illustration of a eye inside of a pyramid 
18 November 2023

My precious

From Atlantic Staff Writer Charlie Warzel (via Threads):

One thing in the OpenAI stuff that feels consistent (based on some internal convos I've had) is that a group of people that are laser focused on the doomer elements of AI and the more abstract principle of AGI for the betterment of humanity might also be the same people who do not fully think through the more human/money elements of firing the figurehead of the generative AI movement and pissing off the company that invested $10 billion in a very specific company/vision

I'm trying to understand why takes like Warzel's resonate with me. I don't often find myself siding with the tech bro. And I'm not, really.

It's that I'm skeptical of Open AI's "for all of humanity" narrative. Despite the inference, the message has big my precious vibes, particularly as it's coupled with AGI doomer rhetoric from the Ilya Sutskever camp.

They've assigned sentience to this alluring, but still very inanimate, object. They then hunch over it, hissing at all who approach. Because they are its true guardians.

But don't worry, this technology is for everyone. But also, it's dangerous so don't come near.

I don't trust Altman, or Microsoft to do anything approaching the "right thing." But I understand their motivations. And I'm familiar with what gobs of cash can do to a person, at least in the abstract.

But this jumpy, overprotective shit coming from the opposing OpenAI team? It feels foreign and unsettling. Because if money and power corrupt the soul, what does believing you're a life-creating god do to it?


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