Effective accelerationism doesnt care if humans are replaced by AI

“Effective accelerationism” doesn’t care if humans are replaced by AI – Business Insider

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  • The Effective Accelerationists, the tech industry's most staunchly pro-AI faction, are gaining momentum.
  • The movement supports the growth and development of AI – and profits – without guardrails or regulation.
  • Proponents believe AI advances could bring about “the next evolution of consciousness.”

The “Effective Accelerationism” movement — a stridently pro-AI ideology that has divided Silicon Valley over how artificial intelligence should be regulated — appears to be walking a fine line between a techno-libertarian philosophy and a nihilistic, even reckless approach to promote one of the world's most significant technological developments.

While its public advocates, such as Garry Tan, CEO of startup accelerator Y Combinator and former co-founder of venture firm Initialized Capital, throb “e/acc” is not about replacing humans with robots, it is not exactly about replacing humans with robots.

e/acc is an interpretation of the effective altruism or “EA” philosophy promoted by tech influencers like Sam Bankman-Fried and Elon Musk. In 2023, e/acc came onto the market, although its exact origins are still unclear. The movement has attracted a number of unusual characters, including venture capitalist Marc Andreessen and convicted fraudster Martin Shkreli.

“EA and e/acc are largely the same people,” said Emmett Shear, the former interim CEO of OpenAI, in an interview with Meridian. “Their only difference is a value judgment about whether or not human extinction is a problem.”

Supporters of E/accs (pronounced ee-yacks) believe that the creation of an AI singularity where technology transcends human control is not only inevitable but desirable – a necessary part of evolution beyond humanity.

And investing to get there could mean big money, as e/accs increases controversy and interest in the AI ​​industry, the development of which is driving such stark market changes that Goldman Sachs sees as generative AI could increase global GDP by $7 trillion, or 7%, over the next 10 years.

“No affinity for biological people”

A jargon-filled website spreading the gospel of effective accelerationism describes “technocapitalist progress” as inevitable and praises e/acc proponents as builders who are “making the future possible.”

“Instead of being afraid, we trust in the adaptation process and want to accelerate it to the asymptotic limit: the singularity of technocapital,” the website says. “We have no affinity with biological humans or even with the human mental structure. We are posthumanists in the sense that we recognize the dominance of higher forms of free energy accumulation over lower forms of free energy accumulation. Our goal is to accelerate this process in order to preserve the light of technocapital.

Fundamentally, AI overlords are a necessity to preserve capitalism, and we need to start creating them quickly.

In the site's first blog post, written by anonymous e/acc advocates @zestular, @creatine_cycle, @bayeslord and @BasedBeffJezos – who Forbes later confirmed was Guillaume Verdon, a former Google engineer, who later founded the AI ​​startup Extropic – it says: “We haven't seen anything yet.”

While e/accs say they don't like biological humans, they still describe their movement as “pro-human” – but for them, it's technology that will save us, not ourselves.

E/accs are generally reluctant to answer even the most serious questions about security concerns in AI development. In response to questions from Business Insider: Shkreli warned Fellow accelerators have posted in a post

Investing in a posthumanist future

“Making sentience more diverse,” as the e/acc blog puts it, is the inevitable result of unbridled AI development. And business is booming.

According to Forbes' Midas Seed List, Tan is considered one of the top investors in technology and has invested in more than 100 different AI startups through Y Combinator.

Billionaire Andreessen, who wrote and published a 5,000-word manifesto detailing his support of rapidly evolving AI, has also invested heavily in the industry — including OpenAI, according to Forbes.

Shkreli, who proudly says “e/acc” next to him Username on X founded an AI company called Dr. Gupta. The service is a “virtual health assistant” that allows users to seek medical advice from a chatbot. The bot was heavily criticized by experts who had previously raised concerns about the ethics of a health bot run by someone convicted of fraud.

According to a company blog post, Extropic AI, Verdon's startup, recently raised $14.1 million in seed funding. The post begins with an otherworldly message from the “ubiquitous generative AI” future. According to The Information, the company is developing microchips that run LLMs (think ChatGPT models).

Verdon told Forbes that his vision of a technocapital future is a major investment in solving the social problems plaguing “culture.” It reflects similar views from tech bros who believe robots and AI are making the world a better place – while making them very rich.

The accelerationists say that the power to decide our future lies in the hands of a group of Silicon Valley brothers who are celebrating their “celebrations”.persistent cultural superiority“above everyone else.

Opponents say the future is bleak.

“The irony is that these are people who strongly believe they are doing good,” Nancy Connell, a biosecurity researcher at Rutgers University, told Politico. “And it’s really heartbreaking.”

“It’s like thinking squirrels can control humanity.”

For e/accs, the world is simple: AI will solve our problems because we want it to, and we are the ones programming it. The possibilities are endless and at the end of the AI ​​rainbow is a uniqueness worth more than gold.

A public supporter of Effective Accelerationism who spoke to Business Insider said the movement wanted people who could provide capital to the e/acc cause and advance its goals. He was granted anonymity to speak openly about the movement without jeopardizing his professional relationships, but his identity is known to Business Insider.

He said advocates believe engineers will only invest in AI advancements that benefit humans – but AI security experts simply don't see it that way; The E/ACC movement has been heavily criticized by cybersecurity experts. One researcher called it “a dangerous, irresponsible ideology based on replacing humanity with AI.” Another said the movement had “no social vision.”[bycybersecurityexpertsOneresearchercalledit”adangerousunaccountableideologyinspiredbyreplacinghumanitywithAI”Anothersaidthatthemovementhas”nosocialvision”[bycybersecurityexpertsOneresearchercalledit”adangerousunaccountableideologyinspiredbyreplacinghumanitywithAI”Anothersaidthatthemovementhas”nosocialvision”

It's also a naive way of thinking about superintelligence, Roman Yampolskiy, the director of the Cyber ​​Security Laboratory at the University of Louisville, told Business Insider.

“No one, not even at e/acc, will claim that they have a working superintelligence control mechanism or even a prototype for it,” Yampolskiy said. “Why would anyone think that it is possible to control a superintelligent (god-like) machine indefinitely? That’s like thinking squirrels can control humanity.”

Yampolskiy is trying to warn the industry that the future of the AI ​​overlords trying to quickly roll out these e/accs could be really, really bad. Even frightening. And it's better to be safe than sorry.

Despite his years of research, e/accs may view him and others investing in AI security as a pessimistic doomer – or, in e/acc's vernacular, a “retarder.” But as Yampolskiy pointed out to Business Insider, many E/Accs are not scientists and are not AI security researchers. That’s his wheelhouse – not hers.

“Either we stop or we all die.”

While well-developed AI is capable of helping with cancer prevention, improving accessibility for people with disabilities, protecting wildlife, fighting world hunger and even helping with the climate crisis, critics of e/acc argue Movement with the technology's current practical applications would immediately become irrelevant if AI began to think for itself and determine its own goals in the best interests of humanity without human control.

But what about the rest of us as e/accs try to defy security researchers' warnings?

E/accs want to radically reshape society, change the way we work and interact, and redefine what it means to be alive, but the general public doesn't have much of a say in AI – or enough money, to have a voice.

Yampolskiy said the attention this movement has attracted among the super-rich is worrying and “even more worrying if you look closely; you realize that these people are not representative of humanity, our beliefs and our values, they themselves are not connected to values. People.”

His vision is diametrically opposed to that of e/acc: stop the development of AI.

“Either we stop before we get to superhuman AI, or we all die. 'Huge AI, Inc.' “We shouldn’t conduct dangerous experiments on 8 billion people.”

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