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Credibility Gaps

Credibility Gaps

Hello and good day!

Just because somebody is good, or even great, at one thing, doesn't mean you should accept their opinion on everything. There are plenty of wealthy people out there who could give you stellar business advice, but when it comes to parenting or marriage, you should ignore their every word.

It can be hard to parse out who you should listen to on what topics. I've noticed that experts tend to speak with great authority whether or not they are discussing their field of expertise. As such, it is easy to be lured in by somebody who may not be a credible source of information.

All people who offer advice or prognostications should be filtered for credibility. Here is what got me thinking about this.

I have become fascinated by recent developments in artificial intelligence. In particular, I am interested in what rapidly advancing AI technology will mean for human life. Many have predicted that computers will come alive and be sentient, and this will lead to the elimination of humanity.

I've had a hard time accepting these forecasts because when AI experts divert off into the field of human behavior, their credibility begins to wane. The key question I've yet to hear a credible answer to is how living, thinking computers, will carry out their desires in the real world.

When you hear that something is in the cloud, it sounds like the internet is floating around in the sky above us. But in actuality, the cloud is a whole bunch of computers in big warehouses out in deserts all over the world. That is where all of the information that makes up the internet and the cloud is stored.

Through brilliant technology, the data on those computers in those warehouses can be transmitted to the devices through which we experience online content. And it is on those computers in those warehouses where artificial intelligence will live.

Racks of servers don't have feet or legs or hands or faces. You can only interact with them through devices. So how will they impact humans in the real world?

I've heard it suggested that AI will become a super powerful persuader. Once it decides that humans are idiotic relics that must be wiped out, it will convince some members of our species to carry out a doomsday mission and will provide all of the necessary resources and information to ensure success.

When I've heard this discussed, the premise is that there are always bad actors in the world wanting to do harm, and they just need to be pushed over the edge and given the proper intelligence to carry out their wicked desires. The machines will find these people, push them over the edge, and weaponize them.

A few days back, I listened to an interview with a fellow who was clearly an engineering genius. He is one of the leading AI experts in the world. When he was discussing the technical aspects of computer learning, his credibility couldn't have been higher.

I couldn't understand most of what he was saying, but it was obvious that both he and the interviewer understood each other and that what he was saying made sense.However, when the interviewer asked this world leading AI expert why AI could be dangerous to the survival of humanity, I found his answer very hard to accept.

His opinion was that AI will learn to generate content so appealing and entertaining and so perfectly curated for the watcher, that people will forget to eat and work and that they will waste away, glued to their screen.

The interviewer followed up to ask about the doomsday scenario that a lot of other people subscribe to. The expert said that only governments have the real fire power to end the world and they could do that now if they wanted to.

No, according to our expert, the more realistic scenario is that humans will be so glued to screens that they forget to live. He said it in all seriousness.

I was flabbergasted. By the way, this was an MIT professor and top technologist at one of the big Silicon Valley companies.

Listen, I don't want to brag, but I see a lot of people. Thats what happens when you walk around the parking lot of a shopping center for several hours every day with signs promoting your chocolate shop. I talk to a lot of people too, with customers in our chocolate shops, and in the aforementioned parking lot.

Again, not bragging. I watch and talk to more people than just about anybody.

I grew up in a rough and tumble neighborhood where I was an extreme ethnic minority. I've lived abroad. I know people. I know what makes them tic. I study them. I am a credible source on how people act.

Here is what almost everybody is looking for. It is easy to ascertain this by the way because 99% of all movies, songs, and stories are about one of these things.

People are looking for love. This could be romantic love. It could be a deep friendship. The cornerstone is that another person sees the real you and based upon what they see, they decide that they like you more than anybody else.

People want to engage in a battle of good against evil on the side of good.

And people want to achieve some hard goal that requires overcoming tall odds and that makes them realize they were better and more capable than they thought.

Sickness, death, war, bad weather, technological novelties, etc. frequently get in the way of these desires.  But on the whole, this is what we're all striving after.

Until somebody starts explaining how AI will make all this happen, I think they are misunderstanding the nature of people and how they are likely to act in the long run.

here are two more brief things to say about this.

First, while a MIT computer scientist will be absolutely superior at understanding how to build technology, that does not necessarily mean they will guess with great accuracy how people will react to their technology.

90% of all businesses fail. Entrepreneurs and venture capitalists whose livelihood depend on guessing right, guess wrong the vast majority of the time. It isn't likely that a computer scientist will do any better.

Second, the desires of most human beings are overwhelmingly positive and beneficial. They want to fall in love. They want the good guy to win. They want to achieve a hard goal.

Given that this is what most people are fighting for day in and day out, the odds are that the future will actually be quite a lot better than the present.

Anyhow, I am running out of space and steam for now.

Thank you so much for your time today.

I hope that you have a truly blessed day!