The Comment is a weekly digest of the stuff that grabbed my attention or occupied some part my mind during the past week. Normally, it’ll be one thing that’s really been on my mind, followed by a handful of things that I found interesting. The Comment will be published each Monday at 10:30AM EST.
Thanks for reading.
// Chance of an Artificial Intelligence Explosion
This is a pretty cool read. Francois Chollet writing at Medium on the chances (or lack thereof) of an (artificial) intelligence explosion:
The basic premise is that, in the near future, a first “seed AI” will be created, with general problem-solving abilities slightly surpassing that of humans. This seed AI would start designing better AIs, initiating a recursive self-improvement loop that would immediately leave human intelligence in the dust, overtaking it by orders of magnitude in a short time. Proponents of this theory also regard intelligence as a kind of superpower, conferring its holders with almost supernatural capabilities to shape their environment — as seen in the science-fiction movie Transcendence (2014), for instance. Superintelligence would thus imply near-omnipotence, and would pose an existential threat to humanity.
This science-fiction narrative contributes to the dangerously misleading public debate that is ongoing about the risks of AI and the need for AI regulation. In this post, I argue that intelligence explosion is impossible — that the notion of intelligence explosion comes from a profound misunderstanding of both the nature of intelligence and the behavior of recursively self-augmenting systems. I attempt to base my points on concrete observations about intelligent systems and recursive systems.
Francois goes on to do a good job defining and describing the almost distributed nature of human intelligence. An pretty good read and a great counterpoint to the Elon Musks of the world who are convinced that artificial intelligence is a definite threat to human life and will enslave us all.
// Jay-Z, A conversation with the New York Times
// Net Neutrality & Title II Classification
Ben Thompson and James Allworth debate the benefits of tradeoffs about the two horrible options available to us, with regard to Title II classification of ISPs.
Ben Thompson also wrote a pretty good piece on why Title II classification of ISPs may not be the most optimal vehicle for enforcing Net Neutrality.
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