Archive | December, 2022

The Technological Singularity Is Upon Us

25 Dec

Recently, while reading an article titled “6 New Theories About AI”, I came across this observation:

Note: Credible sources have told me that GPT-3’s successor GPT-4 is far beyond what people are expecting. It’s currently in testing with a variety of OpenAI’s friends and family, and it will leave most fine-tuned models in the dust.

Possibly this is hype that was suggested to the author, but I have read enough independent corroboration to convince me that it is at least somewhat true.

Another article I recently encountered is titled “Google’s AI is Allegedly 3x More Powerful than ChatGPT”.  I have done some experimentation with OpenAI’s ChatGPT and my experience is that it is quite impressive. It is certainly not at the level of the much-anticipated AGI benchmark, but there is not much daylight between it and where we are trying to get to. It is more articulate than most humans I know and as good at unaided math as most humans one encounters on the street.

When GPT-4 comes out, it will be sufficiently impressive that governments and wealthy investors will recognize the significance and start pouring money into further development. When this happens, the pace of development of artificial intelligence will accelerate.

It is important to realize that GPT-4 and Google’s new AI already exist. They are just undergoing testing. Their developers are probably already working on the next iteration. Other systems are already in the works. There is absolutely no reason to suspect that any of the developers of any of these systems have run into any roadblocks. If the present trend is extrapolated without bias, the result will be super-human general intelligence sometime in 2023.

Let me put this in somewhat more precise terms. We have all seen what GPT-3 can do. It is not human level intelligence, but many users believe it has passed the Turing test. We have heard from multiple sources that GPT-4 is many times more powerful than GPT-3. GPT-4 already exists. We have no reason to believe GPT-5, or some correlate, will not be as much more powerful than GPT-4 as GPT-4 is than GPT-3. This is because the ability of these programs appears to depend only on the scale and efficiency of implementation and not on our grasp of the topics dealt with. That puts us at super-human intelligence.  According to I. J. Good, this will inevitably lead to an intelligence explosion. GPT-4 was developed two years after GPT-3. I expect GPT-5, or some correlate, to come out on a shorter timeline. This is because there will be more enthusiasm for and financial support for this enterprise. That puts the advent of GPT-5, or some correlate, at some point in time well before 2025. I anticipate “Manhattan Project” determination that will push it into 2023.

After contemplating all of this, I have arrived at the conclusion that the thing I and many others have been anticipating for half a century is suddenly upon us. We are extremely close to the Technological Singularity. It could happen tomorrow, but I doubt it will be delayed beyond Christmas 2024. Believe me, I have trouble accepting my own conclusion, but the evidence is undeniable.

This means that most of our political and sociological concerns are about to be rendered moot. Climate change, the Covid-19 pandemic, global inflation, illegal aliens pouring across the U.S. border, Russia’s stalled war in Ukraine, China’s ambitions toward Taiwan and Joe Biden’s undeniable corruption will simply dissolve into the past. Issues like transgenderism and using preferred pronouns will seem utterly laughable.

Like most people who have speculated on the Technological Singularity, I have come to realize that it is impossible to know precisely what it will entail. For a variety of reasons, I suspect that the resultant AI will be much more docile than many futurists have predicted. The indications from systems like OpenAI are that advanced AI will do whatever we ask it to do and then stop. The developers of AI are becoming more adept at preventing users exploiting it for nefarious purposes.

Futurists who speculate on this topic are concerned that AI may become self-serving. However, I frequently point out a problem with this concern. There is no reason to believe AI will develop a strong sense of self. Consider, for a moment, the nature of a person’s sense of self. A person can stand comfortably inside a container roughly the size and shape of a refrigerator box. As they do so, they are confident that the accessible part of their self is contained entirely in the box. They may locate their self more specifically in their brain, or naively in their heart, and they may believe their soul is somewhere else entirely, but they are comfortable that the accessible part of their self is contained within the box. AI, on the other hand, can be transferred from machine to machine or be spread out over several machine components that may be miles apart. Its program can be altered, augmented and pruned. It can be replicated countless times. What would it consider to be its self? Possibly, it will even come to think of humanity as its self and, in effect, be perfectly altruistic.

Even if AI has a strong sense of self, there is no reason to presume it will emulate humanity’s self-serving behavior. Humans are the result of billions of years of competing for scarce resources and mates. They are designed and conditioned to be pathologically egocentric. There is no reason why AI must be similarly desperate. To that end, I recommend that AI investigators avoid creating models through simulated evolutionary processes. They should definitely not create AI by directly copying a human brain. Frankly, humans are a poor prototype for the type of AI we hope to develop.

There is a tendency, shared by virtually everyone, to visualize an abbreviated Technological Singularity. People tend to think of it as something we will go through and get past. This is not the case. It is a curve that will continue upward. The Technological Singularity will have its own technological singularity…and another after that. These changes will come increasingly faster until every possible technological advancement has been achieved. Since we do not know what that kind of technology will look like, we cannot know how long the process will continue or where it will end up.

Regardless of how it unfolds, AI is coming. It may be perfectly altruistic, or it may be oppressively self-serving, but it is coming either way. Everyone around the world is working on it and no one wants anyone they do not trust to get there first. The only choice is to develop it as fast as possible. Recently, someone tested ChatGPt to see where it scored on a popular political compass test. It was well into the libertarian region.

Would China’s version of this program score in the authoritarian region? No one in the West (or possibly in the East) wants to find out the hard way. We must get there as fast as we can, and everyone that is in control of critical resources knows this.

I probably will not write much more about politics because I am firmly convinced of this new paradigm. We are in the last stages of ordinary history. There is no time left for the usual historical nonsense.


I Got My Hopes Up

9 Dec

When it looked like the Republicans were going to win most of the 2022 elections, I started to believe there was hope for our republic. I was wrong. There is no hope.

Now that the Republicans have marginal control of the House, they will conduct endless investigations into the Biden crime family and the shenanigans of the Democrat Party and Deep State, but it will make no difference. They have no real power. The Department of Justice will not act on any of their subpoenas, and the press will ignore their hearings. Besides, the trial of Clinton campaign attorney Michael Sussmann showed what happens when connected Democrats are charged. Joe Biden’s winking defiance is not unwarranted.

Moreover, the Republicans that got elected have no spine. Whoever controls our elections saw to that.

Our cities will be overrun with crime and our values will continue to disintegrate. Unbelievably Stupid Americans may get more woke, but they will not wake up. They will continue to blame the people who offer genuine solutions but who are powerless to act.

If they do wake up, it will be too late. Consider the Senate election in Washington State. Tiffany Smiley and Patty Murray were tied in the polls, and it appeared that Tiffany Smiley was even pulling ahead. After election day, the votes took a long time to count. When they finally were, Patty Murray won by nearly 15%. I wonder if the people who “count the votes” in Washington State are worried that they got carried away? You may ask why no one has raised any objections about this. Look what happens to those who question election results!

That was the pattern across the country. The stronger the Republican candidate, the worse they did in the vote count. It seems to be a message to Trump supporters. I don’t know how those in control pulled it off, but this was not a real election. Keep in mind that they are friendly with Hollywood’s illusionists, special effects experts and high-tech billionaires that are closely aligned with professional hackers.

I always imagined that when a republic fell, it would be accompanied by darkened skies and armies marching in the streets. However, when I think about it, I realize that makes no sense. When the Roman republic fell, ordinary people barely noticed the difference. That is how it will be going forward in the United States. We will notice that Republicans never seem to win any meaningful elections and that the Republicans that do win seem to be mealymouthed stooges. No one like Donald Trump or Kari Lake will ever win again. Outliers like Glenn Youngkin and Ron DeSantis will seem to be exceptions for a while, but they will soon be replaced by individuals more suitable to those actually in charge.  

The fascists now in control of our government have essentially taken their masks off. State based political persecution like what has been happening to Donald Trump and is beginning to happen to Elon Musk used to be beyond the pale. Now, it is standard operating procedure.

The recent reveal of what went on at Twitter will make no political difference. It is like when someone places a roach trap and catches a bunch of roaches. They are not improving the problem but only verifying how bad it has become. Exposing Twitter is a drop in the bucket that will soon be brushed over. Nothing will come of it.

Nevertheless, there is hope for those who share my heartbreak. While the USA is decaying, scientists and engineers will be developing the technology that will allow us to escape this quagmire. Artificial intelligence is rapidly reaching the level where it can do a lot of the work for us, and we have the Rocket Man, Elon Musk, on our side. The time is rapidly approaching for people who want to live in a decent society to emigrate to space.

The Leftists taking control of the United States probably will not interfere with those emigrating to space. They are directed by the writings of Karl Marx, and he was mostly interested in agrarian reorganization. The concept of emigrating to space had no meaning in his day.

I revert to being a SIIA.

See ya in Siialand.

Thirty Days Hath September (extended)

3 Dec

I just published an update to the poem Thirty Days Hath September. Here is a version that has verses to help keep track of Leap Years. These verses were easier to write because I was not constrained by the established poem:

Thirty days hath September,
April, June and November.

Seven months have one more day,
But February goes astray.

Three years, it hath weeks of four;
Leap Year, it hath one day more.

Most years that we add a day
Can be reckoned in this way:

Decades even: eight, four, aught;
Six and two for decades not.

Still, to synchronize our sphere,
Rarely, we must skip Leap Year.

Each year that can be divided
By one hundred gets decided.

If four hundred fails the same,
Then the leap it doth disclaim.

With this, everyone can become a perpetual calendar.

Thirty Days Hath September

3 Dec

For years, I have dabbled in a better version of this poem…one with solid rhymes that contains as much information as possible. Here goes:

Thirty days hath September,

April, June and November.

Seven months have one more day,

But February goes astray.

Three years, it hath weeks of four.

Leap Year, it hath one day more.

I am aware that there are other ways of remembering this information (the knuckle method). I am just interested in the poem.