A.I.'s Big Year

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Weise, Karen, and Cade Metz et al. (see annotation). "A.I.'s Big Year" (also "The Morning: The race to dominate A.I."). The New York Times on line, "The Morning" for 8 December 2023, as of 10 December 2023 available — at least to subscribers — here.[1] Summation of a series.

This week, with our colleagues Mike Isaac and Nico Grant, we published a series recounting the recent history of A.I. and looking ahead to its future. In today’s newsletter, we explain what we learned.

Powerful tech leaders — including [Sam] Altman, Elon Musk and the Google co-founder Larry Page — were developing A.I. systems for years before the technology went mainstream. The men bickered over whether it would end up harming the world; some, including Musk, feared that A.I. would turn dystopian science fiction into reality, with computers becoming smart enough to escape human control.

At the heart of these disagreements was a brain-stretching paradox: The men who said they were most worried about A.I. were among the most determined to create it. They justified that ambition by saying that they alone had the morals and skill to prevent A.I. tools from becoming rogue machines that could endanger humanity.

Eventually, these disputes led them to split off and form their own A.I. labs. Each schism created more competition, which pushed the companies to advance A.I. even faster.

America's "newspaper of record" (The New York Times) on actually-existing AI and actually-existing fears by some people who should know "that A.I. would turn dystopian science fiction into reality." So see for that SF, including computer-take-over or computer-annihilation works such as COLOSSUS: THE FORBIN PROJECT and THE TERMINATOR series, plus gentler, or somewhat gentler, stories of AI.[2][3]


RDE, finishing, 10Dec23