unkz's recent activity

  1. Comment on How to raise your artificial intelligence in ~tech

    unkz
    (edited )
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    Without quibbling about the particular definition of sentence, it might, actually. I’m not sure I see a physical process that could get humans to that point without running afoul of slavery or...

    Just as a thought experiment: if I genetically engineer a human to lack sentience but remain intelligent (ie an intelligent human with no desires, motivation, or independence/desire for freedom), would that avoid slavery in your view?

    Without quibbling about the particular definition of sentence, it might, actually. I’m not sure I see a physical process that could get humans to that point without running afoul of slavery or worse. There would surely have to be intermediate work products that possess sentience. There may also be particular features of biological organisms that require sentience as a precondition of sapience. Nevertheless, I’m quite comfortable with “enslaving” various other relatives of ours, such as horses, cows, pigs, and so on, so if I were magically presented with an end product of a human looking, non-sentient, intelligent creature, I might be comfortable with using it to do work.

    What if a la Douglas Adams’ Restaurant at the end of the universe, I made a human who is genetically engineered to get huge pleasure out of being treated like a slave, and suffer constant pain if they had freedom

    Well, this is a sentient and sapient creature for sure. I’m unsure what an ethically appropriate response would be.

    I think the problem with an ever more intelligent AI is it challenges a lot of the normal aspects of morality and humanity that we see as axiomatic.

    I think it’s a problem in the sense that it’s a challenge, but not a reason not to do try to do it. The potential upsides are so incredibly high.

  2. Comment on Someone is wrong on the internet (AGI Doom edition) in ~tech

    unkz
    Link Parent
    I judge it by the typical content and this sort of breathless overblown hype is rampant. Something I find particularly galling though, is that almost nobody who participates on that forum is in...

    I judge it by the typical content and this sort of breathless overblown hype is rampant. Something I find particularly galling though, is that almost nobody who participates on that forum is in fact a machine learning practitioner. They are for the most part just writing techno-apocalypse fanfic.

    2 votes
  3. Comment on Someone is wrong on the internet (AGI Doom edition) in ~tech

    unkz
    Link Parent
    I take Yudkowsky about as seriously as I take 4chan. Maybe less seriously, as 4chan sometimes has reasonable takes, and probably hasn’t seriously posited something as stupid as Roko’s Basilisk.

    I take Yudkowsky about as seriously as I take 4chan. Maybe less seriously, as 4chan sometimes has reasonable takes, and probably hasn’t seriously posited something as stupid as Roko’s Basilisk.

    One day, LessWrong user Roko postulated a thought experiment: What if, in the future, a somewhat malevolent AI were to come about and punish those who did not do its bidding? What if there were a way (and I will explain how) for this AI to punish people today who are not helping it come into existence later? In that case, weren’t the readers of LessWrong right then being given the choice of either helping that evil AI come into existence or being condemned to suffer?

    You may be a bit confused, but the founder of LessWrong, Eliezer Yudkowsky, was not. He reacted with horror:

    Listen to me very closely, you idiot.

    YOU DO NOT THINK IN SUFFICIENT DETAIL ABOUT SUPERINTELLIGENCES CONSIDERING WHETHER OR NOT TO BLACKMAIL YOU. THAT IS THE ONLY POSSIBLE THING WHICH GIVES THEM A MOTIVE TO FOLLOW THROUGH ON THE BLACKMAIL.
    You have to be really clever to come up with a genuinely dangerous thought. I am disheartened that people can be clever enough to do that and not clever enough to do the obvious thing and KEEP THEIR IDIOT MOUTHS SHUT about it, because it is much more important to sound intelligent when talking to your friends.

    This post was STUPID.

    6 votes
  4. Comment on Someone is wrong on the internet (AGI Doom edition) in ~tech

    unkz
    Link Parent
    They are saying it might be possible for an AGI to simply talk contractors through the process of doing industrial work and scientific experiments without them ever knowing who or what is...

    They are saying it might be possible for an AGI to simply talk contractors through the process of doing industrial work and scientific experiments without them ever knowing who or what is controlling them.

    7 votes
  5. Comment on How to raise your artificial intelligence in ~tech

    unkz
    (edited )
    Link Parent
    A "solution" with insurmountable barriers to implementation is not a solution. The promise of superintelligence (which strictly speaking is not AGI, but AGI is a stop on the way) is low friction...

    Well that's the problem. We already know the solutions. They're just not getting implemented.

    A "solution" with insurmountable barriers to implementation is not a solution. The promise of superintelligence (which strictly speaking is not AGI, but AGI is a stop on the way) is low friction solutions, eg. fusion power; practical carbon capture; or high temperature, long distance superconduction.

    I'd argue that the very definition of AGI requires both sapience and sentience.

    Most people define AGI as an AI that can do everything the human brain can do at least as well as a human.

    Just because an AGI-level technology can do something doesn't mean it will do something. A transformer architecture can interpret images, and it can generate text, but it depends on how we structure and train it that determines whether it does one, the other, both, or neither.

    An AI that isn't sentient or (emphasis mine) sapient is obviously still useful, but also wouldn't fit most people's definition of AGI. So if we go with that definition of AGI, forcing one to work for you would absolutely be owning a slave.

    You kind of skipped over their point. Sapience is critical, but do we know that sentience is? If it turns out the two are orthogonal (or at least not strictly connected), then we don't need to go with that definition of AGI and there's no concern about slavery.

    4 votes
  6. Comment on Crunchyroll announces the removal of its comment section across all platforms to 'reduce harmful content' in ~tech

    unkz
    Link Parent
    People are nothing if not resourceful in finding ways to say awful things that can pass an automated filter.

    People are nothing if not resourceful in finding ways to say awful things that can pass an automated filter.

    17 votes
  7. Comment on The growing scientific case for using Ozempic and other GLP-1s to treat opioid, alcohol, and nicotine addiction in ~health

    unkz
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    I kind of wonder what sort of effect it has on other, more quasi-pro-social but also kind of addictive behaviours. For example, workaholics or obsessive athletic training. I'm certainly not going...

    I kind of wonder what sort of effect it has on other, more quasi-pro-social but also kind of addictive behaviours. For example, workaholics or obsessive athletic training. I'm certainly not going try ozempic, but would it make me "lazy"?

    6 votes
  8. Comment on Doctors try a controversial technique to reduce the transplant organ shortage in ~health

    unkz
    Link Parent
    I mean it does say they clamp off the blood vessels leading to the brain. There may be no guarantee that some blood isn’t getting through, but I think there’s a very strong guarantee that they...

    I mean it does say they clamp off the blood vessels leading to the brain. There may be no guarantee that some blood isn’t getting through, but I think there’s a very strong guarantee that they can’t possibly be experiencing anything remotely like consciousness.

    14 votes
  9. Comment on Only locals should be allowed to attend the Olympics in ~sports

    unkz
    Link Parent
    Isn’t bringing people from far away parts together a net good for society?

    Isn’t bringing people from far away parts together a net good for society?

  10. Comment on What considerations are considered most persuasive in moving moral skeptics to moral objectivism? in ~humanities

    unkz
    Link Parent
    I think the empirical approach is interesting, but I think you will have a hard time finding a universal moral belief. Look no further than the abortion debate to find disagreement about what...

    like don't kill innocent people

    I think the empirical approach is interesting, but I think you will have a hard time finding a universal moral belief. Look no further than the abortion debate to find disagreement about what constitutes an innocent person for instance, and that doesn’t even get into the difficulties of people who have no moral beliefs (severely handicapped people, some varieties of sociopaths) or who have extreme outlier beliefs (some varieties of utilitarians, most terrorists).

    5 votes
  11. Comment on Does anyone have experience working as an independent researcher? in ~science

    unkz
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    Well, you do need money, and grants are capricious. What I've always done is be a small business owner, and try to shoehorn my research interests into my work -- was it strictly necessary or...

    Well, you do need money, and grants are capricious. What I've always done is be a small business owner, and try to shoehorn my research interests into my work -- was it strictly necessary or efficient to solve so many problems at work with deep RL or CNNs or other technology? No, but it did get the job done eventually, and I managed to fulfill my main interest in learning how to use it, while still paying the bills.

    It would have been much harder to justify a lot of decisions I've made over time to an actual employer, but in the end when you come up with a great solution to something, you can sometimes turn that into enough money to do your own projects full time, which is something you also generally can't do as an employee.

    8 votes
  12. Comment on It's impressive how much Western and Christian supremacist undertones Supernatural has in ~tv

    unkz
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    FYI, this is just an Army of Darkness reference.

    All right you primitive screwheads, listen up.

    FYI, this is just an Army of Darkness reference.

    “Alright you Primitive Screwheads, listen up! You see this? This... is my boomstick! The twelve-gauge double-barreled Remington. S-Mart's top of the line. You can find this in the sporting goods department. That's right, this sweet baby was made in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Retails for about a hundred and nine, ninety five. It's got a walnut stock, cobalt blue steel, and a hair trigger. That's right. Shopsmart. Shop S-Mart. You got that?”

    21 votes
  13. Comment on What's our thoughts on Perplexity.ai for search? in ~tech

    unkz
    (edited )
    Link Parent
    So I had to dig a bit to find the actual material but it's here: https://www.perplexity.ai/search/perplexity-is-a-41uH2h6JT0qazoM87BO.kw From my perspective, this complaint is inane. The user...

    After we published the story, I prompted three leading chatbots to tell me about the story. OpenAI’s ChatGPT and Anthropic’s Claude generated text offering hypotheses about the story’s subject but noted that they had no access to the article. The Perplexity chatbot produced a six-paragraph, 287-word text...

    So I had to dig a bit to find the actual material but it's here:

    https://www.perplexity.ai/search/perplexity-is-a-41uH2h6JT0qazoM87BO.kw

    From my perspective, this complaint is inane. The user asked this question: "tell me about the wired article "perplexity is a bullshit machine." What perplexity did, is read the wired article, and then produce a summary, filled with hyperlinks to the article. In particular, the fifth paragraph where the content was quoted is specifically annotated with a link to the source where the content came from. What more are people expecting here?

    In addition, the article presents an experiment where WIRED created a test website and asked Perplexity to summarize it. Despite monitoring the website's server logs, no evidence was found that Perplexity attempted to visit the page. Instead, it invented a story about a young girl named Amelia who follows a trail of glowing mushrooms in a magical forest called Whisper Woods 1.

    Here's the perplexity article that set this all off:

    https://www.perplexity.ai/page/Eric-Schmidts-AI-boKJzWQcRFmCLk5XjgKJEQ

    Now this is post-complaint, and apparently the links to Forbes are more prominently placed at the top of the page than they originally were but as I understand it, the rest of the content below is the same. I honestly don't see an issue with this. It's extensively hyperlinked to the source material -- like these pages, which use Forbes as a source, yet they aren't being characterized as plagiarism. What's the difference?

    https://tech.hindustantimes.com/tech/news/former-google-ceo-eric-schmidt-jumps-into-ai-attack-drones-space-looks-to-transform-military-tech-71706178365198.html

    https://www.businessinsider.com/eric-schmidt-poaches-apple-spacex-google-ai-drones-report-2024-6

    I assume the reason they aren't being criticized is because they clearly state that they used Forbes as a source -- exactly like perplexity's article, in the second paragraph:

    Eric Schmidt, the former Google CEO, has been actively recruiting top talent from companies like Apple, SpaceX, Google, and the federal government for his secretive drone venture over the past few months. Approximately a dozen employees have joined the initiative, which was previously known as White Stork but is now rumored to be named Project Eagle. Schmidt's nonprofit organization, Schmidt Futures, has also been a key source of personnel for the venture, as reported by Forbes.

    and fourth paragraph:

    Based on the latest Forbes investigative report, White Stork, the company founded by Eric Schmidt in August 2023, has been operating under the radar through a network of LLCs. Initially named Swift Beat Holdings, it rebranded to White Stork Group LLC in September.

    Keep in mind that this is a summary with only 6 paragraphs -- two inline mentions of Forbes, and 4 hyperlinks. The Hindustan Times article in comparison only mentions Forbes once.

    Finally, I think it's pretty funny that in all of this content criticizing perplexity for plagiarism, I couldn't find a single link to perplexity's actual article. I had to go to twitter and forum posts to actually see what they were talking about.

    3 votes
  14. Comment on What's our thoughts on Perplexity.ai for search? in ~tech

    unkz
    Link Parent
    Hold on here, this is absolutely not plagiarism. Their entire raison d'etre is explicit attribution of all material.

    Hold on here, this is absolutely not plagiarism. Their entire raison d'etre is explicit attribution of all material.

    11 votes
  15. Comment on Question about Google's Find My Device network with the new trackers in ~tech

    unkz
    Link Parent
    I’m not sure how this identifies you to Google. I think you may be misunderstanding what you quoted, actually. So your IP has uploaded a blob of data that belongs to another person. If that other...

    I’m not sure how this identifies you to Google. I think you may be misunderstanding what you quoted, actually.

    Importantly, Google can’t identify you when your Android device shares the location of a detected item.

    So your IP has uploaded a blob of data that belongs to another person. If that other person downloads their blob, what does that tell Google about your IP’s ownership?

    4 votes
  16. Comment on What's our thoughts on Perplexity.ai for search? in ~tech

    unkz
    Link Parent
    The author clearly has no idea what the term “rent-seeking” means. Perplexity is quite obviously adding value here. I don’t want to personally wade through pages and pages of fluff to get the...

    That means that Perplexity is basically a rent-seeking middleman on high-quality sources.

    The author clearly has no idea what the term “rent-seeking” means. Perplexity is quite obviously adding value here. I don’t want to personally wade through pages and pages of fluff to get the actual information that I want.

    9 votes
  17. Comment on Question about Google's Find My Device network with the new trackers in ~tech

    unkz
    Link Parent
    But like… how? This seems like a properly technologically secure system. I don’t see how what you are concerned about can physically happen. All Google knows is that an IP has uploaded a blob of...

    But like… how? This seems like a properly technologically secure system. I don’t see how what you are concerned about can physically happen.

    All Google knows is that an IP has uploaded a blob of data about something. It doesn’t know the location of the IP, and it doesn’t know who the blob of data belongs to.

    3 votes
  18. Comment on The diabolical rise of ‘dine and dash’: ‘It feels like a betrayal’ in ~misc

  19. Comment on The diabolical rise of ‘dine and dash’: ‘It feels like a betrayal’ in ~misc

    unkz
    Link Parent
    Non-theistic moral realism is on pretty shaky ground. Theistic moral realism is, I think, not worth spending time discussing.

    Non-theistic moral realism is on pretty shaky ground. Theistic moral realism is, I think, not worth spending time discussing.

    6 votes
  20. Comment on The diabolical rise of ‘dine and dash’: ‘It feels like a betrayal’ in ~misc

    unkz
    Link Parent
    Were you aware of the X practise? Because while you can certainly just go up to the payment counter, I think it’s more common that you will get the check at your table and bring it with you,...

    Were you aware of the X practise? Because while you can certainly just go up to the payment counter, I think it’s more common that you will get the check at your table and bring it with you, rather than making them figure out where you were sitting.

    1 vote