Good argument that needs to be heard. " Although it is hardly ever made explicit, much of the ethical principles underlying AI rest firmly within utilitarian thinking. Even when knowledge of unfairness and discrimination of certain groups and individual as a result of algorithmic decision-making are brought to the fore, solutions that benefit the majority are sought. For instance, women have been systematically excluded from entering the tech industry, minorities forced into inhumane treatment, and systematic biases have been embedded in predictive policing systems ... African youth solving their own problems means deciding what we want to amplify and show the rest of the world. It also means not importing the latest state-of-the-art machine learning systems or any other AI tools without questioning what the underlying purpose is, who benefits, and who might be disadvantaged by the application of such tools." Or as someone says in the comments, "እድሜ ና ጤና አብዝቶ ይስጥሽ።".
Anil Dash has been blogging as long as I have, and has written some quality tech along the way, so his perspective is a good one. But it's pretty bleak. " When I warned that Facebook was gaslighting the web, I was called alarmist.," he writes. "people only clamor for accountability now that such an egregious amount of damage has happened. And that harm was exactly what I had been hoping this kind of writing would help prevent. I failed." Still, "it's my belief that social networks are systems that can be intentionally designed, and intelligently managed, to ensure that their primary impact is a positive one for the people who use them, and for the world.
Uh oh. OpenAI is going closed? "What is OpenAI? I don't know anymore. A non-profit that leveraged good will whilst silently giving out equity for years prepping a shift to for-profit that is now seeking to license closed tech through a third party by segmenting tech under a banner of pre/post 'AGI' technology?" This isn't just fear-mongering; it has just taken in a huge investment from Microsoft under the new plan. OpenAI itself has just stated, "we intend to license some of our pre-AGI technologies, with Microsoft becoming our preferred partner for commercializing them."
Two articles published at about the same time, yet not apparently related in any way, illustrate what's wrong with pushing something into the form of a 'story'. In one, a post from the Online Journalism Blog outlines the five phases of a longform story: anticipation, dream, frustration, nightmare, reconciliation. But of course (I thought as I read it) most news doesn't fit this form; making it into a story forces it to be something it isn't. Doc Searls makes a similar point in his article. He looks at three elements of a story: character, conflict, movement. But "most truths we need to know aren’t deep, or even complicated. They just don’t fit the story format, and therefore resist becoming news—or interesting to journalists. That’s because stories are what journalism produces." And if we use stories to teach, we're making the same mistake.
In many ways, the problem of cognition is as much a 'hard problem' and the problem of consciousness. What is cognition? Matthias Melcher looks at different answers to this question. If I had to answer, my first reaction might be 'cognition is thought', or 'the act of thinking'. But I might define it via 'invisibility', in Melcher's sense, as in 'cognition is that aspect of consciousness that isn't the subjective feel of consciousness'. In other words, 'cognition is thought that isn't experience'. But that to me reduces to saying there is no such thing as cognition. Best I have at the moment: 'cognition is the interpretation of consciousness' - that is, how we, as observers, explain the meaning or intent consciousness in other people, and by inference, in ourselves.
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