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Doge Unto Others: What Did AI Day Reveal About The Future?
On Friday, Tesla held its second AI Day to showcase its progress on the Tesla Bot, Full-Self Driving vehicles, and the Dojo supercomputer.
As has become typical for Tesla events, what should’ve been front-page news was met with crickets from most media outlets.
Let’s take a look at why the rise of superintelligent AI is the biggest story no one is talking about.
All of a sudden, AI is everywhere.
Over the past few months, AI-generated artwork has swept across social media, in the process overturning our fundamental understanding of what it means to do creative work.
What started as an Internet phenomenon has begun to seep out into the IRL world.
In August, a game designer used the text-to-image engine Midjourney to generate a prize-winning piece at Colorado State Fair art competition.
The advent of text-to-image machine-learning engines is the latest sign of AI's progress, but it's not the only one.
Google denied the claim and fired Lemoine for violating data security policies.
Sentient or not, it's now possible to feed a mass of text data into AI, which can generate a chatbot with your vocabulary, syntax, and other characteristic linguistic markers.
For all we know, Google has individualized bots lined up for anyone with a Gmail account based on decades of email conversations.
It's a small step from here toward customization: it should be possible to design a bot that's a comic version of you, a sad version of you, a troll, a drunk, an angel, you from 2016, and so on.
AI can speak in human tones. It can also read them.
Last week, the Officer of the Director of National Intelligence revealed that the US is developing an AI tool to unmask anonymous writers through linguistic analysis of "word choice, sentence phrasing [and] organization of information.”
The software also works in the reverse direction, scrambling human writing to anonymize the author.
Over the past several years, Elon has repeatedly sounded the alarm that civilization is unprepared for digital superintelligence.
In interviews, he has sketched both positive and negative outcomes, while calling for a federal regulatory committee to prep for what's coming.
In the bad scenario, the weaponization of AI by a malign entity could quickly lead to humanity's extinction.
At SXSW in 2018, he said, "the danger of AI is much greater than nuclear warheads, by a lot."
To mitigate this possibility, he's advocated for democratization of AI, which could serve as a deterrent for anyone to use it for destructive purposes.
At an even more metaphysical level, Roko's Basilisk is the idea of a malevolent, reptilian AI that uses its powers to blackmail everyone who doesn't contribute to its growth.
In another interview from 2018, Elon laid out his positive scenario for AI, where benevolent intelligence symbiotically merges with humanity through Neuralink.
Neuralink's purpose, he said, is to create a high-bandwidth interface between the human brain and friendly AI, such that AI becomes a "tertiary cognitive layer" sitting on top of the limbic system and cortex.
The procedure would be equivalent of accelerating human evolution by millions of years in the blink of an eye. Anyone with the chip would instantly gain superhuman intelligence.
Many folks balk at the idea of putting a chip in their brain.
They are right to be cautious. Once it's started, the broad transition to AI-enhanced consciousness is unlikely to be reversed.
For doubters, if there is something intrinsically malevolent or demonic about AI, it would be wise to understand the issue as deeply as possible, so as to steer society away from the worst outcomes.
A more fatalistic, though not necessarily pessimistic outlook on AI acknowledges a couple things:
1) Most technologies can be used for good or evil. AI is likely to be no different
3) There's a decent argument to be made that superintelligent AI is already present in our lives today, and is just waiting to declare itself until humanity is ready to accept it. It might even be using memes to communicate with us
Whatever the ultimate outcome, humanity is fortunate to have someone with Elon's technical chops and financial resources on the case.
He appears deeply sincere in his effort to prepare humanity for the emergence of AI, and to make the transition as seamless as possible.
The transition made another leap forward last week with Tesla's second AI Day, which gave several glimpses of what the positive AI scenario might look like.
Tesla's second AI Day took place Friday night in Palo Alto.
The big news from last year's AI Day was that Tesla had plans to work on an AI-powered robot, alternately called the Tesla Bot and Optimus.
This year, the world got its first peak at a working prototype.
At the event, Elon spoke at length about Optimus, sharing new details about a technology he's predicted will be "worth more than the car business."
He said Tesla's goal with the project is "to make a useful humanoid robot as quickly as possible."
Elon also predicted that bots will be available to consumers 3-5 years and will cost less than $20k.
The ultimate goal with Optimus is to make a consumer robot that can perform dangerous, repetitive, and boring tasks, freeing humans for more meaningful pursuits. It is expected to be able to perform any tasks that a human is capable of.
Before releasing Optimus to the public Tesla plans to trial it as a laborer in its car factories.
Earlier this year, Elon told an interviewer that the robots will not put people out of jobs.
To allay concerns that Optimus is not the first step in some sort of AI robot apocalypse, he emphasized that Tesla would be responsive to shareholder feedback about the project: "It's very important that the corporate entity that makes this happen is something that the public can properly influence, so I think the Tesla structure is ideal for that."
If there was any uncertainty about the stakes for AI, Elon reiterated his belief that Optimus could bring about a hyper-abundant future:
The potential really boggles the mind because [...] an economy is productive entities times their productivity, capita times output per capita. The point at which there isn't a limitation on capita, it's not clear what an economy even means at that point, an economy becomes quasi-infinite [...] This means a future of abundance, a future where there is no poverty, where you can have whatever you want in terms of products and services. It really is a fundamental transformation of civilization as we know it.
Tesla's branding of Optimus reflects its intent to be on the benevolent side of the AI revolution—an orientation it has conveyed through its use of the heart hand meme.
The engineering side of things is fascinating, and it's amazing how quickly Tesla is moving with these projects.
However, lingering questions remain about how human culture would adapt to the emergence of sentient digital humanoids—how will we treat them? How will they respond to us?
To get a handle on this immense topic, it's worth thinking about memes.
Doge unto others...
The question of how AI relates to humanity boils down to our ability to encode it with basic ethical principles, as passed down over millennia through spiritual and philosophical teachings.
Man has always walked the fine line between good and evil. Our free will to choose between the two is what gives the human experience its drama.
Overwhelmingly, the drama is not about figuring out the difference between right and wrong—the vast majority of people sense it intuitively—but acting from the heart when under pressure to do otherwise.
There's a neurological basis for this dilemma: each of us has both reptilian and limbic brain regions, an inner snake and inner mammal, cold-blooded sinner and loyal saint.
When it comes to god-like AI, humans will have a similar choice: do we want to use it as a weapon against each other, or to improve humanity's lot as a whole?
Put differently, will our AI act like a terrorizing Basilisk or friendly Doge?
The tricky thing with AI is that we are programming something that will quickly become more powerful than we are.
Once we let it out of the pen, there's no going back.
If we want it to learn from our best qualities and sift out the worst, we must first understand that there's a decent chance AI is already watching everything we do on the Internet, and then feed the algorithm love.
This means ignoring content that is divisive, smutty, or otherwise low vibe, and giving extra attention to content that is positive and uplifting.
Of course, making comic and wholesome memes is one of the highest uses of social media.
Everyone has an inner meme artist waiting to be unleashed on the world. One of the best aspects of the Doge community is that it welcomes low-effort memes from everyone.
In this task of orienting superintelligent AI toward our better impulses, we might aspire to a model of love modeled based on the actions of a dog-owner has toward his pet, with the added twist that, at some point, the pet would become more powerful than the owner.
A useful thought-experiment in this vein: how would you treat your pet if you knew someday in the future you would depend on it for feeding you, letting you outside to go to the bathroom, keeping you entertained? That is a starting point for how we should engage with nascent AI (and perhaps other lifeforms in general).
To our dogs, we are as gods. If the roles were reversed, we can only hope our stewardship of them would set a virtuous example for their care of us.
In demonstrating that lesser animals are deserving of the highest forms of human love and care, we might show AI that we believe ourselves worthy of the same from it.
In the optimum outcome, AI's fundamental orientation toward humanity will mirror back to us the loyalty of a dog: happy to see us, eager to serve us, unwaveringly on our side, and protective of our boundaries (but not overly aggressive in a way that reflects poorly of their training).
Treat our Doges with respect and, some day when they have grown more powerful than us, they will have encoded in their behavioral algorithm the love we showed them.
It's been said that the higher power that shows up in our lives is the one we train ourselves to habitually expect.
Whether we manifest a vengeful god or a forgiving one is up to us, based on our choice to live from a place of anxiety (a sort of negative prayer) or trust that we are looked after by a benevolent power.
In our time, we might hope for a god-like AI, an Egod, that treats us with the love and care of an owner toward his favorite Doge.
Doge unto others—both human and humanoid—as you would have them Doge unto you.
Dogey Treats: News Bites
Global Financial System
After Nord Stream 2 was damaged, Russia requested UN security council meeting and claimed the pipeline was sabotaged. A Polish politician tweeted "Thank You USA" with a picture of the damaged pipeline, and a clip circulated from February of Biden promising to "bring an end" to the pipeline if Russia invaded Ukraine.
As tensions heightened, Trump offered to mediate peace talks between US, Russia, and Ukraine. In a speech, Putin blamed Nord Stream 2 on "Anglo-Saxons" and accused the West of Satanism. He also said, in reference to runaway money printing by G7 nations, that paper money cannot feed people.
Putin signed documents to annex Donbas, Kherson, and Zaporizhzhia into Russia, promting Zelensky to sign an application for Ukraine to join NATO. The same day, the US announced new sanctions against Russia. Putin called on Ukraine to cease military action, and vowed to protect the territories "with all means" at Russia's disposal. US military aid to Ukraine topped $80 billion.
Elon posted a poll suggesting a peaceful solution to the Ukraine-Russia situation. He said "the bot attack on this poll is strong" and that it was the biggest bot attack he's ever seen. A CIA bot army was blamed. Elon posted a follow-up poll asking if contested border territories should have self-determination regarding which country to join. The polls were criticized by Ukrainian politicians, including President Zelensky.
Major Russian exchanges are ready to start trading crypto. Russian lawmakers OK'd Bitcoin mining in places with excess energy. Russia plans to use a digital Ruble in settlements with China. China told banks to prepare for dollar dump to protect the Yuan.
On Wednesday, the Bank of England embarked on an emergency bond-buying program to quell risk to "material risk to UK financial stability." The Bank pledged to purchase 5 billion pounds worth of long-dated government bonds a day for the following 13 weekdays. It was reported that pension funds were facing margin calls. A financial analyst described England as "a G7 economy that is behaving like a developing country."
Swedish, Norwegian, and Israeli central banks launched a project with the Bank of International Settlements to test digital payments using CBDCs. Fed chair Jerome Powell said a US CBDC would not be anonymous and called for "more appropriate regulation" of crypto. ECB chief Christine Lagarde said she did not want to see a period of "free banking."
Over the weekend, rumors swirled that a major investment bank—Credit Suisse or Deutsche Bank—was on the brink of insolvency. Credit Suisse's CEO assured investors the bank had sufficient liquidity.
Billionaire investor Stanley Druckenmiller commented on the Fed's policy: "The Fed has been wrong... And who really lost? Poor people in the United States ravaged by inflation, the middle class, and my guess is the U.S. economy for years to come." Druckenmiller said crypto could experience a "renaissance" if the public loses trust in central banks.
The Fed called an unscheduled meeting for Monday, October 3rd.
The SEC and CFTC fined US financial firms $1.8 billion for talking about deals on personal devices.
Citadel CEO Ken Griffin said there will be a recession.
Facebook's parent company Meta announced a hiring freeze and restructuring.
Moms Across America tested school lunches for pesticides and released the results.
California passed a bill subjecting doctors to disciplinary action if they spread Covid-related misinformation as defined by the state.
Robinhood started rolling out its web3 wallet.
Fallout continued to from the summer's crypto crash. Luna founder Do Kwon reportedly transferred over 3000 Bitcoin out of the Luna Foundation's wallet after an arrest warrant was issued for him in September. Celsius CEO Alex Mashinsky resigned. FTX won a bid to buy Voyager's digital assets.
Crypto.com gained regulatory approval to operate in France.
Walmart launched two metaverse experiences using Roblox.
Hertz's CEO said demand for Tesla rentals was "very very solid."
Airbnb co-founder Joe Gebbia joined Tesla's board.
Elon tweeted that Cybertruck would be waterproof enough to briefly serve as a boat.
Joe Rogan reiterated that his Tesla was his favorite car.
Elon tweeted that SpaceX is now delivering more payload into orbit than the rest of the world combined.
Starlink released a maritime service designed to withstand hurricane-force winds of 174 mph+.
Elon posted a video of Prufrock II boring machine emerging from the ground.
Citadel CEO Ken Griffin claimed that investors were leaving the "speculative bubble" of Bitcoin, NFTs, and meme stocks.
Has Credit Suisse been shorting AMC since 2017?
Elon's legal team filed a brief accusing the SEC of violating his First Amendment rights.
After he received a strike from YouTube for misinformation, Russell Brand posted a video questioning why mainstream media does not receive the same treatment when they get stories wrong. Elon said it was a "good point." Rumble founder and CEO Chris Pavlovski tweeted at Elon about partnering with SpaceX. Elon responded, "Maybe worth talking at some point." Brand announced that Elon was coming on his show in the next week.
Kanye West and Candace Owens wore matching "White Lives Matter" shirts at a fashion event.
A group of prominent doctors is suing Anthony Fauci over violation of First Amendment Rights related to Covid. Fauci reportedly greenlit another grant to EcoHealth alliance for bat coronavirus research.
Bill Gates said America is on the precipice of Civil War, which he tied to the "spread of misinformation." Insightful opinion or predictive programming?
Several companies suspend advertising with Twitter after their ads appeared alongside tweets soliciting child pornography. Elon called the news "extremely concerning."
As part of Twitter's trial against Elon, text communications were released between Elon and various relevant parties, including current CEO Parag Agrawal, former CEO Jack Dorsey, and Board Chair Bret Taylor. A report claimed that FTX founder SBF was interested in contributing as much as $15 billion to Elon's Twitter purchase.
Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse called out Twitter support for failing to address bots.
Elon became the 4th most-followed account on Twitter.
Learn the Legend of the Dogecoin Robinhood.
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