June 2023: Welcome to the alpha release of TYPE III AUDIO.
Expect very rough edges and very broken stuff—and daily improvements. Please share your thoughts.

Homearrow rightPlaylists

[Week 3] “Yudkowsky Contra Christiano On AI Takeoff Speeds” by Scott Alexander

AGI Safety Fundamentals: Alignment

Readings from the AI Safety Fundamentals: Alignment course.



Apple PodcastsSpotifyGoogle PodcastsRSS

In 2008, thousands of blog readers - including yours truly, who had discovered the rationality community just a few months before - watched Robin Hanson debate Eliezer Yudkowsky on the future of AI.

Robin thought the AI revolution would be a gradual affair, like the Agricultural or Industrial Revolutions. Various people invent and improve various technologies over the course of decades or centuries. Each new technology provides another jumping-off point for people to use when inventing other technologies: mechanical gears → steam engine → railroad and so on. Over the course of a few decades, you’ve invented lots of stuff and the world is changed, but there’s no single moment when “industrialization happened”.

Eliezer thought it would be lightning-fast. Once researchers started building human-like AIs, some combination of adding more compute, and the new capabilities provided by the AIs themselves, would quickly catapult AI to unimaginably superintelligent levels. The whole process could take between a few hours and a few years, depending on what point you measured from, but it wouldn’t take decades.

You can imagine the graph above as being GDP over time, except that Eliezer thinks AI will probably destroy the world, which might be bad for GDP in some sense. If you come up with some way to measure (in dollars) whatever kind of crazy technologies AIs create for their own purposes after wiping out humanity, then the GDP framing will probably work fine.

Crossposted from the Astral Codex Ten Podcast.

Share feedback on this narration.