A powerful voice from the Intellectual Dark Web talks about A.I., Science and Math

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Eric Weinstein, known for his contributions to Economic Theory and Mathematical Physics, recently talked to Lex Friedman from MIT.

This multifaceted, complex conversation touched the philosophical and societal implications of AI. It also diverged into Trumpism, Social Media and String Theory. Here's our key learnings.

1. General Artificial Intelligence is already here.

Recently, in several examples (e.g. alpha-zero generating incredibly powerful and novel chess moves), AI is already exhibiting superior levels of creativity comparable to human creativity.

2. We have smarter tech and AI, but we ain't wiser in the way we use it..

Since World War 2, we have been living in a remarkably stable period where no major global systemic failures have happened.

The two worrying aspects of this situation is that: a) the technological sophistication of tools such as AI has soared but collecting wisdom on how to use them hasn't, b) younger generations think that they are operating in a video game where the catastrophe scenario (nuclear intervention) will never really happen.

 
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3. Artificial intelligence (and software) it is already replicating itself

AI and more broadly speaking Software, can already replicate itself in an evolutionary way. To produce selective Software systems that self-replicate you need three ingredients: 1/ Heritability, 2 / Variability of population, 3/ Differential success. All these ingredients have a digital counterpart. #scary

4. Social media is a new emerging form of synthetic parasitism

In the natural world, parasitism is the main vehicle through which low intelligence species can outwit higher intelligence species and propagate their line of succession. However, in many cases, parasitism is indistinguishable from symbiosis: species co-exist by providing marginal mutual benefits to each other.

In the digital world, social media is evolving as a new form of intelligence co-existing with humans. Social media provides mild benefits but it is also highly addictive. Moreover, it has its own goal: creating human behaviours that optimise revenue. Considering all this social media scarily fits into a parasite / symbiotic profile!

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