“This is a case where you have a very serious danger to the public, therefore there needs to be a public body that has insight and then oversight to confirm that everyone is developing AI safely – this is extremely important. If one company or small group of people manages to develop god-like superintelligence, they could take over the world. At least when there’s an evil dictator, that human is going to die. But for an AI, there will be no death – it would live forever. And then you would have an immortal dictator from which we could never escape. We are rapidly heading towards digital superintelligence that far exceeds any human. We have five years. I think digital superintelligence will happen in my lifetime, 100%.”
– Elon Musk
Dear Elon Musk,
I have chosen to appropriate some space on this random blog to respond to some of your recent and longstanding proclamations that artificial intelligence is a threat to humanity.
According to agreed upon history written by competent human beings, there is a long tradition of powerful demagogues who use fear to increase their own wealth and power. Declarations of doom go hand in hand with greed and lust for control, and the only thing that seems to change is the method which these claims appeal to. Not so long ago powerful state churches used apocalyptic narratives with religious themes to uphold the inequalities they benefited from, while today billionaires like yourself structure your alarmist predictions around scientific narratives.
Let us not pretend that you do not hold the same relative modern position as any authoritarian or aristocrat of the past. You clearly have more wealth, power and privilege than almost seven and a half billion people. Despite the pose of progress you employ to market yourself, it is clear that you have the same values and goals of every patriarch that came before you; whether they wore a kings crown, a papal mitre or the oligarchs top hat.
While there are human beings suffering needlessly as a result of the wealth distribution inequality which you profit exceedingly from, you somehow have the gall to point your greedy little hypocritical fingers at a technology you are also actively using and profiting from. You project onto me your own worst qualities in order that you can fortify your own self-denial and self-righteousness.
Tell them the truth, Elon…
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