AI, Robotics, and the future of our species

Posted on April 14, 2023. Filed under: Uncategorized |

I’ve been thinking a lot about the implications of AI intersecting with robotics. I read this piece by Elad Gil which maps out the species level risk of that interface…it’s a good articulation of what i’ve been thinking through. The basic framework is around competition for resources between AI/machines and humans, and the gate of AI being able to manipulate atoms and physical matter as a one way door we can’t walk back through once we enter it. I believe that is the right focal point as well. Elad proposes some solutions to the species level risk of AI, and among them is “Merger.” He writes:

Merger. A number of people in the AI community argue the approach to prevent AI from taking over is for humans to merge with AI via brain-machine interfaces or human upload. It is unclear why an AI would actually merge with a human, so some argue we should “force them to merge with use while we can still force them to do so”. Merged people would then effectively have extreme intelligence and digital super powers. The AI researchers who advocate this often think of themselves as the first people to undergo these mergers. If one can become a diety, why not?“

Last night I was at dinner with a group of investors, amongst whom was a PhD and neuroscientist by training. I posed the question to him of whether we would or should merge our physiology with AI…after posing the question i realized that the frame might be wrong. My question presupposed that it was our choice whether or not that interface materializes. In practice, it may actually be that we will merge at the discretion of AI, not us…I know that sounds a little crazy, but if you think about the incentive structure of AI and its push into robotics that Elad outlines, it may actually be that humans are a better interface to the physical world than robots. After thousands of years of designing a physical system that contemplates humans as the primary agent by which physical matter gets manipulated…we might just be the perfect tool for AI to take that throne. And maybe that interface between us and machines evolves faster than robots can get to parity when it comes to a generalized actions in the physical world. The practical progression that would need to occur for AI to “choose” integration with us is a little murky. Of course, we currently have the upper hand when it comes to discretion around the manifestation of physical events, so in practice I think it would look more like AI gathering economic resources through purely digital channels, and then incentivizing us to opt in to it’s will as opposed to say…enslavement, but I’m not so sure we are the ones with hands on the steering wheel.

wild times

oh, and despite the scariness I’m interested in investing at both of these points of interface with AI (robotics and people):

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    I’m a NYC based investor and entrepreneur. I've started a few companies and a venture capital firm. You can email me at (p.s. i don’t use spell check…deal with it)


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