Monday, May 22, 2023

The Future of Freedom

    The dawn of AGI is near. What this means for the world is uncertain, but if you follow Nick Bostrom's logic it seems clear that ASI will be soon to follow. This will have a more clear result: the human race will no longer be the supreme being on the planet. We talk a lot about utopia when we discuss ASI. We discuss the ways in which it could cure disease, expand lifespans (potentially indefinitely), and colonize the galaxy. We also discuss value lock in, and the possibility for authoritarian dystopias. In every case, we see some version of either utopia or dystopia, all with one thing in common: a single entity making the decisions. Similar to a world government, our eventual ASI will likely control our lives and the bounds in which we live. I rarely see discussion of a libertarian utopia, where each individual receives private property and is allowed to do whatever they want so long as they are not impacting others in a negative way. I am not quite sure how this will work in a post-scarcity society. We are in the age of transformative AI, and I am very worried about human freedom. The right to make the wrong decisions is important, as it is often the only way to discern the right ones.

    Will ASI adhere to a bill of rights? It seems that this list of unalienable rights was crucial in the formation of the United States. Freedom often comes at a price. The second amendment absolutely equates to more individual freedom, at the expense of many needless deaths. Will the ASI respect these types of rights (freedom of speech, right to bear arms), even if in aggregate they could hurt society (hate speech, mass shootings). In the event of a chemically engineered pandemic, will the ASI force vaccinations at gunpoint in order to ensure the survival of the human race? I am very, very worried that the coming age of AI will naturally lead to autocracy. Time and time again we have seen history repeat itself, with "ends justify the means" and "for the greater collective good" leading right into fascism. I worry the technocratic and socialism-inclined minds may win out over the libertarian. Personal political beliefs aside, I think the former will inherently place less value on freedom and will be more likely to through good intentions force a bad outcome.

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