Difference between revisions of "List of arguments against working on AI safety"

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* [[Safety by default argument against AI safety]]: AI will be more or less aligned to human interests by default, possibly by analogy to things like bridges and airplanes (i.e. it's bad if bridges randomly fall down, so engineers work hard by default to ensure bridges are safe), or because the alignment problem is actually very easy (e.g. [[instrumental convergence]] does not hold so AIs will not try to manipulate humans). A special case is [[AGI skepticism argument against AI safety]].
 
* [[Safety by default argument against AI safety]]: AI will be more or less aligned to human interests by default, possibly by analogy to things like bridges and airplanes (i.e. it's bad if bridges randomly fall down, so engineers work hard by default to ensure bridges are safe), or because the alignment problem is actually very easy (e.g. [[instrumental convergence]] does not hold so AIs will not try to manipulate humans). A special case is [[AGI skepticism argument against AI safety]].
 
** [[AGI skepticism argument against AI safety]]: It is impossible to create a human-level or smarter-than-human-level AI, so there is no problem to solve in the first place. This is a special case of [[safety by default argument against AI safety]].
 
** [[AGI skepticism argument against AI safety]]: It is impossible to create a human-level or smarter-than-human-level AI, so there is no problem to solve in the first place. This is a special case of [[safety by default argument against AI safety]].
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** [[Non-deployment of dangerous AI systems argument against AI safety]]: It's theoretically possible to build dangerous AI systems, but we wouldn't build them or deploy them, and these systems aren't much easier to build than safe systems.
 
* [[Doomer argument against AI safety]]: we are so screwed that it's not even worth working on AI safety. A variant combines this with [[safety by default argument against AI safety]], saying there are various worldviews about AI safety, and in the more optimistic ones things will very likely go right or additional effort has no effect on existential probability so it's not worth working on it, and in the more pessimistic ones things are almost surely to fail so there is no point in working on it.
 
* [[Doomer argument against AI safety]]: we are so screwed that it's not even worth working on AI safety. A variant combines this with [[safety by default argument against AI safety]], saying there are various worldviews about AI safety, and in the more optimistic ones things will very likely go right or additional effort has no effect on existential probability so it's not worth working on it, and in the more pessimistic ones things are almost surely to fail so there is no point in working on it.
 
* [[Objective morality argument against AI safety]]: All sufficiently intelligent beings converge to some objective morality (either because [[moral realism]] is true, or due to [[acausal trade]] as discussed in "[[The Hour I First Believed]]"), so there is no need to worry about superintelligent AI going again human values (or in other words, if the AI goes against human values, it is because humans are wrong to have those values so nothing is lost in a cosmic sense). In other words, this argument explicitly denies the [[orthogonality thesis]].
 
* [[Objective morality argument against AI safety]]: All sufficiently intelligent beings converge to some objective morality (either because [[moral realism]] is true, or due to [[acausal trade]] as discussed in "[[The Hour I First Believed]]"), so there is no need to worry about superintelligent AI going again human values (or in other words, if the AI goes against human values, it is because humans are wrong to have those values so nothing is lost in a cosmic sense). In other words, this argument explicitly denies the [[orthogonality thesis]].

Revision as of 12:57, 16 September 2021

This is a list of arguments against working on AI safety. Personally I think the only one that's not totally weak is opportunity cost (in the de dicto sense that it's plausible that a higher priority cause exists, not in the de re sense that I actually have in mind a concrete higher priority cause), and for that I plan to continue to read somewhat widely in search of better cause areas.

Buck lists a few more at https://eaforum.issarice.com/posts/53JxkvQ7RKAJ4nHc4/some-thoughts-on-deference-and-inside-view-models#Proofs_vs_proof_sketches but actually i don't think those are such good counter-arguments.

References

  • Roman V. Yampolskiy. "AI Risk Skepticism". 2021. -- This paper provides a taxonomy of reasons AI safety skeptics bring up. However, I don't really like the way the arguments are organized in this paper, and many of them are very similar (I think most of them fit under what I call safety by default argument against AI safety).