My dad sent me YouTube videos about how superintelligent AI is going to destroy us or something, and how Elon Musk says we have to get off this planet if we're going to preserve humanity.  I sent the following in response:

I’m far less worried about superintelligent AI than about regular old AI, or as it should be called, Machine Learning, that’s used to disguise the human biases that went into creating and training it and thereby used to perpetuate systems of injustice around the world.  You can ask a person why they made a decision and they may answer, but a ML model is almost completely opaque once it’s been trained.

That’s what I’m worried about: Facebook and YouTube turning people into fascists through machine learning that optimizes engagement with a screen rather than empathy with their fellow humans.  

That’s the real problem of AI.  It’s not a hardware problem, it’s not a software problem, it’s a problem of politics; with business being allowed to set the agenda of what is right and normal.

As for Elon Musk — What if Tom Swift, but a megalomaniac?   Like Amazon guy Jeff Bezos, another one of the richest men in the world, who simply can’t fathom how he could possibly spend all his money — on a planet full of climate change, increasing social inequity, and the re-emergence of fascism, and decides to build rockets instead.  

Fuck ‘em.  

If you have power, you should use it to help those less fortunate.  Noblesse oblige — nobility obliges. "Noblesse oblige is a French expression used in English. It translates as "nobility obliges" and denotes the concept that nobility extends beyond mere entitlements and requires the person who holds such a status to fulfill social responsibilities.”

No one does anything alone, we all stand on the shoulders of those who came before us, and if we’re so lucky we get a head start due to wealth or intelligence or race or gender or what country we’re born in, we owe those around us an outstretched hand to help them along. 

That’s the real strength of humanity.  

Not clever white boys who launch sports cars into space for a laugh.

Cheers!

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