I wrote the following letter to McGill’s Computer Science department:

Dear [XYZ],

My name is Jason Polak and I graduated from McGill University with a PhD from the Department of Mathematics and Statistics in 2016.

I would like to voice a concern and a recommendation. I am concerned with the recent developments of AI. AI, especially the recent developments, will likely do the following to society:

(1) Remove the feeling of purpose from most people’s lives, thereby making most people depressed.

(2) Remove the need that people have for each other since AI will be able to do most tasks.

(3) Concentrate wealth further into the hands of those running Silicon Valley.

AI also will almost certainly have other consequences that we are unaware of. A more detailed analysis can be found on my blog at (https://blog.jpolak.org/six-reasons-why-ai-will-make-the-world-worse/), and other posts there. Also, you may consult a few other texts such as David Skrbina’s “The Metaphysics of Technology”.

I propose that your department develop an ethics investigation as to the dangers of AI, and if you find any such dangers, I recommend that your department cease supporting AI research.

I know this seems unusual, but I truly believe that the disruptions to society caused by AI will be to a degree that is an order of magnitude more than any other technological development. If you don’t believe me or find my claims outlandish, please at least carefully read them and some of the texts written by eminent philosophers on this matter.

Dr. Jason Polak

If you have concerns about AI and its effects on society, I suggest you email as many computer science departments and companies as you can!

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