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I'm not sure it should be mistaken for philosophy either.

Bostrom's doesn't understand the research, he doesn't understand the current or likely future of the technology, and he doesn't really seem to understand computers.

What's left is medieval magical thinking - if we keep doing these spells, we might summon a bad demon.

As a realistic risk assessment, it's comically irrelevant. There are certainly plenty of risks around technology, and even around AI. But all Bostrom has done is suggest We Should Be Very Worried because It Might Go Horribly Wrong.

Also, paperclips.

This isn't very interesting as a thoughtful assessment of the future of AI - although I suppose if you're peddling a medieval world view, you may as well include a few visions of the apocalypse.

I think it's fascinating on a meta-level as an example of the kinds of stories people tell themselves about technology. Arguably - and unintentionally - it says a lot more about how we feel about technology today than about what's going to happen fifty or a hundred years from now.

The giveaway is the framing. In Bostrom's world you have a mad machine blindly consuming everything and everyone for trivial ends.

That certainly sounds like something familiar - but it's not AI.




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