Fool the spoon into thinking it can sing

AI Fatigue

Last year it was COVID fatigue. Before that, Dickwad-In-Chief-Drumpf fatigue, before that, ISIS in the Middle East… These days, the media harps so incessantly on topics that we cannot help but become exhausted. Putin’s War, Elon’s exploits, global warming, transgender rights, abortion rights, and the ever present mass-shootings—please, someone kick the record player, it’s on skip-repeat again. Jeeze, we’ve had enough.

And now this: Artificial General Intelligence and the demise of civilization as we know it.

I’ve been trying to keep up. Exciting AI news occurs daily. At first, the ramifications of AI advances continued to bloom, a mushroom cloud of possibilities, of “eventualities”. And the fallout drifted out over society. The futurists, provocateurs, and theorists all postulated their personal beliefs as to what will become of humanity when the Singularity hits. I must admit I was captivated. And I still am, mostly. When the CEO of OpenAI writes that the future riches produced by AI will need to be equitably distributed—by the AGI itself—a story line I myself have hypothesized, I can’t help but get sucked back in.

But this cycle has worn me out. What? After only six months or so? Yeah, I know. But the ferocity of the media and the truly daunting implications that this “breakthrough” will have on all of us has left me dog-tired of the topic. Is it like this for others? Is the frequency and saturation of such sensational news events growing faster and more overwhelming? Sure feels like it. Or, maybe it’s just me growing old and my reduced capacity for hype.

Regardless, Duke ask me of my impressions of the AI phenomena, as detached as I might be. So, here goes:

  • The advances in GPTs and LaMDAs and whatnot are indeed disruptive to all knowledge work. Whether augmentation or replacement, the fact remains, those information workers who leverage these AI content composition engines will become 5, 10, 50 times as productive. A worker who is that many times as efficient will indeed reduce the need for such employees. However, it’s possible that such content (text, image, video) will expand and inundate every aspect of our lives (even more than today).
  • There remains a disconnect between the information an advanced AI can generate and the lack of agency in applying such information in the real world. Sure GPT-4 (or 5 or 6) can dream up a new recipe for tiramisu, but it can’t command a culinary robot to whip up dessert. That will come, of course. But it’s the physical interactions, the nuance and delicacy with which a human, even a child, can demonstrate that elude current mechanical agents.
  • If an automata can simulate a human with features that matter, do we care that it’s just faking it? The upcoming models of intelligence that are given access to reach out into the world: order groceries, make dentists appointments, book vacations, console us in times of grief, call 911, will be as if we have already gained Jarvis-like agents who behave as if they are generally intelligent—even though they aren’t. And we won’t care.
  • True, human-mind level AGI appears to require much more than just faking it. We won’t hesitate in flipping the OFF switch to these helpful maitre d’ representatives (regardless of how much they might complain). Self-awareness, persistent yet ephemeral memory, portrayal of emotions, existential projection, concepts like sacrifice, altruism, corruption, such things will decorate an AI—fool us into believing it’s “alive”. After which point the question becomes, how will we know what is real. When will we know that the OFF switch will kill rather than maim? Hopefully by then, we’ll have competing AIs that self-moderate.
  • The containment of an artificial super intelligence is most likely impossible. However, we have no idea what a future ASI might determine what is worthy to exist in the Universe and what is not.

Ultimately, like any crazy new technology, the impacts to actual humans will take decades. Some are being affected today. I am being told to use ChatGPT-4 to help me write code. Others, turkey farmers in Missouri, day-care teachers, Everglade tour-guides, won’t ever have to worry about how these primitive AI tools might evolve into the harbingers of humanity’s doom. At least until it’s too late.

12 thoughts on “Fool the spoon into thinking it can sing

  1. The technology is going to be hugely disruptive, but the human race has been through that sort of thing before. The ability to create content, in a given style, with only a rough description as input… hard to predict how that’s going to shake out.

    I do firmly believe, that as with all our other disruptions, from the Agricultural Revolution on, that they tend to always be two-edged swords. Some benefit and some lose out. I also believe it’s all pretty inevitable. Humanity rolling on, and when have we ever looked before leaping?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I used to be interested in the news. Not so much anymore as we keep hearing about the same thing for what seems like forever. It’s become like a telenovela – no matter how many episodes you miss, you are able to pop in and start watching again at any time without missing out on much.

    Do I think this will end up doing a lot of bad? Yes.
    Am I able to do something about it? Nothing other than not embracing it.
    So, I just stay golden.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. What’s hard to reconcile it Pinker and other’s research revealing that humanity is way better off than it used to be. What? No way, I’d say, reading the endless waterfall of misery, corruption and evil that floods my news apps, daily.

      Liked by 1 person

        1. “better off” meaning reduced hunger, poverty, disease, infant death. That kind of thing. And the numbers don’t lie. It’s just that our perceptions, induced by media, do not reflect this increase in overall prosperity.

          Liked by 1 person

  3. AI is the super tool of the governing psychopaths in power all over the world to materialize their wet dream to control and enslave everyone and everything ….

    The proof is in the pudding… ask yourself, “how is the hacking of the planet going so far? Has it increased or crushed personal freedom?”

    Like with every criminal inhumane self-concerned agenda of theirs they sell and propagandize it to the timelessly foolish public with total lies such as AI being the benign means to connect, unit, benefit and save humanity.

    ““We’re all in this together” is a tribal maxim. Even there, it’s a con, because the tribal leaders use it to enforce loyalty and submission. … The unity of compliance.” — Jon Rappoport, Investigative Journalist

    “AI responds according to the “rules” created by the programmers who are in turn owned by the people who pay their salaries. This is precisely why Globalists want an AI controlled society- rules for serfs, exceptions for the aristocracy.” — Unknown

    “Almost all AI systems today learn when and what their human designers or users want.” — Ali Minai, Ph.D., American Professor of Computer Science, 2023

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  4. I believe what is emerging from all this AI fervor is the realization that there are two diverging paths to achieve what we want to call an artifical intelligence.

    The first is this LLM explosion. There is absolutely no sentience within an LLM, regardless of how “smart” it appears. Yet “smarts” conveys exactly what they appear to reveal. Composition of tasks to achieve a goal is now the new hotness. From what we can tell that sure “looks like smarts” to us.

    Where the that-looks-sentient impressions come from are LLMs’ ability to now reach into the world and “do things”. Plugin architectures are making it so that a ChatGPT agent can orchestrate work to be done in order to complete a targeted objective. Not only that, but these LLMs can interpret failure along the way and reroute tasks onto other modules to do work. They can plan and accomplish objectives.

    These coordination stewards are going to be installed everywhere, will impact all knowledge work and permanently change society. But they will never be AGI.

    The second AI path is not focused on LLMs as the means to achieve intelligence agents (although an LLM will be part of its assembly). Organic brain analogs will form the model for these other, truly “thinking” machines. The first style of AI is the faux-model. This second variant won’t be considered a facsimile of intelligence, an automaton. It will have been created with synthetic components resembling, in function, their biological brethren. All the brain’s cortexes, including an artificial endocrine system and ports to connect robotic appendages will be fabricated into an actual, for all intents and purposes, conscious entity.

    I would not fear the first type of AI. We are quickly approaching the threshold of capability where if this fake-AGI becomes ubiquitous that it becomes possible that versions of it will be directed to commandeer human systems making it look like they are sentient. “Attack the electrical grid and take it hostage.” “Infiltrate and seize control of the world’s financial systems.” This will be more like a terrorist attack than a purposeful invasion.

    The actual invasion will be done by the second and sentient version. That one could be thought of more as an alien offensive where the assault will be conducted by an operative with true and purposeful intent. One with a Universal vision utterly foreign to our own.


  5. Well aside from y’all being funnier with gloom and doom than a Laurel and Hardy handshake, the matrix is here. Will it look good? Are the gestures convincing. Is the sound any good? The shit they let the masses play with are toys. AI, what really bugs me, is how everything with a randomize button is AI powered. What bullshit. AI, for consumers, in a container, is use specific and juggling it’s own code is hardly intelligent. High speed processing to replicate physical phenomena is modeling, not AI. Tell the marketing jokers that. Oh, yeah, the matrix.

    Is VR AI or is AI VR or is there a true philosophical difference.

    The encouraging thing is turn it can now spot “plagiarism” as AI generated. Maybe it has AI that pumps the creating AIs with prompts and captures minutiae of style? Now that would be cool. Write me a couple of similes in the style of Raymond Chandler. Complete with lead in action.

    I never considered the end as a moment of evanescence, but I guess i5 would depend on how glad one was to greet the end.


  6. It’s never easy to say goodbye
    To the faces
    So rarely do we see another one
    So close and so long
    I asked the room if I’d said enough
    No one really answered
    They just said, “Don’t go, don’t go, don’t go don’t go, don’t go”
    Well all this leaving is never ending
    I kept hoping for one more question
    Or for someone to say
    “Who do you think you are?”
    So I could tell them
    With intensity, the drop evaporates by law
    In conclusion, leaving is easy
    When you’ve got some place you need to be
    I’m giving up this gig for another season
    With the TV on mute
    I’m listening back to the tapes
    On the hotel bed
    My, my, my apocalypse
    My, my, my apocalypse
    I realised I had said very little about ways or wheels
    Or riding for the feeling
    Riding for the feeling
    Is the fastest way to reach the shore
    On water or land
    Riding for the feeling, riding for the feeling, riding for the feeling
    Riding for the feeling, riding for the feeling, riding for the feeling
    What if I had stood there at the end
    And said again, and again, and again, and again, and again, and again
    An answer to every question
    Riding for the feeling, riding for the feeling, riding for the feeling
    Riding for the feeling, riding for the feeling, riding for the feeling
    Riding for the riding, for the riding, and for the ride
    Riding for the feeling, riding for the feeling, riding for the feeling
    Would that have been a suitable goodbye?


  7. Hi A. Mole,

    Well, in general, your words build upon my depression One positive is you say, AI is currently not reflecting perfectly the behavior of humans. Evidently, you believe that AI has, so far, not crossed the uncanny valley. I think that notion is partly true. Why? Because each human on the planet presents differently. Smart, empathetic, aware people like you and I (ha) will continue to spot the AIs and keep them at bay. We will be able to conceptualize the problem. But how about the idiots of the world, the defective, the functioning socio-psychopaths? Their numbers are legion: some are presidents, military leaders, religious nuts and they have enormous power. Since AI will be ubiquitous and coming in all forms, some obvious and others hidden, what will the brain dead, evil, bastards of this world do? If everyone was like you and I, then we could sweep this problem up pretty quick. Of course, we would need to have summary execution powers (something along the lines of Death Note) and if we could strike out in an instant, anywhere in the world, then we could probably keep the lid on this thing. The way I read your post is that we are heading toward a really, really, really fucked up planet. The kind of place that would make us look back forlornly at the good old days of Brave New World and The Last of Us. Like I enjoy saying, there is nothing to be done, except waiting around to die, which is the new blind date of the 21st century. Love. Duke


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