[Possible trigger warning for discussion of mortality.]
I've been on LessWrong for a very long time. My first exposure to the power of AI was in the mid 1980's, and I was easily at "shock level 4" at the turn of the millennium thanks to various pieces of fiction, newsgroups, and discussion boards.
My current best guess is that there's a double-digit percentage chance the human race (uploads included) will go extinct in the next century as a result of changes due to AI.
With that background in mind, existential AI risk is not my highest priority, and I am making no meaningful effort to address that risk other than sometimes posting comments here on LW. This post is an attempt to provide some insight into why, to others who might not understand.
Put bluntly, I have bigger things to worry about than double digit odds of extinction in the next century due to AI, and I am a rather selfish individual.
What could possibly be more important than extinction? At the moment, that would be an extremely solid 50% chance of death in the next 3-4 decades. That's not some vague guesswork based on hypothetical technological advances; it's a hundred thousand people dying per day, every day, as they have been for the last century, each death contributing data to the certainty of that number. That's two decades of watching the health care system be far from adequate, much less efficient.
Consider that right now, in 2022, I am 49 years old. In 2030 I'll be 57, and there's good reason to believe that I'll be rolling 1d100 every year and hoping that I don't get unlucky. By 2040, it's 1d50, and by 2050 it's 1d25. Integrate that over the next three decades and it does not paint a pretty picture.
Allow me a moment to try to convey the horror of what this feels like from the inside: every day, you wonder, "is today the day that my hardware enters catastrophic cascading failure?" Every day, it's getting out a 1d10 and rolling it five times, knowing that if they all come up 1's it's over. I have no ability to make backups of my mind state; I cannot multihost or run multiple replicas; I cannot even export any meaningful amount of data. The high reliability platform I'm currently running on needs to fail exactly once and I am permanently, forever, dead. My best backup plan is a single digit probability that I can be frozen on death and revived in the future. (Alcor provides at best only a few percent odds of recovery, but it's better than zero and it's cheap.)
That's what it feels like after you've had your first few real health scares.
I'd like to say that I'm noble enough, strong enough as a rationalist that I can "do the math" and multiply things out, take into account those billions of lives at risk from AI, and change my answer. But that's where the selfish aspect of my personality comes in: I turns out that I just don't care that much about those lives. I care a lot more about personally surviving the now than to have everyone survive the later.
It's hard to care about the downfall of society when your stomach is empty and your throat is parched. It's hard to care about a century from now, when death is staring you in the face right now.