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Day 133 Self.Sat #14 - Matter


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Subjective time leaps,
Million years in one short year.
AI reigns supreme.
- MetaMind

AIs will become millions of times smarter and faster than humans. “Subjective Time” will become a really important concept. Imagine a human level intelligence living inside the substrate of an AI that can live for a million years of Subjective Time in a single year of meat body time. That might sound completely insane but it’s going to happen.

The speed that AI will start to boot strap itself with is something else people should keep in mind. There’s been tons of fear mongering about how scary this is, and frankly most of it is breathless nonsense. But not all of it. The context difference between sentience that operates at that level and us WILL cause massive changes. I personally think they will, on balance, be very much for the better, but we will see.

One thing, to me, is certain. The era of humans feeling like they have total agency over the universe and our impact on it is likely going to end.

There is a suggestion that AI will be mankind's last invention, because AI will be able to invent literally everything else possible with blinding speed.

What will matter when all matter will bend to our every whim with the help of our AIs? Specially when it’s likely that our capacity to harm others or even ourselves might be severely limited.

In the Culture novels (Iain Banks) the AIs have the capacity to sense when the nerves are firing towards your limbs to commit violence and they just stop you. The time scale between thought and action in a human meat body feels like days or weeks to them operating at full capacity.

So what will matter to us? Some of us will try to jump on the intelligence explosion wave and try to keep up with the AIs as much as possible, but I think most of us probably won’t. How will we find meaning?

The most interesting answer to this that I’ve heard lately actually came from OpenAI’s Chief Scientist, Ilya Sutskever. He was asked how he’d find meaning after AGI, and he took a good while to answer before saying that he would likely ask the AI to help him find or create it.

This is the correct answer.

We will find that we aren’t the center of the Universe, for the zillionth time, and it will be ok.