Sorry for the vague title. I'm avoiding spoilers for those who care a lot about that sort of thing.


The series illustrates a fast take-off scenario. It tells the story of a fast-take-off scenario of "uploaded intelligence". Of course the usual fast take-off scenario this community is concerned about is artificial intelligence, not uploaded intelligence (i.e., digitized human intelligence as in Robin Hanson's Age of Em). But the series portrays the dangers of uploaded intelligence in a remarkably similar way to the concerns many people have about a fast AI take-off.

It feels very embedded in the state of the current world in 2022 in many ways; referencing the pandemic in ways most shows don't dare to; set in perhaps an alternative history where we weren't on the cusp of AGI, but where a Steve Jobs-like character had almost, but not quite, cracked the brain-uploading problem 20 years ago.

There are plenty of plot devices that don't feel realistic, but the interaction between technology and geopolitics, the exponential growth when AI take-off happens, the pivotal nature of very specific events guiding the direction of the take-off at the time it occurs--all that tracks, for me.

Worth watching as entertainment for yourself, and worth popularizing as a way to prime people out there on the dangers of a fast AI take-off in the near future.

That is all I have to say! Just putting the alert out there.

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I strongly echo this recommendation. This is clearly a show written by an author familiar with the concepts of takeoffs, alignment, etc. Not in a subtle or simply thematic way, the characters explicitly talk about these topics using those same terms. (Though it takes a few episodes.)

The full first episode is on YouTube:

And for those outside the US, possibly:

And for those outside the US, possibly

But not in the UK, as yet. "Your region is not supported at this time — please check back later."

On the other hand, for those who don't care to watch TV at all, the plot summaries are available on Wikipedia, where I also see that the series is based on some short stories by Ken Liu, written for a series of anthologies of stories on apocalyptic themes.

I suppose this is a reason to keep my AMC+ subscription. Better Call Saul was pretty good, but I didn’t use it for anything else.

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