Is the call for a six-month pause in AI development warranted? In my latest video, we’ll take a closer look at the open letter to the AI community and explore the real concerns of AI that are often overlooked. Join me as we dive into this controversial topic and examine the potential consequences of AI biases, income inequality, and job loss. Don’t miss out on this important discussion about the future of AI.
Can’t see anything? Watch it on YouTube here.
Listen to the audio here:
- Take my new Generative AI course!
- Got a question for You Ask, I'll Answer? Submit it here!
- Subscribe to my weekly newsletter for more useful marketing tips.
- Subscribe to Inbox Insights, the Trust Insights newsletter for weekly fresh takes and data.
- Find older episodes of You Ask, I Answer on my YouTube channel.
- Need help with your company's data and analytics? Let me know!
- Join my free Slack group for marketers interested in analytics!
What follows is an AI-generated transcript. The transcript may contain errors and is not a substitute for watching the video.
Okay, let’s talk about this open letter to the AI community.
What’s the real deal about this AI open letter asking the industry to pause for six months, which let’s be real, it’s never gonna happen.
Why is this happening? Well, there’s a clue hiding in plain sight.
Now, some of the people who are in this open letter by the future of Life Institute, do legitimately believe in what they’re saying, and their concerns are more or less valid.
But the real dangers of AI kind of are largely overlooked.
They made this very general thing instead of talking about some very specific problems, there’s three very specific problems that they should be calling out one AI by its very nature, because it’s trained on real world data from real world people has biases that have to be controlled or mitigated.
And right now, the industry is not doing a great job of that.
Number two AI by its very nature exacerbates income inequality.
Again, they didn’t mention that.
Number three, AI will absolutely lead to losses of jobs, especially entry level ones, again, not very specific about that.
The bigger claims that go destroy civilization, terminators, and all that stuff is ridiculous.
With today’s computing capabilities and a worry about miles becoming sentient.
No, you can’t do that with today’s computational power.
It does not exist when we have functional quantum computing.
Yes, that will be a problem.
It’s not soon.
These other three problems are very real problems causing real consequences in today’s world, and that was kind of missed.
So why what’s behind all this? Follow the money.
The letter is published and supported by the future of Life Institute.
Who funds that? If you look at 6% of the funding for it comes from the Elan Musk Foundation, which you can find is open data in the EU’s registry of transparency, right? They disclose, hey, here’s where all of our money’s coming from 86% of funding is coming from one person’s foundation.
So why would an Elon Musk funded NGO be going after large language models generally and open AI and specifically, which is called out in the letter? Well, Elon tried to take it over and 2018 and was roundly rejected by the board.
And then he reneged on his promises to help fund it.
He had committed a billion dollars.
And then when they told him no, he withdrew 90%.
He said, Fine.
I’m not giving you 90% of money.
I promised since then, Sam Altman took over.
And because of that withdrawal of funding because Elon didn’t get his way.
OpenAI had to pivot, they changed their strategy started working much more with corporations, and they’ve become what they are today.
Right, Microsoft took on an enormous amount of funding for them.
And now we see the consequences that male Microsoft Bing plus ChatGPT has capabilities Microsoft Office and Microsoft co pilot with GPT-4 integration, OpenAI has taken off like a rocket ship.
And guess who gets no money from that? Ah, Elon Musk owns none of it has no stake in it, no seat on the board, nothing.
And if we look at his behavior online, he is not exactly known as the kind of guy to forgive and forget.
Right? Again, this is well documented, The Verge has covered it.
A number of tech news sources TechCrunch has covered it.
So this is not exactly a secret.
In other words, the biggest donor and the biggest mouthpiece for the organization that is published his letter has a grudge against the company that rejected him.
So he’s kind of astroturfing for them, which if you’re not familiar with the term is a PR term, which means a fake grassroots movement.
Now, again, are the general concerns about AI warranted, some are right, we need to solve income inequality before it gets worse because income inequality destabilize governments it has ever since the creation of money and an AI is case, the more labor is done by machines that cost a fraction of what human labor does, the bigger the problem is, because AI is software software is property that is owned.
And so money flows into AI technology and to the owners of the AI instead of flowing to human beings who can then go and spend that money right and to perpetuate the economy.
If I pay a worker $15 an hour, what are they going to do with that money, they’re going to go pay rent, go out to eat, buy stuff and things.
They circulate money and economy.
If I pay a machine to do that for 15 cents, what happens that 15 cents, it just goes right back into the company that owns this thing, a worker does not get paid, and then that money does not circulate in the economy.
This is a very real problem right income inequality will become worse because of artificial intelligence.
That is basic economics, not addressed in this letter.
We need to solve well race, gender and other biases in AI models of all kinds.
Discrimination isn’t a just a big, obnoxious statement.
It is not just overt racism or overt bigotry.
In many cases, the problem can be very insidious and very small.
But because systems scale, a small problem becomes a big problem at scale, right, a 1% deviance and a model’s performance for approving mortgages or even how it talks to customers isn’t enough to add up over time to putting a group of people at a near permanent disadvantage, right? If 1% fewer loans get approved to gay people, guess what, over time, that adds up.
And so this group is at a permanent disadvantage because the system is reinforcing it.
That’s why it’s called systemic racism, systemic sexism, etc, because the system is working against you.
This is why bias and AI manages that matters so much, and why it’s so hard to deal with because we have to constantly be looking for drift in these models.
Again, the letter doesn’t really talk about this and pausing AI developed for six months certainly isn’t going to help with that.
Third, we need to solve for how money itself fundamentally works.
I’ve said before that as a civilization as a race of century peoples, the human race, everyone on this planet, we need to figure out universal basic income sooner rather than later.
Because these machines are getting more and more cable as they should, right this is that’s what we want.
We want machines that ease our labor, we wanted, we wanted to go from backbreaking work in the fields to a machine that just does it for us.
Now, we want to take those machines and make it scale them so that they one farmer can sit in his John Deere mega tractor, sit there listen to podcasts while the machine is doing most of the work most of the labor, that’s a good thing.
But when that happens, you need fewer people do you need 500 People paid minimum wage to clear a field.
No, you can have one set of machines do that is that better, too.
For those those people? It’s challenging, right? Because on the one hand is literally not backbreaking work that could be done by machines.
But on the other hand, 499 of those people are no longer getting paid.
Since the 1970s, the world’s largest economies no longer use anything as the basis for the value of money except belief, right? There’s no mountain of gold or silver, that gives money and inherent worth it’s fictional.
Money is the one true faith based thing we all agree on.
We’d like money, we’d like it to work.
Thus, the artificial fictional nature of money, we can use that if we so choose to as again, a civilization that human civilization, we could use that to provide for every person in some capacity, you know, saying a bare minimum baseline saying this is what you are entitled to as a living human being funded by the enormous profitability that machines will lend to companies.
We got to figure this out sooner rather than later.
Because again, income inequality leads to destabilization of government.
It always has.
And it always will, because people dislike getting what was done by governments and corporations.
That’s just the way things are.
So should you be concerned about this six month? Pause idea? No.
Because it’s not going to happen.
The big tech companies have absolutely zero interest in listening to Elon Musk.
The big tech companies are going to make an enormous amount of money on this.
Should we be concerned about AI? Yes.
Bias, income inequality, and loss of work.
And we need to solve for these things in a real way that solves real solute that solves the actual problems that is not directly addressed well enough, or specifically enough in this letter, and it’s got to be more than a six month pause.
It has to be built into the industry as a whole, not as an afterthought.
Should we be petitioning our elected representatives and corporate folks about this? Yes, ish.
First, we need to come to some general agreements about the specifics of how AI should work, right, we should be looking for bias as an example, we should be looking at replacement of income for people.
These are enormously unpopular and politically very controversial topics.
It is going to take quite some time for us to work these things out.
But we need to do that sooner rather than later.
So in sum, the six month pause thing is a load of BS funded by a guy who’s got an axe to grind.
But the real concerns about AI are something that we all need to be thinking about talking about and developing policies and procedures about it.
everywhere, because let’s face it, at least in the country where I’m based in the USA, we’re not really good about electing people who are modern and up with the times and understanding how modern technology works, right government tends to lag, technological progress by decades.
I remember a couple of decades ago, a senator from Alaska thought that the internet was literally a series of tubes.
So it’s it’s not that that’s not how that works.
So part of our responsibility as AI practitioners is to help educate everyone about the way this stuff actually works, the real dangers that are already in place, and what we all can do to help mitigate them.
So that’s, that’s what’s going on with this whole thing.
If you’d like this video, go ahead and hit that subscribe button.
You might also enjoy:
- Almost Timely News, December 3, 2023: AI Content Is Preferred Over Human Content
- Can Causation Exist Without Correlation? Yes!
- How To Set Your Consulting Billing Rates and Fees
- Almost Timely News, November 19, 2023: A Deep Dive on Prompt Libraries
- How To Set Your Consulting Billing Rates and Fees
Want to read more like this from Christopher Penn? Get updates here:
Get your copy of AI For Marketers