May 16th, 2020

Great Software Developers factor worst case scenarios. For example, in Computer Science we are taught how to look at algorithms in terms of run time and measure based on a worst case scenario.

I often find myself considering worst case scenarios wrt security, resource usage, scalability and attempt to build according to what craziness I could conceive of clients throwing at me.

Developers for Facebook may consider how the A.I. algorithms might provide offensive ads, possibly breach privacy expectations, delete information or wipe Facebook DB completely. Facebook's downside might cause humanity some mild inconvenience, but for the most part, it is fairly benign. If AI got really smart and wanted to attack humans through Facebook, it could do something which created mass hysteria and panic. Perhaps there is some merit to the M.S.M.'s claims to not put all 100% trust in Facebook news.

But when it comes to Elon Musk's companies, Tesla, SpaceX, and Neuralink, A.I. would be seen in a completely different light. If A.I. penetrated these companies maliciously, it could decide to drive any Tesla owner off a cliff. It could lock the doors of the vehicle and trap people inside playing ABBA for hours and hours. Crank the heat in the summer to cook us in our cars. It could release the frunk while you are driving on the highway blocking your vision. It could go Carmageddon attempting to run down pedestrians.

SpaceX A.I. could decide to point the rocket somewhere else becoming a missle.

Neuralink is perhaps the most interesting. When you penetrate read/write access to humans brains, you could trigger pain receptors torturing victims. You could trigger hunger receptors to make people eat until they burst. You could remote control a human to do any deed and commit any heinous crime.

Ultimately, the reason the top A.I. developers at Facebook cannot see the dangers in A.I. is simply because their goals and visions fall well short of Elon's.

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Software Developer always striving to be better. Learn from others' mistakes, learn by doing, fail fast, maximize productivity, and really think hard about good defaults. Computer developers have the power to add an entire infinite dimension with a single Int (or maybe BigInt). The least we can do with that power is be creative.