There’s a combination of hype, ill-will, marketing, and paranoia fueling the current AI spin cycle that all but camouflage any real crimes against humanity that may be enacted through these technologies.
Creating a large language model is not that hard. I know a few teams of fewer than three people who have created platforms that can chat, build characters, render paintings, write scripts, and more, all using their own proprietary code. Companies building AIs are sprouting as fast as Dotcoms did in the late 90s. By calling for a six-month moratorium on development, the current leaders can lock in their positions. Better yet, by creating a regulatory body at which the biggest players get seats at the table, they can develop legal hurdles that effectively block new, less capitalized players from participating at all. (The toy industry did this famously back in the 90s, when some Dora the Explorer toys manufactured in China were revealed to contain lead paint. They simply created regulations so onerous and expensive that independent toy manufacturers went out of business.)
The more New York Times OpEds, TED-like talks, and PBS interviews these interested parties can garner to scare the world about the imminent peril of AI, the more regulatory bodies and committees they can join, and the more they can legislate a future that favors their own projects. Meanwhile, an assortment of related industry organizations creating and capitalizing on AI panic can push for government funding, access to power, Netflix specials, and guru status.
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