The Roots of Progress

Quote quiz: “drifting into dependence”

Quote quiz: who said this? (No fair looking it up). I have modified the original quotation slightly, by making a handful of word substitutions to bring it up to date:

It might be argued that the human race would never be foolish enough to hand over all power to AI. But we are suggesting neither that the human race would voluntarily turn power over to AI nor that AI would willfully seize power. What we do suggest is that the human race might easily permit itself to drift into a position of such dependence on AI that it would have no practical choice but to accept all of the AI’s decisions. As society and the problems that face it become more and more complex and as AI becomes more and more intelligent, people will let AI make more and more of their decisions for them, simply because AI-made decisions will bring better results than man-made ones. Eventually a stage may be reached at which the decisions necessary to keep the system running will be so complex that human beings will be incapable of making them intelligently. At that stage the AI will be in effective control. People won’t be able to just turn the AI off, because they will be so dependent on it that turning it off would amount to suicide.

I’ll post the answer, and the unedited original quotation, next week.

Comment: Progress Forum, LessWrong, Reddit

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