It seems Deepmind is winning the AGI race. In the past, they negotiated with Google for having a nonprofit legal structure, but the proposal got totally rejected.

They have an agreement that, if AGI is achieved, its control will rely on Deepmind's Ethics Board, which we know pretty much nothing about. One would think it's very likely that Google will end up making a profit.

So... what do you think? Is Google stock the best investment a rationalist can make at this very moment, given the information that we have?

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I have sometimes considered this but worry that doing so will lower the cost of capital for AGI-constructing companies and accelerate AGI development.

I'm not sure this is a realistic concern for Google/Alphabet - I think they have not bothered to raise capital since the Google IPO and aren't about to start.

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Meta comment: Would someone mind explaining to me why this question is being received poorly (negative karma right now)? It seemed like a very honest question, and while the answer may be obvious to some, I doubt it was to Sergio. Ic's response was definitely unnecessarily aggressive/rude, and it appears that most people would agree with me there. But many people also downvoted the question itself, too, and that doesn't make sense to me; shouldn't questions like these be encouraged?

I didn't downvote because it was already negative and I didn't feel the need to pile on.  But if it'd been positive, I would have.  

It's probably an honest question, but it doesn't contain any analysis or hooks to a direction of inquiry.  It doesn't explain why investing in google at the retail level is likely to have any impact on speed or alignment of AGI, nor why the stock will do particularly better than already priced in on any given timeframe based on this deal.

My guess is that the question is being received poorly because either:

  • People agree with me that supporting investment in Google stock because they're going to build "profitably" world-ending AGI is immoral, and downvoted me because of my aggressive+rude posture. 
  • OP is disregarding the efficient market hypothesis on a company with 1MMM market cap for no good reason.

The efficient market hypothesis? Are you serious? So... you're saying the world is going to end and nobody is doing anything to avoid it, but I can't say that a stock is going to appreciate and nobody is buying.

Yeah, pretty much. Welcome to Earth.

You've deleted the first part of your comment cause you probably realized it didn't make much sense, but I'm going to answer to it anyway. You made a comparison between solving the alignment problem and predicting the price of a stock, and that's just not right. Google execs don't have to solve the alignment problem themselves, they just have to recognize its existence and its magnitude, in the same way that retail investors don't have to build the AGI themselves, they just have to notice that it's going to happen soon.

You've deleted the first part of your comment cause you probably realized it didn't make much sense

I deleted it cause my comment sounds cooler in my head if I leave the explanation out, and also I was tired of arguing.

You made a comparison between solving the alignment problem and predicting the price of a stock, and that's just not right. Google execs don't have to solve the alignment problem themselves, they just have to recognize its existence and its magnitude, in the same way that retail investors don't have to build the AGI themselves, they just have to notice that it's going to happen soon.

The point I was (maybe poorly) trying to make was that Google execs are not individually incentivized to lobby their company to prevent AGI collapse in the same way that hedge fund managers are incentivized to predict Google's stock price. Those executives are not getting paid to delay AGI timelines, and many are getting paid not to delay AGI timelines.

AGI prevention is a coordination problem. Securities pricing is a technical problem. In the same way society is really bad at tax law, or preventing global warming, and really good at video game development, society is really bad at AGI alignment and really good at pricing securities. And thus oil barons continue producing oil and Google continues producing AGI research.

Yeah, but let's be honest; oil barons don't think climate change is going to kill them. Capitalism may produce all sorts of coordination problems, but personal survival is still the strongest incentive. I think Google execs wouldn't hesitate to stop the research if they were expecting a paperclip maximizer.

I think you're being naive. But it doesn't really matter. Oil barons, in practice, also tend to convince themselves climate change is a hoax, or rationalize their participation away with "if we don't do it somebody else will". That's what the vast majority of Google executives would do if it got to the point where they started worrying a bit, and unfortunately the social pressure isn't sufficient to even drive them there yet.