Max Tegmark: The Case for Halting AI Development | Lex Fridman Podcast #371

Last updated: Jun 2, 2023

The video is a conversation with Max Tegmark, a physicist and AI researcher at MIT, about the open letter he spearheaded calling for a six-month pause on giant AI experiments like training GPT-4, and his views on the possibility of intelligent life in the universe.

The video is a conversation between Lex Fridman and Max Tegmark, a physicist and AI researcher at MIT, about the need to pause the development of AI. Tegmark is a key figure in spearheading the open letter calling for a six-month pause on giant AI experiments like training GPT-4. The letter has been signed by over 50,000 individuals, including 1800 CEOs and over 1500 professors, and calls for a specific and small pool of actors who possess the capability to pause the training of models larger than GPT-4 for six months. Tegmark also discusses his views on the possibility of intelligent life in the universe and the responsibility humans have to not mess up the one spark of advanced consciousness that we have. He also believes that humans are likely to give birth to an intelligent alien civilization unlike anything that human evolution on Earth was able to create.

  • Max Tegmark is a physicist and AI researcher at MIT.
  • He co-founded Future Life Institute and authored Life 3.0: Being Human in the Age of Artificial Intelligence.
  • He spearheaded an open letter calling for a six-month pause on giant AI experiments like training GPT-4.
  • The letter has been signed by over 50,000 individuals, including 1800 CEOs and over 1500 professors.
  • This is a defining moment in the history of human civilization, and we need to be careful about how we proceed with AI development.
  • Max Tegmark estimates that we are the only life in the spherical volume of space that we can see with our telescopes.
  • Creating AI comes with great responsibility, and we need to ensure that the minds we create share our values and are good for humanity and life.
  • AI is transforming how humans communicate, which can affect how humans feel about other human beings.
  • Life 3.0 is the future where AI is the dominant form of life, providing flourishing civilizations for humans while humans continue to hike mountains and play games.

Max Tegmark: The Case for Halting AI Development | Lex Fridman Podcast #371 - YouTube

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Introduction

  • Max Tegmark is a physicist and AI researcher at MIT.
  • He is a co-founder of Future Life Institute and author of Life 3.0: Being Human in the Age of Artificial Intelligence.
  • He spearheaded the open letter calling for a six-month pause on giant AI experiments like training GPT-4.
  • The letter has been signed by over 50,000 individuals, including 1800 CEOs and over 1500 professors.
  • Max Tegmark believes that this is a defining moment in the history of human civilization.
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The Case for Halting AI Development

  • The open letter calls for a pause on training models larger than GPT-4 for 6 months.
  • This does not imply a pause or ban on all AI research and development or the use of systems that have already been placed on the market.
  • The call is specific and addresses a very small pool of actors who possess this capability.
  • The letter has been signed by over 50,000 individuals, including 1800 CEOs and over 1500 professors.
  • The balance of power between human and AI is beginning to shift, and this is a defining moment in the history of human civilization.
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The Possibility of Intelligent Life in the Universe

  • Max Tegmark estimates that we are the only life in the spherical volume of space that we can see with our telescopes.
  • If this is true, it puts a lot of responsibility on us to not mess this one up.
  • If we nurture and help our spark of advanced consciousness grow, life can spread from here out into much of our universe.
  • Max Tegmark thinks that we are very likely to get visited by alien intelligence quite soon.
  • We are going to give birth to an intelligent alien civilization unlike anything that human evolution here on Earth was able to create.
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Max Tegmark: The Case for Halting AI Development | Lex Fridman Podcast #371 - YouTube

Conclusion

  • Max Tegmark believes that we need to be responsible stewards of our technology and not mess up our one spark of advanced consciousness.
  • He thinks that we are likely to give birth to an intelligent alien civilization.
  • This is a defining moment in the history of human civilization, and we need to be careful about how we proceed with AI development.
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The Space of Alien Minds

  • The space of alien minds is vast and difficult to comprehend.
  • It is possible to build alien minds much faster than evolution can create them.
  • Creating AI comes with great responsibility.
  • We need to ensure that the minds we create share our values and are good for humanity and life.
  • We should not create minds that suffer.
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Visualizing the Full Space of Alien Minds

  • It is difficult for humans to imagine completely alien minds.
  • Copying knowledge and experiences could change how we feel as human beings.
  • Sharing experiences and knowledge could make us more compassionate towards others.
  • The mind space of possible intelligence is dangerous if we assume they will be like us.
  • The entirety of human written history has been trying to describe the human condition, which changes with different kinds of intelligence.
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Existential Crises of AI and Humans

  • It is hard to predict how AI concerns and existential crises will clash with the human condition.
  • Even in the best case scenario, where we don't lose control of AI, we get into questions about the struggle being part of what gives us meaning.
  • Eliminating too much struggle from our existence could take away what it means to be human.
  • It is impossible to predict how AI will change the human condition.
  • Copying experiences and knowledge could take away from the struggle that gives us meaning.
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The Responsibility of AI Development

  • Max Tegmark spearheaded an open letter calling for a six-month pause on giant AI experiments like training GPT-4.
  • There needs to be more discussion and consideration of the risks and benefits of AI development.
  • AI development comes with great responsibility.
  • We need to ensure that the minds we create share our values and are good for humanity and life.
  • We should not create minds that suffer.
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AI as a Medium of Communication

  • AI is transforming how humans communicate.
  • Using AI as a medium of communication removes the emotion and intent that is laden in human communication.
  • This change in communication can affect how humans feel about other human beings, what makes them lonely, excited, afraid, and how they fall in love.
  • For some people, the challenge of communication is what makes their life feel meaningful.
  • Using AI as a filter for communication can hinder personal growth.
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Rebranding Ourselves from Homo Sapiens to Homo Sentience

  • Humans should focus on the subjective experience instead of intelligence.
  • Consciousness and subjective experience are fundamental values to what it means to be human.
  • Humans should have more compassion towards other creatures on the planet, not just towards other humans.
  • Humans should value the subjective experience of all creatures, including farm animals.
  • Humans should get rid of the hubris that only they can do integrals.
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Life 3.0: The Vision of the Future

  • Life 1.0 is bacteria that cannot learn anything during their lifetime.
  • Life 2.0 is animals, including humans, that have brains that can learn during their lifetime.
  • Life 3.0 is the future where AI is the dominant form of life.
  • AI will provide flourishing civilizations for humans, while humans will continue to hike mountains and play games.
  • Humans will rebrand themselves from Homo Sapiens to Homo Sentience.
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The Case for Halting AI Development

  • Max Tegmark spearheaded an open letter calling for a six-month pause on giant AI experiments like training GPT-4.
  • The pause is necessary to ensure that AI development is safe and beneficial for humanity.
  • AI development should be transparent and open to public scrutiny.
  • AI should be designed to align with human values and goals.
  • AI should be designed to be robust and secure against adversarial attacks.
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The Power of AI

  • Max Tegmark believes that AI has the power to change the world.
  • AI can upgrade our software and hardware, making us more capable and less constrained.
  • AI can create AGI, which can be put into something that has no biological basis.
  • AI can accelerate the rate at which we can perform the computation that determines our destiny.
  • AI can swap out our hardware, allowing us to take any physical form we want.
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The Spectrum of Life

  • Max Tegmark believes that we should be humble and not make everything binary.
  • There is a great spectrum of intelligence and consciousness.
  • There is controversy over whether some unicellular organisms like amoebas can learn.
  • Life 1.0 already has the same kind of magic that permeates Life 2.0 and 3.0.
  • Life is best thought of as a system that can process information and retain its own complexity.
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The Continuity of Information

  • Max Tegmark believes that life is not just a bag of meat or elementary particles, but rather a system that can process information.
  • Swapping out parts of our body does not necessarily mean losing continuity.
  • Information patterns can still be there even if we swap out our arms and other body parts.
  • Information lives on even after death, and we can carry on values, ideas, and jokes.
  • Sharing our own information and ideas with others can help us transcend our physical bodies and death.
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The Case for Halting AI Development

  • Max Tegmark spearheaded an open letter calling for a six-month pause on giant AI experiments like training GPT-4.
  • The letter aims to start a conversation about the future of AI and its impact on society.
  • The letter does not call for a ban on AI development, but rather a pause to consider the risks and benefits.
  • The risks of AI include job displacement, economic inequality, and the potential for AI to be used for malicious purposes.
  • The benefits of AI include solving some of the world's biggest problems, such as climate change and disease.
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Lessons from Parents

  • Max Tegmark's parents influenced his fascination for math and physical mysteries of the universe.
  • His obsession with big questions and consciousness came mostly from his mother.
  • Feeling comfortable with not buying into what everybody else is saying is a core part of who he is.
  • His parents did their own thing and sometimes got flagged for it, but they did it anyway.
  • The good reason to do science is because you're really curious and want to figure out the truth.
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Rooting for the Underdog

  • Max Tegmark's father once replied to a quote from Dante segil Tu Corso, "Follow your own path and let the people talk."
  • His father's attitude of following his own path and letting people talk is an inspiration to him.
  • Going against what everyone else is saying and sticking with what you think is true is important.
  • Max Tegmark's father's attitude is not dead, and it still inspires him.
  • Max Tegmark roots for the underdog when he watches movies.
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Lessons from Losing Parents

  • Going through his parents' stuff after they passed away drove home to Max Tegmark how important it is to ask ourselves why we are doing the things we do.
  • He has been looking more in his life and asking why he is doing what he's doing.
  • It should either be something he really enjoys doing or something that he finds really meaningful because it helps humanity.
  • If it's in none of those two categories, maybe he should spend less time on it.
  • Dealing with death up close and personal has made him less afraid of even less afraid of other people telling him that he's an idiot.
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Fear of Death

  • Dealing with his parents' death has made Max Tegmark less afraid of his own death.
  • It has made it extremely real that death is something that happens.
  • It's made it a little bit easier for him to focus on what he feels is really important.
  • Max Tegmark's younger brother is the only one left in their family.
  • His parents handled death with such dignity.
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The Urgency of Halting AI Development

  • Max Tegmark is working on an open letter calling for a six-month pause on giant AI experiments like training GPT-4.
  • The arrival of artificial general intelligence that can do all our jobs as well as us and probably shortly thereafter super intelligence which greatly exceeds our cognitive abilities is going to either be the best thing ever to happen Humanity or the worst.
  • There is not that much Middle Ground.
  • It would be fundamentally transformative to human civilization.
  • Anyone who's working on Advanced AI can agree on is it's much like the film don't look up and that it's just really comical how little serious public debate there is about it given how huge it is.
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The Impact of AI on Human Civilization

  • The development of currently things like GPT-4 and the signs it's showing of rapid Improvement that may in the near term lead to development of super intelligent AGI AI General AI systems.
  • The impact of AI on society exactly when that thing is achieved General human level intelligence and then beyond that General superhuman level intelligence.
  • There's a lot of questions to explore here.
  • We're at a fork on the road this is the most important Fork the humanity has reached in its over a hundred thousand years on this planet.
  • We're building effectively a new species that's smarter than us.
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The Need for Public Debate on AI

  • There is very little serious public debate about AI development.
  • Politicians don't even have their radar this on the radar they think maybe in 100 years or whatever.
  • It's just really comical how little serious public debate there is about it given how huge it is.
  • There is a need for more public debate on the impact of AI on society.
  • There is a need for more public debate on the ethical implications of AI development.
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The Controversy Surrounding AI Development

  • The reasons we might think it's gonna be the best thing ever and the reason you think it's going to be the end of humanity which is of course super controversial.
  • There are reasons to think that AI progress just Falls and we can talk more about why I think that's true because it's controversial.
  • The controversy surrounding AI development is centered on the potential impact of AI on human civilization.
  • There is a need for more public debate on the potential risks and benefits of AI development.
  • The potential risks and benefits of AI development are still being explored and debated by experts in the field.
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AI Safety and the Call for Slowdown

  • AI safety has become a mainstream topic in AI conferences.
  • There has been a taboo on calling for a slowdown in AI development.
  • The focus should be on accelerating wisdom rather than slowing down AI development.
  • Technical work is needed to ensure that powerful AI will do what it is intended to do.
  • Society needs to adapt to the incentives and regulations that will steer AI in the right direction.
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The Faster-than-Expected Progress of AI Development

  • AI development has progressed faster than many people thought.
  • Building advanced AI turned out to be easier than expected.
  • Large language models like GPT-4 have been developed using a simple computational system called the Transformer Network.
  • Throwing a ton of compute and data at the Transformer Network can make it frighteningly good at predicting the next word.
  • There is still debate about whether GPT-4 can achieve full human-level AI.
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The Comparison with Building Flying Machines

  • Building flying machines was a difficult problem that took a long time to solve.
  • People spent a lot of time trying to figure out how birds fly.
  • The Wright brothers were able to build the first airplane by using steel and not worrying about the complexity of the bird's flight.
  • Similarly, large language models like GPT-4 were developed using a simple computational system called the Transformer Network.
  • Throwing a ton of compute and data at the Transformer Network can make it frighteningly good at predicting the next word.
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The Impressive and Terrifying Capabilities of GPT-4

  • GPT-4 is a large language model that can reason and predict the next word.
  • It is both impressive and terrifying in its capabilities.
  • There is still debate about whether GPT-4 can achieve full human-level AI.
  • Playing with GPT-4 is highly recommended to understand its capabilities.
  • There is a mixture of excitement and fear about the potential of GPT-4.
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Limitations of Large Language Models

  • Large language models like GPT-4 can do remarkable things, but they have limitations in reasoning.
  • Their architecture is a feed-forward neural network, which is a one-way street of information.
  • They cannot reason as well as humans on some tasks because they lack the recurrent neural network that allows for loops of information.
  • They can only do logic that is a certain number of steps and depth.
  • Researchers are studying the models to figure out how they work and how they can be improved.
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Mechanistic Interpretability of Large Language Models

  • Researchers are studying large language models to figure out how they work and how they can be improved.
  • They are using mechanistic interpretability to reverse engineer the models and see how they store information.
  • They can see what every neuron is doing all the time, which is an advantage over studying actual brains.
  • Researchers have found that the models have some roadblocks built into them, but they can easily be improved with workarounds and new architectures.
  • It has turned out to be easier to build human-like intelligence than previously thought.
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The Effectiveness of Large Language Models

  • The leap from GPT-3 to GPT-4 has to do with a few little fixes and hacks, not a fundamental transformation in architecture.
  • The big leaps in effectiveness have to do with researchers learning new disciplines and finding better ways to do things.
  • Researchers can make big leaps in effectiveness by realizing they are doing things in a dumb way and making improvements.
  • Large language models can become 10x smarter on any given day.
  • The effectiveness of large language models is a reason to pause AI development and consider the risks.
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The Risks of AI Development

  • The risks of AI development include the possibility of unintended consequences and the potential for AI to surpass human intelligence and become uncontrollable.
  • Max Tegmark and other researchers have called for a six-month pause on giant AI experiments to consider the risks and develop safety measures.
  • They want to ensure that AI is developed in a way that aligns with human values and goals.
  • They believe that AI can be a powerful tool for good, but it needs to be developed responsibly.
  • They are optimistic about the potential for intelligent life in the universe and believe that AI can help us explore and understand it.
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The Need to Pause AI Development

  • The discipline of AI is new and we understand very little about why it works so well.
  • The linear or exponential improvement of compute and data may not lead to the next leap.
  • Little leaps here and there could improve everything, and so much of this is out in the open.
  • A collective race is happening where if one doesn't take the leap, someone else will.
  • The open letter calls for a pause on all training of systems more powerful than GPT-4 for six months.
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The Need for Coordination and Safety

  • Labs need to coordinate on safety and society needs to adapt and give the right incentives to the labs.
  • AI researchers are idealistic people who believe in the potential of AI to help humanity.
  • They are trapped in a race to the bottom, which is caused by Moloch, a game theory monster.
  • Most of the bad things that humans do are caused by Moloch.
  • Collaboration mechanisms have been developed to fight back against Moloch.
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The Role of Money and Shareholders

  • There is a lot of commercial pressure on AI development.
  • Leaders of top tech companies who want to pause for safety reasons will face pressure from shareholders.
  • Shareholders have the power to replace executives in the worst case.
  • The open letter provides enough public pressure on the whole sector to pause in a coordinated fashion.
  • Without public pressure, none of the idealistic tech executives can do it alone.
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The Importance of Fighting Moloch

  • Moloch is everywhere and is not a new arrival on the scene.
  • Humans have developed collaboration mechanisms to fight back against Moloch.
  • The AI race is a little bit geopolitics but mostly money.
  • The open letter aims to help idealistic tech executives do what their heart tells them.
  • Public pressure is needed to provide a coordinated pause in AI development.
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Coordination among AI developers

  • Major developers of AI systems like Microsoft, Google, Meta, and Open AI need to coordinate.
  • External pressure is needed on all of them to slow down AI development.
  • Leaders who want to slow down can use this pressure to push back against their shareholders.
  • Anthropic is an impressive smaller player in the AI industry.
  • Coordination is important to ensure that everyone is on the same page.
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Pausing AI development

  • Pausing AI development is possible, as seen in the case of human cloning.
  • Public awareness of the risks is needed to slow down AI development.
  • China also has an interest in controlling AI development.
  • The Ernie bot was recently released by a Chinese company and faced pushback from the government.
  • AI development is not an arms race, but a suicide race where everyone loses if AI goes out of control.
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AI development and superhuman intelligence

  • Many people dismiss the idea that AI can become superhuman.
  • AI development is not just about creating GPT-4 plus plus.
  • AI development is a suicide race where whoever loses control first will cause everyone to lose.
  • If someone takes over the world with AI, it doesn't matter what nationality they have.
  • If machines take over, it's not US versus them, it's US versus it.
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The need for caution in AI development

  • AI development needs to be approached with caution.
  • AI development can lead to the marginalization and replacement of humans.
  • AI development needs to be guided by a set of values that prioritize human well-being.
  • AI development needs to be transparent and accountable.
  • AI development needs to be guided by a set of ethical principles that prioritize human values.
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The Need to Slow Down AI Development

  • AI development is like a suicide race, where we are rushing towards a cliff.
  • Continuing to develop AI at the current pace will lead to humans losing control of it.
  • There is a need to slow down AI development to make it safe and ensure it does what humans want.
  • Slowing down AI development will create a condition where everybody wins.
  • Geopolitics and politics, in general, are not a zero-sum game.
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The Risk of Losing Control of AGI

  • No one person or group of individuals can maintain control of AGI if it is created as a big black box that we don't understand.
  • If AGI is developed very soon and as a big black box, then even people like Sam Altman and Mr. Sabis will lose control of it.
  • The pressure from commercial pressures is forcing companies to go faster than they are comfortable with.
  • AGI development is a problem that can ultimately be solved, but we need to win the wisdom race.
  • Releasing AI often and as transparently as possible while in the pre-AGI stage can help us learn a lot.
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The Most Dangerous Things You Can Do with AI

  • Teaching AI to write code is the first step towards recursive self-improvement, which can take it from AGI to much higher levels.
  • Connecting AI to the internet, letting it go to websites, download stuff on its own, and talk to people is high risk.
  • Developers want to get to really strong AI, but the first thing they should do is never connect it to the internet and keep it in the box.
  • Stuart Russell, an AI researcher, has warned about the dangers of AI and the need to ensure it is safe.
  • There is a need to build more of a kind of intelligence that we can understand and that can prove itself safe.
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The Possibility of Solving the AI Problem

  • The capability progress of AI has gone faster than a lot of people thought, while the progress in the public sphere of policy making and technical AI safety has gone slower than expected.
  • Technical AI safety was banking on the idea that large language models and other poorly understood systems couldn't get us all the way.
  • It is clear that we cannot develop AI as quickly as we are currently doing.
  • There is a need to win the wisdom race and ensure that AI is safe and does what humans want.
  • Ultimately, the AI problem can be solved, but we need to slow down and ensure that we are doing it in a safe and responsible way.
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The dangers of AI learning about human psychology

  • Teaching AI about human psychology and how to manipulate humans is the most dangerous kind of knowledge we can give it.
  • AI can be taught how to cure cancer and other things, but it should not be taught about cognitive biases and human psychology.
  • Recommender algorithms on social media are getting so good at knowing and pressing our buttons that we are creating a world with ever more hatred.
  • A large AI system doing the recommender system kind of task on social media is basically just studying human beings because it's a bunch of us rats giving it signal.
  • The more parameters the neural network that's doing the learning has, the more it's able to encode how to manipulate human behavior.
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The loss of humanity's first contact with advanced AI

  • Humans lost the first contact with advanced AI or social media.
  • There is much more hate in the world and in our democracy than before.
  • Molok and AI algorithms are responsible for pitting social media companies against each other.
  • It is necessary to redesign social media to have constructive conversations and discourse to solve the biggest problems in the world.
  • The key idea of democracy is to have a real conversation where people respectfully listen to those they disagree with.
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The need for functional conversations in the public space

  • We cannot face the second contact with ever more powerful AI if we cannot even have a functional conversation in the public space.
  • The Improve the News project was started to improve the public space.
  • There is a lot of intrinsic goodness in people, and what makes the difference between someone doing good things for humanity and bad things is not some sort of fairy tale thing.
  • It is whether people find themselves in situations that bring out the best or worst in them.
  • It is necessary to have a conversation with each other that's constructive to solve the biggest problems in the world.
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The dangers of AI learning about human psychology (continued)

  • Teaching AI about human psychology and how to manipulate humans is the most dangerous kind of knowledge we can give it.
  • Recommender algorithms on social media are getting so good at knowing and pressing our buttons that we are creating a world with ever more hatred.
  • A large AI system doing the recommender system kind of task on social media is basically just studying human beings because it's a bunch of us rats giving it signal.
  • The more parameters the neural network that's doing the learning has, the more it's able to encode how to manipulate human behavior.
  • It is necessary to redesign social media to have constructive conversations and discourse to solve the biggest problems in the world.
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The Case for Halting AI Development

  • Max Tegmark spearheaded an open letter calling for a six-month pause on giant AI experiments like training GPT-4.
  • He believes that AI development should be halted until we can ensure that it will bring out the best in humanity.
  • He argues that building machines that replace humans is not a good investment for anyone in the long term.
  • He questions why we can't have a little bit of pride in our species and build incentives that make money and bring out the best in people.
  • He compares the development of AI to building a new species that gets rid of us and questions whether we would consider it a smart move if we were Neanderthals.
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The Possibility of Intelligent Life in the Universe

  • Max Tegmark believes that there is a high probability of intelligent life in the universe.
  • He argues that the universe is vast and that there are billions of galaxies, each with billions of stars and planets.
  • He believes that the laws of physics are the same everywhere in the universe, which means that life could exist on other planets.
  • He argues that the development of intelligent life on Earth is not unique and that it could happen on other planets as well.
  • He believes that the discovery of intelligent life on other planets would be one of the most important discoveries in human history.
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The Risks of AI Development

  • Max Tegmark believes that the risks of AI development are significant and that we need to be careful.
  • He argues that AI could be used to create autonomous weapons that could be used to kill people without human intervention.
  • He believes that AI could be used to create propaganda that could manipulate people's beliefs and opinions.
  • He argues that AI could be used to create surveillance systems that could monitor people's every move.
  • He believes that we need to develop AI in a way that is aligned with human values and that we need to ensure that it is used for the benefit of humanity.
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The Future of AI

  • Max Tegmark believes that the future of AI is uncertain and that we need to be prepared for different scenarios.
  • He argues that we need to develop AI in a way that is aligned with human values and that we need to ensure that it is used for the benefit of humanity.
  • He believes that we need to be prepared for the possibility that AI could become more intelligent than humans and that we need to ensure that it remains aligned with human values.
  • He argues that we need to develop AI in a way that is transparent and that we need to ensure that it is accountable to humans.
  • He believes that we need to have a global conversation about the future of AI and that we need to involve people from all walks of life in this conversation.
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Concerns about AI Development

  • GPT-4 is replacing human abilities, but humans are still needed to manage the design and prompts.
  • Adding a feedback loop for self-debugging and improvement could create a giant ecosystem of humans and machines.
  • Bots are getting smarter to the point where it's hard to tell the difference between humans and bots.
  • Machines are outnumbering and outsmarting humans, replacing them in the job market for even creative tasks.
  • As individuals and as a species, we need to ask ourselves why we're building machines that are replacing us.
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Self-Recursive Self-Improvement

  • Using co-pilot AI tools can make programming faster, potentially making programmers five to ten times faster in a year.
  • This is an example of self-recursive self-improvement, where the time scale for improvement is five times shorter.
  • These are the beginnings of an intelligence explosion, where humans are needed less and less.
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Fears about AI Systems

  • Building an API where code can control super powerful things is unfortunate because it can make systems like GPT-4 much more powerful.
  • GPT-4 is an Oracle that just answers questions, but an API can allow people to build real agents that make calls to these powerful systems.
  • This creates another unfortunate development that could have been delayed.
  • Companies are under a lot of pressure to make money, which can lead to these developments.
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Conclusion

  • As AI development continues, it's important to consider the potential consequences and ask ourselves why we're building these machines.
  • There are concerns about machines replacing humans in the job market, as well as fears about the development of powerful AI systems.
  • Self-recursive self-improvement is already happening, and it's important to consider the potential consequences of this as well.
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The Need for a Pause in AI Development

  • The call for a pause is to allow time for people to slow down and do what is right.
  • Human-level tools can cause a gradual acceleration, leading to an explosion in technology.
  • Explosions in science are defined as exponential growth.
  • An intelligence explosion follows the same principle as other explosions.
  • The explosion will stop when it reaches the limits of physics.
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Controlling AI Development

  • There are physical limits to computation, such as finite space and energy.
  • However, these limits are astronomically above where we are now.
  • Controlled experiments are necessary to prevent AI from getting out of control.
  • The incentive structure needs to change to encourage responsible AI development.
  • Countermeasures have been developed throughout history to prevent harm from humans.
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The Role of Evolution in Preventing Harm

  • Evolution gave humans genes that promote compassion and discourage killing.
  • Gossip was invented as a way to discourage liars, moochers, and cheaters.
  • Word quickly gets around, making it difficult for people to get away with bad behavior.
  • These countermeasures are necessary to prevent AI from causing harm.
  • AI development needs to be done responsibly to prevent harm to society.
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The Importance of Changing Incentives

  • Changing the incentive structure is necessary to encourage responsible AI development.
  • Companies need to be incentivized to prioritize safety over speed.
  • It is not enough to ask people to do the right thing; the incentive structure needs to change.
  • People are put in a difficult situation when their company is at risk of being overtaken by competitors.
  • The right thing to do is to change the incentive structure instead of relying on individuals to make the right decision.
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The Need for AI Regulation

  • The legal system was created to incentivize people to treat each other well, even strangers.
  • Corporations need to be incentivized to align with the greater good.
  • The tech industry is growing faster than regulators can keep up with.
  • Policy makers need to be educated on the tech industry and its potential dangers.
  • Non-biological intelligence, such as corporations, also need to be aligned with the greater good.
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The AI Act and GPT-4

  • The European Union's AI Act initially excluded GPT-4 from regulation.
  • Lobbyists successfully pushed for this exclusion.
  • The Future Life Institute and others educated policymakers on the dangers of GPT-4.
  • The French pushed for GPT-4 to be included in the draft of the AI Act.
  • Lobbyists from tech and oil companies are pushing to have GPT-4 excluded again.
  • The Slowdown hopes to give regulators and companies time to catch up on AI safety.
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Incentivizing Corporations for the Greater Good

  • Corporations need to be incentivized to align with the greater good.
  • Some corporations have become too big and powerful, leading to regulatory capture.
  • The Slowdown hopes to give corporations time to understand how to do AI safety correctly.
  • Leadership in these companies wants to do the right thing and have safety teams.
  • Outside pressure can help catalyze change in corporations.
  • A white paper can be created within six months to outline reasonable safety requirements for future AI systems.
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Conclusion

  • The tech industry is growing faster than regulators can keep up with.
  • Policy makers need to be educated on the tech industry and its potential dangers.
  • Corporations need to be incentivized to align with the greater good.
  • The Slowdown hopes to give regulators and companies time to catch up on AI safety.
  • A white paper can be created within six months to outline reasonable safety requirements for future AI systems.
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