Allison Wanderer
does the future of AI excite or worry you?
I think that relative to what I felt a few years ago when I wrote the book, I've probably become slightly more worried than I was then. There are definitely enormous upsides. Self-driving cars have the ability to all but erase the leading cause of preventable death in the world, for instance: that is world-changing. The coming of a peer-level (or better) intelligence alongside humans' own will provide us an incredible opportunity like none before to understand ourselves more deeply: for cognitive scientists, for psychologists, for philosophers, and beyond.

But any tool that leads to concentrations of power (and in this case also wealth) has the ability to cause huge problems. AI certainly falls into that category, as well as having other dangers all its own. Before AI gets to what's called the "existential risk" level—where it might intentionally or unintentionally exterminate the human race, let's say—there will be an earlier phase (of which we're just at the beginning) in which it will cause huge political and economic disruption. For instance, AI will likely force a total reconception of what the labor force is supposed to look like. What jobs and skills will survive? Many of the AI thinkers I know are also studying radical economic ideas in parallel, such as the idea of a guaranteed basic income. I'd feel more comfortable if I felt like we had a better grasp of what to do societally about either these short- or long-term challenges.
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