked in next time,
Transcript generated on 2023-08-13.