by Shelt Garner
When I was a very young man, it occured to me that we might create our own aliens should AI (AGI) ever come into being. Now, many years later, I find myself dwelling upon the same thing, only this time in the context of the historical significance of the coming chatbot (and eventually potentially the AGI) revolution.
If we create “The Other” — the first time Humans would have to deal with such a thing since the Neanderthals — what would be the historical implications of that? Not only what would be the historical equivalent of creating The Other, but what can history tell us about what we might expect once it happens?
Well, let’s suppose that the creation of The Other will be equal to splitting the atom. If we’re about to leave the Atomic Age for the AGI Age, then…what does that mean? If you look at what happened when we first split the atom, there were a lot and I mean A LOT of hairbrained ideas as to how to use nuclear power. We did a lot of dumb things and we had a lot of dumb ideas about essentially using a-bombs on the battlefield or to blow shit up as need be for peaceful purposes.
Now, before we go any further, remember that things would be going much, much faster with AGI as opposed to splitting the atom. So, as such, what would happen is a lot of high paying jobs might just vanish virtually overnight with some pretty massive economic and political implications. And, remember, we’re probably going to have a recession in 2023 and if ChatGPT 4.0 is as good as people are saying, it might be just good enough that our plutocratic overlords will decide to use it to eliminate whole categories of jobs just because they would rather cut jobs that pay human being a living wage.
If history is any guide, after much turmoil, a new equilibrium will be established, one that seems very different than what has gone before. Just like how splitting the atom made the idea of WW3 seem both ominous and quaint, maybe our creation of The Other will do a similar number on how we perceive the world.
It could be, once all is said and done, that the idea of the nation-state fades into history and the central issue of human experience will not be your nationality but your relationship to The Other, our new AGI overlords.
It’s something to think about, regardless.