One: There was until recently a battle for the soul of AGI research and development, a battle between the stewards and the exploiters. The stewards understand themselves to be the duty-bound custodians of an ever-more-enormous power; the exploiters are interested in using that power to make themselves rich and powerful. Had the stewards managed to retain control, or even influence, then I would have been willing to keep a cautiously hopeful eye on developments. However, the stewards have been routed and only the exploiters remain. (OpenAI’s dismissal of Sam Altman was effectively The Stewards’ Last Stand.) I therefore consider it necessary to refuse any use of AI in any circumstances that I can control.
Two: The powers of law are being summoned by people who see the exploiters as I do, which I guess is a good thing, but … in our society, can anyone as rich as the tech companies behind AGI lose, either in the courts or through legislation? I don’t see how they can. Everyone who stands in their way can be bought, and most of them are pleading to be bought. (Similarly, in Premier League football, Everton is small enough to be smacked down but I cannot imagine Manchester City or Chelsea ever suffering any penalty, no matter how grossly they have defied the financial rules.) As Dana Gioia taught us long ago,
Money. You don’t know where it’s been,
but you put it where your mouth is.
And it talks.