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!

Cerebras is a US based AI (Artificial Intelligence) company, and they recently announced:

Cerebras Systems, the pioneer in accelerating generative AI, and G42, the UAE-based technology holding group, today announced Condor Galaxy, a network of nine interconnected supercomputers, offering a new approach to AI compute that promises to significantly reduce AI model training time. The first AI supercomputer on this network, Condor Galaxy 1 (CG-1), has 4 exaFLOPs and 54 million cores. Cerebras and G42 are planning to deploy two more such supercomputers, CG-2 and CG-3, in the U.S. in early 2024. With a planned capacity of 36 exaFLOPs in total, this unprecedented supercomputing network will revolutionize the advancement of AI globally.

Companies like this are reckless, and they are not thinking ahead about the devastating effects AI will have on society. AI in fact is the final step for locking us into a cage where we are basically zoo animals and slaves tending to the development of machines.

By deploying such advanced computers, Cerebras is demonstrating that they have not considered the dangers of AI. In the future, such companies and the people who run them will likely be looked upon with intense scorn, but of course by then it will be too late.

What can you do to stop them? I would recommend to everyone the following simple action: don’t use any AI products and don’t do business with companies who use AI products. Sadly, more and more companies will start using AI due to the prisoner’s dilemma situation so be very vigilant.

21. July 2023 · 2 comments · Categories: society

In fiction, we typically see AI destroying humanity through physical acts like with the Terminator. Unfortunately, science fiction such as this has blinded us to the truth: AI is getting ready to destroy us, but in a far more subtle way. Namely, it will do so by removing two fundamental ingredients from human society: our feeling of purpose and our need for other human beings.

Now, let us examine how AI coulld destroy us and what we can do to avoid it before it’s too late.

AI will remove our sense of purpose

The first ingredient is that AI will remove our own purpose because it will do almost everything better than us at some point. Even if there remains some domains in which humans can outcompete AI purely on skill, AI simply needs to do a large percentage of tasks almost as good as humans and more cheaply than humans in order to take most jobs away of humans.

Some people give the rebuttal that if AI takes away our jobs, we can just do things for fun such as hobbies and retain our purpose that way. However, this does not negate the fact that most people will feel purposeless, for two reasons. The first reason is that many people find purpose through their job and will have difficulty finding purpose elsewhere. The people that argue that we can just shift to hobbies are typically highly intelligent intellectuals who are amenable to spending their entire life steeped in hobbies. That’s not a bad thing, but not everyone is self-directed like that.

There is another reason why we cannot simply switch full-time to our hobbies and leisure. And that is, many hobbies will lose their appeal because most hobbies have at least some form of challenge to discover something in them, and AI will always be there to have the answer. I already heard one person lament that they felt depressed about photography because AI can simply create a picture that they can imagine better than they can.

Another classic example is chess. I love chess as a game, but advanced chess programs have made it significantly worse, and an advanced chess program is one of the more primitive examples of AI. Now chess is rife with cheating, and people use computers to make the study of chess so mechanical that it has lost some of its former magic.

The world champion chess player Bobby Fischer already felt this even before AI, and so he invented Fischer random chess, saying that:

I love chess, and I didn’t invent Fischerandom chess to destroy chess. I invented Fischerandom chess to keep chess going. Because I consider the old chess is dying, it really is dead.

He said this referring to the intense devotion of master chess players in studying the opening books. Nowadays, all aspects of the game are so thoroughly studied with the help of computers, that AI programs such as Alpha Zero have truly removed the magic of the game.

This general phenomenon will happen with almost all hobbies. AI editing techniques in photography and AI recommendation algorithms are making photography more and more mechanical. Even the act of sharing your hobby is becoming more difficult, because AI algorithms are training people to merely follow trends, destroying the organic joy coming from sharing and discovering together.

In creative arts, people will feel a lack of purpose when they see an AI creating better art, or better stories than they can. Even if AI does not strictly create something better, it will create something sufficiently good with such ease and in such quantity that most people will stop caring about human-made items or artistic creations.

Even if you can write a better book than ChatGPT 10.0, hardly anyone in the future will pay attention to it because it will be like getting your hand-crafted product sold on Amazon and competing against the elephantine mass-production machine of China. AI is already writing travel books en mass, and although they aren’t as good as the human version, they soon will be.

Finally, even if you can somehow find purpose in a bunch of hobbies, how will you pay for them? AI will take over your job and thus the world will have to switch to some sort of universal basic income. But if you think that everyone is going to get a nice, equal slice of the pie, you’re mistaken. Those in control of AI systems will get the majority of the wealth, and you’ll be left on a cushy version of welfare, controlled by the elite who control technology.

Well, perhaps people can still find some meaning in new jobs created by AI? Sorry. It is a fallacy to try and reason by analogy by saying that because new technology has created jobs in the past, now again, new jobs will be created by AI. A few new jobs will be created, but unlike in the past, far fewer will be created than necessary to support most people seeking a purpose. And even now, you can see that most intellectual jobs are becoming more and more specialized to the point that we are slowly turning into dim-witted monkey maintainers of extremely advanced technology.

AI will reduce our need for other human beings

The second ingredient is that AI will remove our need for other human beings. It will do so by making available almost everything we need to live without human interaction. AI may not do so perfectly, but it will do so well enough that we will not have enough interactions sufficient to develop genuine human bonds.

Some people argue that AI will never replace a true human being when it comes to friendship and love, and I tend to agree with this. However, this does not negate the extreme danger that AI poses for human relationships. Why is this? Again, there are two reasons.

The first is that friendship and love is partially forged by truly needing another human being to survive. The best friendships and relationships are formed by people coming together to help each other. With AI approaching the point that it can satisfy almost every need of almost everyone, the deep feeling of really needing someone will mostly cease to exist.

We care for each other because care builds up through a slow process of trust and helping each other, and that process will be broken by AI. Thus, we will become a globe of narcissists, caring only about ourselves. Just ask yourself: how have you developed the strongest bonds in your life? It’s because you needed another person.

That AI will remove our need for others is not a prediction as much as it is an extrapolation of an existing trend. Technology already has removed our need for personal interactions with others, and even when we do interact with others, it has become far more mechanical through social networks and chat apps. However, so far it has only removed a relatively small percentage of that necessary interaction compared to what AI can do. The effect that AI will have on how we need each other will be scary and largely unpredictable, but certainly horrible.

Other effects of AI

I already outlined the removal of purpose and the removal of our need of others as two of the main fronts on which AI will destroy us as a society. If that weren’t enough however, there are all sorts of other negative effects that will only enhance the devastation that AI will wreak upon us.

For example, AI has already been used in chemistry and medicine to discover new drugs and molecules. In a Nature Review piece, Jayatunga et al. wrote that

AI companies, most of which started less than ten years ago, have achieved a substantial fraction of the preclinical output of the top 20 pharma companies. We also already see examples of novel chemistry for major targets and a potential early glimpse at increased molecular diversity targeting new biological mechanisms.

One might at first think this good. However, it is far from good. Just as researchers can use AI for novel drug discovery, so can malicious actors use AI to develop toxins, biological weapons, new viruses (COVID combined with Ebola perhaps?), and other dangerous things.

Then there’s advertising, Campbell et al. in the Journal of Advertising concluded that

Manipulated advertising is becoming an increasingly prevalent phenomenon in advertising. Techniques such as deepfakes and GANs leverage AI and machine learning to generate convincing, true-to-life synthetic ads that can be nearly impossible for consumers to detect.

If you thought advertising was bad before, think again. Now that advertisements can be made orders or magnitude more convincing and manipulative than before, we are headed for a world of intense short-term consumerism that will certainly do even more harm to the environment.

Some argue that dangerous medical research and malicious advertising were always part of the game. But those people are missing the point that it’s the speed that matters: by using AI, these dangers will hit us with the speed of a bullet train, whereas before they were merely slapped in our face. We simply do not have the ability to ward off the speed of AI development of harmful technology.

If AI is so bad, why are we using it?

If AI is truly such a monster, why are we even developing it? There are two reasons. The first is that the initial stages of AI are relatively easy to control, and the most dangerous effects of AI are still some decades away. Just as with climate change and fossil fuel use, we are mostly ignoring the problem because the worst will affect our children rather than ourselves.

But there is another reason: short-term profits. Programmers and tech companies stand to make a massive short-term profit now. There is no regulation and no oversight to consider the long-term harm of AI, and tech companies are taking advantage of this. They’re taking advantage of us. Companies like OpenAI are completely immoral and are using the very system of our consumerist, capitalistic society to make a quick buck and leave us in the muck.

Finally, individuals use AI because it gives them a short-term advantage over others. Just like every other technology, it saves time. What’s the harm in a little automated photo editing, a little automated text preparation? But that’s short-term thinking. AI helps us do our jobs now, but we are training it to do our job. AI is making some of our tasks faster now, but soon it will take over those tasks that we once did ourselves. AI is amusing, but we don’t see that its giggle is the sadistic cackle of a mass murderer poised for the slaughter.

What can we do?

The dangers of AI are certain, and our fate down the AI path is unequivocal. Part of how we will suffer is known, and the other part is unknown but even more frightening for its unpredictability.

Given this, we really have only one option: destroy AI. Halt AI research. Of course, companies are making so much money with AI now that it will be hard to stop it. Thus, it’s in the hands of us, the people. Do your part by not using AI. If you own a business, keep it human and proclaim loudly that you will not use AI. If you work in an enterprise, do your part to keep AI out of your organization.

Some people believe that we should develop AI and use it for good, but it is obvious that we do not have the wisdom to use it in such a way. Telekinesis might also be used for good if we had it, but I would not want to live in a world where people could kill by thought. We are too primitive, and we have too many short-term instincts from the times of scarcity when we were hunter-gatherers. These short-term instincts were once adaptive then, but in modern times of surplus and technological power, they are maladaptive.

Caution is required. Instead of diving wholeheartedly onto the AI bandwagon, let us be cautious. Before developing AI, let us slowly restructure society so that we are more cautious towards technology, and so that we can slowly develop the wisdom to decide whether it is good for us. Let us not act as children, eating all the chocolate, for the following stomache ache is not one for which we are remotely prepared.


What can we say from these two points? AI will make us into purposeless, narcissistic and unhappy beings who will lose what it means to be human. We will become so confused and insane that we will not have the capability to go back.

And that is almost surely how AI will destroy us. Not by physical acts, but by removing the very essence of our humanity. We still have time to act, but that time is running out.

20. July 2023 · 1 comment · Categories: society

I am drafting a set of rules that any reasonable society should follow in the use of advanced technology. This is my draft, and I welcome any comments on these rules so that I can improve them!

  1. Technology that creates excessive, unnecessary waste should not be created or used.
  2. Technology that emulates creative works should not be created or used. This includes AI art generation, AI writing, and other tools.
  3. Technology that emulates intelligent beings should not be created. Therefore, chatbots, robots, and other entities should be banned, including but not limited to ChatGPT.
  4. Technology should only be created if it can be used as far as its physical design allows. Therefore, developers of phones must support the phone for as long as its physical device realistically lasts, perhaps 10-15 years. That means it should receive updates and new batteries should be available for it. If updates are difficult to provide, the company must open-source enough of the device so that the open-source community can update it themselves.
  5. Technology such as electronics and machinery should be made to last. Disposable, cheap electronics should be banned and not sold, because it creates electronic waste.
  6. Medical technology that extends the natural human lifespan should be banned and never used.
  7. Scientific education should be taught only with mandatory ethical courses that will take a critical look at the use of technology. Direct research into AI systems should be avoided.
  8. The economic system should not reward endless technological development. I am not sure how this would be done.

We tend to look at technology as a stream of individual inventions. That was certainly how technology was presented to me through school and I think this is how most people view technology as well. However, the nature of technology is hardly touched upon in modern discourse. What do I mean by the nature of technology? I mean things such as the motivations of those who create technology, what technology actually is, and its ultimate aims, as well as how it interacts with the peculiarities of modern society. From my point of view, these are some of the most important observations and topics in this realm:

The People Who Create Technology

The most advanced technology (computer and science-based technology such as bioengineering) is primarily created by those who are highly attracted to this field. This means those of the introverted type who may have tendencies as teenagers and young adults to prefer computers over people, and who find comfort in immersing themselves in arcane knowledge.

I am not saying these tendencies are bad, but they do have their own peculiarities. For example, over time, such people are prone to create technologies that isolate people on a global scale, simply because technologies that are effective in doing so will be especially attractive to such people.

From this observation, we conclude we must be extremely careful because technology creation will be biased towards those types of technologies that tend to isolate people. An example is AI which can act as a buffer between real people and the user: with an advanced AI doing most information-gathering tasks for you, you no longer have to interact with the people who create information.


The fundamental core of capitalism, which is trade of goods and services through comparitive advantage, works on a small scale. But capitalism has a second-order effect that is especially emphasized through globalization and technology. This second order effect is that short-term monetary gains are emphasized over all else. Moreover, our capitalistic society makes it so that engaging in transactions that bring short-term monetary gains are necessarily for survival for most people.

This is hardly just a technology problem, although without advanced technology, this second-order effect would be negligible for two reasons: the efficiency of trade would not be sufficient to make this effect as noticeable, and even if such an effect were noticeable, a lack of technology would make us relatively harmless to the biosphere.

This interaction between technology and capitalism leads us to conclude that present-stage capitalism will be unstable in the long-run, and so we must make modifications to our current economic system so that the development of new technology is much less profitable than it is currently. (This may involve heavy regulations, but it would be better if it involved a large-scale opposition by the people, which in turn may be spurned by a new, more beneficial and rewarding way of life.)

The Prisoner’s Dilemma

The prisoner’s dilemma is a two-person game (in the sense of game theory) where two people need to make one of two choices. In the realm of technology, it can be seen in the following principle: if neither person chooses to use a piece of technology, then both will be better off. But, if you know your opposition will not use the technology, you can use it to gain an advantage over them and thus get a huge reward. Unfortunately, your opposition knows this and so uses the technology as well, making both parties worse off.

This is true of AI. We would all be better off if no one used advanced AI. However, because some people are not using it yet (or as effectively as Mr. Joe Tech), then Mr. Joe Tech can use AI to gain a huge advantage over everyone else (but only in the short term). Realizing this, everyone else copies Mr. Joe Tech and uses AI as well, thereby making the entire world worse. Although everyone would be better off not using AI, it only takes one person to start the rat-race to the bottom of using AI.

The prisoner’s dilemma is one of the most pervasive and worst facets of humanity, because we have the intellectual capability to understand the choices involved. If we did not have such analytical brains, it is possible that we would not drive ourselves into disaster by playing out the prisoner’s dilemma as “rational agents”.

From this rather grim observation, we conclude that the only way to avoid the prisoner’s dilemma is to find a creative way out of playing the “game” in the first place. This could again involve mass opposition to it, or even changing our way of thinking through spiritual development such as meditation.

The Rich Control Progress

Unfortunately, there is a certain kind of person that relishes intellectual stimulation and places it above all else. Typically, this is the person who is well-off in the world in terms of money, has intellectually engaging friends, and welcomes technological progress because they derive short-term value from it in terms of what new intellectual stimulation it brings.

Many university professors, programmers, doctors, dentists, and other well-off people are of this ilk, although not all of course. There are some individuals from every one of these disciplines that are ecologically aware and responsible, but it’s safe to say that most are not (and I have spent time with many such individuals).

The most unfortunate thing is that these people have the most power in society, and they are extremely attached to their way of life, which is primarily having enough disposable income to indulge themselves with the latest technological trends. They spend their working hours forwarding the technological society and their disposable income on making new technological developments profitable. The addictive nature of technology and of finding new and strange ways of intellectual stimulation makes sure that these people will drive society to the brink of disaster, and perhaps past it.

Of course, there is nothing morally wrong with these people in general. They are typically very nice, friendly, and generous. However, they are so addicted to progress in all forms that they are somewhat blinded to the true nature of their power.

From this, we must conclude that a portion of educational materials about the dangers of technology should be directed towards such individuals, so that they can realize the effects of technology and work to stop it.

The Emergent Phenomenon

There are always, higher-order emergent phenomena that arise from complex systems. In modern society, we have the technological organism that I described in a previous blog post. Briefly, I stated that society has built up such a tightly-integrated system through technology that the entirety of technology along with our interacting with it makes for something that is similar to an organism.

In other words, our vast numbers combined with technology behave as if it’s a life-form of its own, and this life-form can defend itself. So, even if some people are aware of the technological problem, the system has countless ways of fighting back against the anti-technology effort.

From this, we conclude that we must study the technological system and figure out ways past its defenses, which may include modifying other societal structures such as capitalism to ruin the economic forces that drive technological development.

Technology Creates Problems That Only It Can Solve

Technology creates so many problems, but of course the main ones are human isolation and climate change, which is unequivocally human-caused. But, there are countless other problems, too.

And these problems are such that the only “obvious” and quick solutions to them involve even more technology. Due to our shortsightedness though, these “solutions” will actually bring about even more problems than they solve. I would not be surprised if for every problem solved with technology, the resulting new technology will bring about 10 new problems!

The only solution here is to educate people to analyze technology in great detail and be extremely cautious of it. Ideally, some technologies will be destroyed and altogether abandoned, such as medical research into aging and AI.


Technology is propelled by many forces out of our immediate control, and this post has looked at a few of them. I suggest that you never again think of technology as indiviudal inventions that you can choose to use and that we have the free will to choose or not choose. Technology is far more insidious and dangerous than that, and plays upon our early evolutionary instincts to drive itself forward and lead to our destruction.

This subject is the most serious and gravest that we have faced as a species and we must propagate these ideas or else will may perish.

18. July 2023 · 2 comments · Categories: society

On the whole, AI will make the world worse. We would be much better off if AI research were halted and even destroyed. I rather doubt this will happen because companies like OpenAI and Google have far too much power and money, and there is simply no oversight. However, in order to understand the problem better, I have written six reasons why AI will make the world worse (or is already doing so):

  1. AI removes the need for other humans. Of course, all technology does this to some extent, but the extent to which AI does so is at a sufficient level to cause a fatal problem in the way we interact. The lack of needing others will magnify our narcissism and create a distorted society in which humans completely stop caring about other humans.
  2. AI will make the development of other advanced technologies like computers much faster than ever before, advancing the technological system to a point where we no longer control it. That will in turn make new AI models advance to levels we cannot even dream of, or control.
  3. AI will generate so much content that we will be swimming in a glut of content, most of it bad and soulless. That includes AI generated books, movies, and articles. Unfortunately, that will make it difficult for humans to connect to other humans, and even find anything of value. Humans function best when there is some level of scarcity of resources. When we have everything at our fingertips, we actually have nothing.
  4. AI will be used by malicious people such as hackers to create very advanced attacks and scams that will take advantage of millions of helpless people. Unlike previous technologies, these scams will be very hard to avoid, much harder than before.
  5. When sufficiently advanced, AI will no longer need humans and hence it will choose to destroy us. Of course, it may not do so “Terminator-style”. It is much more likely that AI will finally create a technological ecosystem that will cause humans to die en-masse simply because they no longer have a purpose in life, and we’ll just do the job for AI by dying of purposelessness. (Some animals have been known to die like this.)
  6. AI is a wealth-concentration mechanism, which will shift more and more wealth into the hands of the elite (programmers and CEOs). AI is so advanced that it can (or will be able to) do the job of almost anyone. It can already almost take the job of writers, Hollywood wants to take the jobs of actors, and pretty much almost any job you can think of will be taken over by AI. Thus we come to the conclusion: the “magicians” who can maintain and develop AI will collect all the resources, give the rest of us a pittance in the form of universal basic income, and use us for the leftover jobs (like manual labor) to run the world

One of the most frequent statements I’ve heard about technology is that it’s a tool, and that it’s how we use it that matters. Based on this opaque statement, some people claim that the development of technology is not the responsibility of its creators, and instead we should focus solely on developing ethics on the use of technology. However, this viewpoint is fundamentally wrong.

Why is the statement that “technology is just a tool” fundamentally wrong? First, all tools are technology, so technology is tool itself. However, sometimes the statement is used in the context of advanced technology, such as comparing a computer to a hammer.

But even in the context of advanced technology, we cannot afford to place it in the category of tools that we can easily control like hammers. By thinking of technology as a tool, we ignore two main problems:

  1. Advanced technology is becoming too seductive to be merely a tool about which we can make rational decisions. It is too confusing, it warps the mind, and it is leading us into a society-level psychosis. It is akin to giving addictive drugs to children as candy, and as a society, we simply are incapable of deciding whether it will provide us with a net benefit in the long-term
  2. The entire collection of technology interacting with human beings will bring about unpredictable emergent phenomenon hinted at in my article The Dawn of a New Organism. Technology has thus created a new system, and trying to understand it is like trying to predict the existence of life on earth only from the viewpoint of subatomic particles. No one will be able to fathom the true directions of technology

What can we conclude from these two points? First, that the only way forward for society is to become suspicious, cautious, and highly regulatory about new technology. And second, we should pay special attention to the most advanced technologies such as AI, nanotechnology, and bio-engineering because the effects of these technologies will be too unpredictable and hence catastrophic to the human race.

Therefore, the ultimate conclusion is that technology is not just a tool because it functions outside of our control, much more akin to a lifeform. Moreover, the power of this life-form is out of our control, unlike any primitive tool that we can think of. Therefore, technology is not a tool.

Before I really start this post, one could say and ask: society has many problems. Is looking at it through the lens of technology really the best way to help solve these problems? For example, although the contemporary philosopher Slavoj Žižek talks about the dangers of digital control and technology, he is much more focused on political systems and how the current late-stage capitalistic system can’t survive much longer.

Perhaps these are sides of the same coin, since the current system would hardly even be possible without technology. However, I still believe in focusing on technology first before talking about politics for several reasons. First, technology is the energy to the system: without it, we could simply not create the overabundance we have, which (coupled with rapid communication and transportion as noted by Ted Kaczynski) enables the level of intense globalization. Secondly, understanding the main mechanisms of technology is most readily understandable to the average person (like myself) and thus it makes much more sense for communicating to the majority compared to the relatively subtle intellectual quality of academic philosophy.

Can we find a stable solution to humanity by purely changing the political systems and societal norms, taking the ideas of Marx and others into account? I seriously doubt it without also taking technology into account as well, not just as something incidental but something fundamental. Yes, there have been serious problems with society in the past that were far more due to political systems but in this day and age, technology must be attacked directly as well as the current political systems in order for change to come about.

Now without further ado, let’s go into a list of jobs (or job types) that further the technological system in a way that will be eventually destructive for modern society, even though they are helpful in the short term:

  1. Computer security. Computer security jobs are actually one of the prime drivers of the technological society. That is because without advanced security such as cryptography, the world connected through the internet would be impossible. In fact, our knowledge of public-key cryptography is one of the most damaging pieces of knowledge that we know. Yes, you may say, I cannot even write this blog without it (at least not easily). Of course, I am only writing this blog because the internet exists. I would be perfectly happy to be doing something else if the world were not saturated with technology, but it is part of my duty as a human being to point out dangers I see to my own tribe.
  2. Software developer. Software keeps people using computers and also, pushes hardware to the edge so that newer computers are created. Without software, computers would be useless. Does that mean all software is detrimental? Perhaps some basic software can have a net positive effect on humanity but we do not have the maturity to choose which.
  3. Marketing. Marketing is one of the prime drivers of advertising, which in turn is the only way many large tech companies even survive.
  4. University professor. Most professor positions train people to acquire knowledge without the responsibility to use it, they give people knowledge to enter the modern workforce, they even train people directly to develop technology.

It’s importat to note that this is not a moral condemnation. Almost everyone needs a job to eat and I have done some of these jobs also. Rather, making this list is to raise awareness and make the point that if you have one of these jobs you can also use it to speak out against the system and fight against it. For example, if you are a computer programmer, make sure to refuse to develop any AI programs. Of course, if that is your primary job then it would be a good idea to quit.

I started a new podcast: A Mathematician Goes Birding. One of its main themes will be how technology negatively affects our interaction with nature and what we can do about it.

It is simply unimaginable to me that humans continue to develop AI. Actually, it is both unimaginable and at the same time, completely expected. It is expected in that AI will bring its developers short-term gains such as wealth.

On the other hand, it is unimaginable in the sense of being unimaginably stupid. Of course, the dream of developing AI has been around since the dawn of computers and perhaps even earlier through science fiction, and one of course must be somewhat careful in defining AI if one were to have a general discussion.

But for the sake of this post, let’s just think of ChatGPT, language models, AI image generation, and so forth when we’re talking about AI. In the near future, we’ll have even more complex creations that can do even more astonishing things.

In this regard, AI is incredibly dangerous. Its immediate effects are clear: job losses, uses as a propaganda tool, overwhelming creation of new content that will be generally confusing. However, the less immediate effects are even more frightening. My first concern is that AI of the modern ilk will disrupt the general flow of humanity so badly that the resulting confusion will make ordinary human functioning almost impossible. I have already gone over how AI will do this in other posts on this blog, and so I invite you to read them.

My second concern is that AI will have effects that are so unpredictable and at the same time horrible that we cannot be prepared for it. Some people attempt to look at history and say humanity got through previous drastic changes in society like the introduction of cars and computers, but such a statement is weak for two huge reasons: first, the course of humanity is going downhill and we aren’t really getting over anything, but second and far more importantly, the introduction of AI will be of a magnitude far greater than any radical change that has come before it. It is like saying you fell down a few times as a child, so you are ready to face an automobile accident at 200 km/h.

Unfortunately, stopping the onslaught of AI may be impossible, but it can be ameliorated. At the very least, as an individual you can do two things: boycott AI as far as possible, and divest yourself as much as possible from the products made by companies who develop AI. Ideally, governments worldwide would make it illegal to make any profits with AI technologies. Of course, people should be given an opportunity to voluntarily stop this heinous act against humanity, but afterwards the enforcement of this policy should be strict.

Of course, that may not even be sufficient. Governments change all the time and mere rules are insufficient to stop progress. Therefore, I hope that people around the world would also come to a general consensus that AI is extremely dangerous and that it’s not welcome. In that case, a sufficiently strong social detestation may be enough to keep us relative safe. (Remember, that AI may give us some short-term benefits but the long-term effects will be disastrous.)