The story of the Luddites is well known. They were a group of skilled textile workers in 19th century England, who went around smashing up new machinery because they feared (correctly) that it would render them obsolete. Before the invention of the power loom, textile workers had to spend years years honing their skills; afterward, unskilled workers and even children could be put to work making textiles. “Luddite” has since come to mean “someone who opposes technological change”.
I tend to think that if AI gets that good (and doesn’t hit an unseen wall like we’ve seen with, say, self-driving cars recently), then it shouldn’t be *that* long before we successfully request from it a gene therapy that shifts the human IQ distribution to the right by 30 points, which might then make room for some human specialists again.
This is the main thing that is motivating me to aggressively prioritize and accelerate across all areas of my life. "Ideacels" are safe for now - if anything, GPT for now helps them be much more productive - but the flip side is that the clock is ticking and we might not have much time any longer to put down on the record any interesting ideas or concepts we have before this too becomes swept away by superintelligent AIs and lose the capability to make any further original contributions to the noosphere. The default guess would be a decade but it could be far sooner and even 2026 which I whimsically suggested in my AI takeover story WAGMI https://akarlin.com/wagmi/ no longer seems entirely fantastical now.
My strong recommendation to writers, thinkers, content creators, etc. is to go forwards with anything you believe in strongly now, instead of dallying any longer. The gap between the smartest humans and the dullest humans is fairly minor. This window, regardless of how it ends, is very unlikely to last long.
One other aspect of a society with an "intellectual power loom" is that it is the ultimate "resource curse" society, no?
That is, your society becomes the equivalent of some third-world country in which 80% of the GDP is generated by fees paid from western oil companies that extract oil that your state controls.
Quality of life could be high, but, every job is either political (be part of the network that controls the AI money) or irrelevant / some totally disempowered service job for the people who do control the AI money. Essentially, like a "regular person" in SA or UAE. Something like that, but with higher quality of life (assuming the people that control the AI are feeling generous).
I think in the there future there are only a few jobs. Mafia + servant + pet + animal. Something like that.
As always Noah you make us all think hard and often painful thoughts. One hard and painful thought I had was that since nowadays most intellectual and creative endeavour is so stupefyingly incremental. In the hard sciences parsing a virus or tweaking a well known experiment. Publishing minor adjustments to theory or demonstrating a “novel” dataset or statistical technique in the social sciences. For the humanities a different lens on what someone else said very well a long time ago. So, those of us who enjoy the life of the mind might, on our generous UBI have the time to genuinely think hard thoughts in a way we haven’t been able to in performing the dull rigours of academia. It will also rid us of many tiresome midwit intellectuals and of course vaporise most cid theories unless of course it’s programmed to spit out woke verities.
Walk me through how the LLM writes and directs a movie? Or are you suggesting it’s all CGI