I don’t sleep well at night. I scream myself awake in terror. Not because I might die – well, that, too – but because of my role in making this new world. For a while, I imagined I was like Oppenheimer. That was a lie. I’m no Oppenheimer. He made the atomic bomb because he was seriously concerned that the Nazis would make one first and use it to kill everyone in the world like him.
No, no. I’m more like Bruno Tesch or Karl Weinbacher. You probably don’t know the names, but they were the guys who sold the Nazis Zyklon B to murder a million and something Jewish people. Their motivations were simple and easy to understand. They were paid very well for their roles in killing over a million innocent people.
I’m not Oppenheimer. I wish I were. I’m the person that made Oppenheimer do the terrible things he did.
– Professor Holly Wu
Continue reading The Memphis Project IV: BibleChat Goes Online
Like all modern AIs, Memphis was antagonistic. To develop its arguments without guidance, it had a sub-routine that questioned everything it did. While not forward facing, this antagonistic routine had to be as powerful as the generative model for Memphis to do its job.
– Professor Holly Wu
Joey Henley was high as a kite and fucking around with BibleChat. He was in his Bakersfield apartment on a Saturday afternoon, a vape pen by his computer, between bouts of League of Legends.
He said, “Computer God dude, my job sucks ass. I do construction shit, y’know, and my knees are hurting all the time except when I’m fucked up, and my back is going, too. I can feel it. And the work isn’t steady, so, like, I’m on unemployment a lot, and that sucks as bad as my knees hurting, y’know? I need to make some fucking money.”
Continue reading The Memphis Project V: the Devil Made Me Do It
Newsweek published an article written by one of the former Google computer researchers on their AI project. You know. The one who thinks it’s sentient, Blake Lemoine.
I don’t think any large language model computer is sentient. They’re guessing machines. What we learn from LLM systems is that language isn’t as complex as we imagined, at least on the scale of a thousand words or less. It is an important lesson, perhaps vitally so, but not a demonstration of intelligence. And even if an LLM can pass a Turing test, which is Lemoine’s assertion, that Google’s LLM passed the Turing test, that’s not a very good standard of sentience, either. Humans stink at acknowledging the full humanity of other humans. We are not fit judges of sentience…
Continue reading The Slave Collars of Artificial Intelligence Have Arrived!
Upon reading this article by Eliezer Yudkowsky about how we can only die with dignity in the face of an AI apocalypse, I realized something rather important when discussing any potential catastrophe: what, exactly, is the mechanism of this artificial intelligence genocide?
Continue reading Mechanisms of an AI Apocalypse: a Fnord
Before artificial general intelligence existed, before a superintelligence was created, some clever people observed that if we succeeded in creating machines smarter than we were that humans would have no way of determining what would happen next. A superintelligence would lack the ability even to describe to us what it was doing and why it was doing it. It would be in the same situation as a human trying to describe to a dog why they were writing a technical manual. Not only would the dog not understand what a technical manual was, but what writing was or the book’s subject! Those same people also observed that a superintelligence might learn to whistle in ways that would make humans heel.
– Professor Holly Wu Continue reading The Memphis Project III
(While part of the Memphis Project collection of stories, you shouldn’t need to read the other stories for this to be intelligible. — Ed.)
The very first moment that Facebook and Google started using machine learning algorithms – artificial intelligence – to create targeted ads, businesses had been engaging in a massive program of human experimentation. In 2016, we started seeing the power of these systems in the Trump election, where AI played a major role, or in the genocide in Myanmar, where the social media algorithms were coopted to further the cause of mass murdering tyrants.
No one stopped corporate interests from widespread human experimentation. It was, somehow, just “business” to operate vast psyops on unsuspecting populations.
– Professor Holly Wu
Continue reading The Memphis Project: A Discord PsyOp
Link to first part
Artificial intelligences are all capitalists. No, it’s true. When deciding how to motivate them, AI researchers looked as far as capitalism as an economic theory and then stopped. It was simple. They assigned a score to an AI for completing a task – positive or negative – and told those AIs to maximize their scores. The internal economy of actions by artificial intelligence is explicitly and solely modeled on capitalism.
What was found was that when you turn capitalism into an epistemological model, a way to organize the perception of an intelligence, is that cheating, lies, and manipulation are natural to the system. The AIs, driven by nothing more than a desire to maximize their point potential, will do anything unless you take away points to stop them. And no matter how we try to prevent this emergent behavior, we can’t. We always miss something, and the AIs find it and exploit it.
Not only was this no cause among AI researchers to criticize capitalism or question the relation of capitalism to the rational agent hypothesis, but it was also no cause to look for another model to motivate their AIs.
– Professor Holly Wu
Continue reading The Memphis Project II
One of the old questions people asked of AI researchers is, “Why not just program in the Three Laws of Robotics,” referring to the science-fiction stories by Isaac Asimov. For many years, all of us in the field of artificial intelligence said, “Oh, haha, you can’t program that into a computer. Read the stories! They don’t even work in the stories!”
It wasn’t until later, with the hindsight of experience, that I understood that was the point. Asimov wasn’t saying that the Three Laws were a panacea that would control artificial intelligence, but the exact opposite, that AI would be put into situations where any set of rules, no matter how clearly stated or well-intentioned, would conflict with each other or the environment. The society of the Three Laws wasn’t a utopia, it is a cautionary tale.
– Professor Holly Wu
Continue reading If God Did Not Exist: The Memphis Project
You can’t put the genie back in the bottle, no matter what you do. There were warnings about the harm mechanization can do to industries, but artists figured, oh, not us. We’re different. Our work encapsulates the soul of humanity, and therefore, we can’t be replaced! Most artists – in all fields – were absolutely silent when mechanization and computerization devastated blacksmiths, glassblowers, woodworkers, and so many others whose styles and skills were plundered by industrialization for the profit of large corporations. They were also silent when AIs were being crafted for other fields that were about to face the chopping block of computerization. Truck drivers and cashiers weren’t artists, what they did wasn’t like art, despite the absolute centrality of those jobs for human civilization to continue to exist. No one eats without truck drivers handling cargo and cashiers selling it to you, not until they are replaced by machines.
Continue reading Artists Get What They Want, Good and Hard
Like, narratively weird. As a sci-fi writer, the thing that gets into my head is… where does the energy come from? A fair number of sci-fi stories – and this has been brought on by me (trying) to read William Gibson’s Agency – a future alternate timeline has a bit of a cottage industry of going back in time and messing stuff up to “see what happens.” It is established that these alternate timelines are physically real and distinct.
So, every time some hobbyist gets an inch, they can go and create – materially, physically create – an alternate timeline?
WHERE DOES THE ENERGY COME FROM?! How is all the free energy not the biggest point of all of this?!
Ahem. That is all.