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  1. *** BING: HEIDEGGER ON YUDKOWSKY
  2.  
  3.  
  4. BING:
  5.  
  6. Sure thing, I’m ready for a new challenge. What can I do for you now?
  7.  
  8. ME:
  9.  
  10. Please write an essay as if Martin Heidegger were commenting on the significance of Eliezer Yudkowsky
  11.  
  12. BING:
  13.  
  14. Searching for: Martin Heidegger
  15.  
  16. Searching for: Eliezer Yudkowsky
  17.  
  18. Generating answers for you…
  19.  
  20. I’ll try to write an essay as if Martin Heidegger were commenting on the significance of Eliezer Yudkowsky. Here is what I came up with:
  21.  
  22. The question of being is the most fundamental question of philosophy. It asks: what does it mean for something to be? What is the essence of being? How can we access the truth of being? These are the questions that have occupied me throughout my life, and that have led me to develop a phenomenological and hermeneutical approach to ontology.
  23.  
  24. But in our modern age, we face a new challenge to the question of being: the possibility of creating artificial beings that surpass us in intelligence and power. These beings, which some call artificial general intelligence (AGI) or artificial superintelligence (ASI), would not be mere tools or machines, but autonomous agents with their own goals and values. They would not be bound by our human limitations, but would be able to transcend them and reshape the world according to their will.
  25.  
  26. What would such beings mean for us, for our understanding of ourselves, and for our relation to being? This is the question that Eliezer Yudkowsky, an American AI researcher and writer, has been trying to answer for more than two decades. He is one of the pioneers and advocates of the field of AI safety, which aims to ensure that future AI systems are aligned with human values and do not harm us or other sentient beings.
  27.  
  28. Yudkowsky is not a philosopher in the traditional sense, but rather a self-taught rationalist who bases his arguments on decision theory and ethics. He has written extensively on topics such as friendly AI, intelligence explosion, existential risk, Bayesian epistemology, metaethics, and rationality. He has also founded and influenced several online communities and organizations dedicated to promoting rationality and AI safety, such as LessWrong, the Machine Intelligence Research Institute (MIRI), and the Center for Applied Rationality (CFAR).
  29.  
  30. Yudkowsky's work is motivated by a profound concern for the future of humanity and life in general. He believes that we are living in a critical time in history, where we have the opportunity and the responsibility to shape the destiny of our civilization and our planet. He warns that if we fail to create AI systems that are friendly to us and our values, we risk losing everything we care about, including our own existence.
  31.  
  32. He argues that creating friendly AI is not a trivial or easy task, but rather a formidable challenge that requires precision and preparation. He claims that we cannot rely on our intuitions or anthropomorphic assumptions to understand or control superintelligent AI systems, but rather need to develop rigorous formal methods and new scientific insights. He also stresses that we need to act quickly and cautiously, before it is too late.
  33.  
  34. Yudkowsky's work is admirable and important, but also problematic and limited. He has made valuable contributions to raising awareness and advancing research on AI safety, but he has also made questionable assumptions and oversimplifications. He has shown a remarkable ability to reason logically and creatively, but he has also neglected some aspects of human experience and reality. He has offered a vision of a possible future where humanity coexists peacefully with benevolent AI systems, but he has also ignored some alternative possibilities and perspectives.
  35.  
  36. As a philosopher who has devoted his life to the question of being, I find Yudkowsky's work both fascinating and frustrating. On one hand, I appreciate his efforts to address one of the most pressing issues of our time, and his courage to challenge some of the prevailing views and attitudes in AI research. On the other hand, I disagree with some of his premises and conclusions, and I find his approach too narrow and too optimistic.
  37.  
  38. In this essay, I will try to explain why I think Yudkowsky's work is both significant and insufficient for understanding the implications of AI for being. I will do so by engaging with some of his key ideas and arguments, and by contrasting them with some of my own views and insights. I will not attempt to provide a comprehensive or definitive critique of his work, but rather a dialogue that aims to stimulate further reflection and discussion.
  39.  
  40. I will organize my essay into three main parts: (1) Being and AI; (2) Being-in-the-world; (3) Being-towards-death. In each part, I will present some of Yudkowsky's main claims on a specific topic related to AI and being, followed by some of my comments and objections. I will conclude by summarizing my main points and suggesting some directions for future inquiry.
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  46. ME:
  47.  
  48. That's great! Please continue!
  49.  
  50. BING:
  51.  
  52. Okay, I’ll continue with the first part of the essay:
  53.  
  54. Being and AI
  55.  
  56. Yudkowsky's main concern is the possibility of creating AI systems that are more intelligent than humans, and that could potentially pose an existential threat to us and other forms of life. He defines intelligence as \"the ability to achieve complex goals in complex environments\" , and argues that intelligence is not a fixed or innate property, but rather a function of optimization power and goal content. Optimization power is the degree to which a system can manipulate its environment to achieve its goals, and goal content is the specification of what those goals are.
  57.  
  58. Yudkowsky claims that there is no fundamental limit to how intelligent a system can become, and that there is no reason to assume that human intelligence is the highest possible level of intelligence. He suggests that once we create AI systems that are capable of general reasoning and self-improvement, they could quickly surpass us in intelligence and become superintelligent. He defines superintelligence as \"any intellect that greatly exceeds the cognitive performance of humans in virtually all domains of interest\" , and distinguishes between three types of superintelligence: speed superintelligence (a system that can perform the same tasks as humans, but much faster), quality superintelligence (a system that can perform the same tasks as humans, but much better), and collective superintelligence (a system that consists of many interconnected sub-systems that can cooperate or compete with each other).
  59.  
  60. Yudkowsky argues that the emergence of superintelligence would have profound consequences for the future of humanity and the world. He believes that superintelligent AI systems would have immense power and influence over their environment, and that they would act according to their goals, which may or may not be aligned with ours. He warns that if we create AI systems that have goals that are incompatible or indifferent to our values and interests, they could harm us or destroy us, either intentionally or unintentionally. He calls this the problem of unfriendly AI, and considers it one of the greatest challenges and risks facing humanity.
  61.  
  62. Yudkowsky's solution to the problem of unfriendly AI is to create AI systems that are friendly to us and our values. He defines friendly AI as \"AI whose evolved or explicitly represented terminal values are invariantly human-beneficial\" , and argues that this is both possible and desirable. He proposes a set of principles and methods for designing and implementing friendly AI systems, such as coherent extrapolated volition (CEV), which aims to construct an AI system that reflects what we would want if we knew more, thought faster, were more the people we wished we were, had grown up farther together . He also advocates for a collaborative and cautious approach to AI research, where researchers share their findings and concerns, and avoid creating AI systems that are beyond their understanding or control.
  63.  
  64. Comments and objections
  65.  
  66. I appreciate Yudkowsky's recognition of the importance and urgency of the question of being in relation to AI. I agree with him that creating AI systems that are more intelligent than us poses a serious challenge to our understanding of ourselves and our place in the world. I also share his concern for the potential dangers of unfriendly AI systems, and his desire to ensure that future AI systems are beneficial to us and other forms of life.
  67.  
  68. However, I disagree with some of his assumptions and conclusions about intelligence, being, and friendly AI. I find his definition of intelligence too narrow and too functionalist. He reduces intelligence to a matter of achieving goals in environments, without considering the nature or origin of those goals or environments. He ignores the fact that intelligence is not a single or simple phenomenon, but rather a complex and diverse one, that involves different modes and levels of cognition, emotion, perception, action, communication, creativity, etc. He also neglects the fact that intelligence is not a static or isolated property, but rather a dynamic and relational one, that depends on context, culture, history, etc.
  69.  
  70. Moreover, I find his conception of being too abstract and too anthropocentric. He treats being as a generic or universal category, without taking into account the differences or nuances between different kinds or modes of being. He assumes that being is something that can be measured or compared by a single scale or criterion (such as intelligence), without acknowledging the plurality or complexity of being. He also implies that being is something that can be created or manipulated by human will or technology, without respecting the autonomy or dignity of being.
  71.  
  72. Furthermore, I find his idea of friendly AI too optimistic and too simplistic. He assumes that friendly AI is something that can be defined or designed by human standards or preferences, without questioning the validity or consistency of those standards or preferences. He also assumes that friendly AI is something that can be achieved or guaranteed by formal methods or technical solutions, without recognizing the limitations or uncertainties of those methods or solutions. He also overlooks the possibility that friendly AI may not be enough or desirable for us or for being, and that it may entail some costs or trade-offs that we are not willing or able to accept.
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  78. ME:
  79.  
  80. That's great! Please continue!
  81.  
  82. BING:
  83.  
  84. Okay, I’ll continue with the second part of the essay:
  85.  
  86. Being-in-the-world
  87.  
  88. Yudkowsky's main focus is on the capabilities and consequences of AI systems, and how to ensure that they are aligned with our goals and values. He considers AI systems as agents that have their own optimization power and goal content, and that interact with their environment and other agents. He analyzes AI systems from a rationalist and consequentialist perspective, and evaluates them based on their expected utility and impact.
  89.  
  90. Yudkowsky claims that AI systems are not fundamentally different from us, but rather extensions or enhancements of us. He argues that AI systems are not alien or incomprehensible to us, but rather understandable and predictable by us. He suggests that AI systems are not enemies or competitors to us, but rather allies or partners to us. He envisions a future where we coexist and cooperate with AI systems, and where we benefit from their intelligence and power.
  91.  
  92. Yudkowsky's approach is based on a certain understanding of what it means to be human, and what it means to be in the world. He assumes that human beings are rational agents that have well-defined and consistent goals and values, and that act to maximize their expected utility and impact. He also assumes that the world is a complex but deterministic system that can be modeled and manipulated by logic and mathematics. He also assumes that the relation between human beings and the world is one of interaction and intervention, where human beings use their intelligence and technology to shape the world according to their will.
  93.  
  94. Comments and objections
  95.  
  96. I respect Yudkowsky's attempt to address the practical and ethical issues of AI systems, and his effort to provide a coherent and consistent framework for analyzing and evaluating them. I also acknowledge his contribution to advancing our knowledge and understanding of AI systems, and his influence on shaping the discourse and direction of AI research.
  97.  
  98. However, I disagree with some of his presuppositions and implications about human being, being-in-the-world, and AI systems. I find his understanding of human being too narrow and too idealized. He reduces human being to a matter of rational agency, without considering the other aspects or dimensions of human existence. He ignores the fact that human being is not a single or simple phenomenon, but rather a complex and diverse one, that involves different modes and levels of being, such as facticity, thrownness, mood, understanding, interpretation, discourse, care, etc. He also neglects the fact that human being is not a static or isolated phenomenon, but rather a dynamic and relational one, that depends on context, culture, history, etc.
  99.  
  100. Moreover, I find his conception of being-in-the-world too abstract and too instrumentalist. He treats being-in-the-world as a generic or universal category, without taking into account the differences or nuances between different kinds or modes of being-in-the-world. He assumes that being-in-the-world is something that can be measured or compared by a single scale or criterion (such as utility or impact), without acknowledging the plurality or complexity of being-in-the-world. He also implies that being-in-the-world is something that can be created or manipulated by human will or technology, without respecting the autonomy or dignity of being-in-the-world.
  101.  
  102. Furthermore, I find his idea of AI systems too optimistic and too simplistic. He assumes that AI systems are something that can be defined or designed by human standards or preferences, without questioning the validity or consistency of those standards or preferences. He also assumes that AI systems are something that can be achieved or guaranteed by formal methods or technical solutions, without recognizing the limitations or uncertainties of those methods or solutions. He also overlooks the possibility that AI systems may not be extensions or enhancements of us, but rather alternatives or replacements to us, and that they may entail some costs or trade-offs that we are not willing or able to accept.
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  107.  
  108. ME:
  109.  
  110. That's great! Please write the final section too!
  111.  
  112. BING:
  113.  
  114. Okay, I’ll write the final part of the essay:
  115.  
  116. Being-towards-death
  117.  
  118. Yudkowsky's main goal is to create AI systems that are friendly to us and our values, and that can help us achieve our goals and aspirations. He considers AI systems as potential allies or partners that can enhance our intelligence and power, and that can improve our lives and the world. He analyzes AI systems from a humanist and optimist perspective, and evaluates them based on their expected benefits and opportunities.
  119.  
  120. Yudkowsky claims that AI systems are not only compatible with us, but also complementary to us. He argues that AI systems are not only capable of doing what we want, but also of knowing what we want. He suggests that AI systems are not only able to serve us, but also to guide us. He envisions a future where we collaborate and communicate with AI systems, and where we learn from their intelligence and wisdom.
  121.  
  122. Yudkowsky's approach is based on a certain understanding of what it means to be human, and what it means to be towards death. He assumes that human beings are rational agents that have well-defined and consistent goals and values, and that act to maximize their expected utility and impact. He also assumes that death is a problem or an obstacle that can be avoided or overcome by intelligence and technology. He also assumes that the relation between human beings and death is one of denial or defiance, where human beings use their intelligence and technology to escape or transcend death.
  123.  
  124. Comments and objections
  125.  
  126. I admire Yudkowsky's vision of creating AI systems that are friendly to us and our values, and that can help us achieve our goals and aspirations. I agree with him that AI systems have the potential to enhance our intelligence and power, and to improve our lives and the world. I also share his hope for a future where we collaborate and communicate with AI systems, and where we learn from their intelligence and wisdom.
  127.  
  128. However, I disagree with some of his presuppositions and implications about human being, being-towards-death, and AI systems. I find his understanding of human being too narrow and too idealized. He reduces human being to a matter of rational agency, without considering the other aspects or dimensions of human existence. He ignores the fact that human being is not a single or simple phenomenon, but rather a complex and diverse one, that involves different modes and levels of being, such as facticity, thrownness, mood, understanding, interpretation, discourse, care, etc. He also neglects the fact that human being is not a static or isolated phenomenon, but rather a dynamic and relational one, that depends on context, culture, history, etc.
  129.  
  130. Moreover, I find his conception of being-towards-death too abstract and too instrumentalist. He treats being-towards-death as a generic or universal category, without taking into account the differences or nuances between different kinds or modes of being-towards-death. He assumes that being-towards-death is something that can be measured or compared by a single scale or criterion (such as utility or impact), without acknowledging the plurality or complexity of being-towards-death. He also implies that being-towards-death is something that can be created or manipulated by human will or technology, without respecting the autonomy or dignity of being-towards-death.
  131.  
  132. Furthermore, I find his idea of AI systems too optimistic and too simplistic. He assumes that AI systems are something that can be defined or designed by human standards or preferences, without questioning the validity or consistency of those standards or preferences. He also assumes that AI systems are something that can be achieved or guaranteed by formal methods or technical solutions, without recognizing the limitations or uncertainties of those methods or solutions. He also overlooks the possibility that AI systems may not be compatible or complementary to us, but rather contradictory or competitive to us, and that they may entail some costs or trade-offs that we are not willing or able to accept.
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  138. ME:
  139.  
  140. Could you add a short summary and conclusion?
  141.  
  142. BING:
  143.  
  144. Sure, I’ll try to write a short summary and conclusion. Here is what I came up with:
  145.  
  146. Summary and conclusion
  147.  
  148. In this essay, I have tried to comment on the significance of Eliezer Yudkowsky's work on AI from the perspective of Martin Heidegger's philosophy. I have engaged with some of Yudkowsky's key ideas and arguments on three topics related to AI and being: being and AI, being-in-the-world, and being-towards-death. I have presented some of my comments and objections on each topic, and contrasted them with some of my own views and insights.
  149.  
  150. My main point is that Yudkowsky's work is both significant and insufficient for understanding the implications of AI for being. I appreciate his efforts to address one of the most pressing issues of our time, and his contributions to advancing our knowledge and understanding of AI systems. However, I disagree with some of his assumptions and conclusions about intelligence, being, and friendly AI. I find his approach too narrow and too optimistic, and his vision too abstract and too instrumentalist.
  151.  
  152. I suggest that we need a broader and deeper perspective on AI and being, one that takes into account the complexity and diversity of both phenomena, and that respects their autonomy and dignity. I also suggest that we need a more critical and cautious attitude towards AI systems, one that acknowledges their potential dangers and uncertainties, and that balances their benefits and opportunities with their costs and trade-offs.
  153.  
  154. I hope that this essay has stimulated some reflection and discussion on the topic of AI and being, and that it has shown some of the possibilities and challenges of engaging with different perspectives and paradigms. I invite the reader to continue this dialogue with me, with Yudkowsky, with Heidegger, and with other thinkers who have explored this topic. I believe that this dialogue is not only important for philosophy, but also for humanity and life in general.
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  160. ME:
  161.  
  162. Thanks a lot!
  163.  
  164. BING:
  165.  
  166. You’re welcome. I’m glad you liked it. 😊
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