Ton Zijlstra has an interesting view on today’s corporations as ‘slow AI’, and how they are geared to take advantage of digital AI:
…‘Slow AI’ as corporations are context blind, single purpose algorithms. That single purpose being shareholder value. Jeremy Lent (in 2017) made the same point when he dubbed corporations ‘socio-paths with global reach’ and said that the fear of runaway AI was focusing on the wrong thing because “humans have already created a force that is well on its way to devouring both humanity and the earth in just the way they fear. It’s called the Corporation”. Basically our AI overlords are already here: they likely employ you. Of course existing Slow AI is best positioned to adopt its faster young, digital algorithms. It as such can be seen as the first step of the feared iterative path of run-away AI.
Daniel Miessler conceptualises Universal Business Components, a way of looking at and breaking down the knowledge work performed by white-collar staff today:
Companies like Bain, KPMG, and McKinsey will thrive in this world. They’ll send armies of smiling 22-year-olds to come in and talk about “optimizing the work that humans do”, and “making sure they’re working on the fulfilling part of their jobs”.
So, assuming you’re realizing how devastating this is going to be to jobs, which if you’re reading this you probably are—what can we do?
The answer is mostly nothing.
This is coming. Like, immediately. This, combined with SPQA architectures, is going to be the most powerful tool business leaders have ever had.
When I first heard about the open letter published in late March calling on AI labs to pause their research for six months, I immediately assumed it was a ploy by those who wanted to catch up. In some cases, it might have been — but I now feel much more inclined to take the letter and its signatories at face value.