First, a meta complaint- People tend to think that complicated arguments require complicated counter arguments. If one side presents entire books worth of facts, math, logic, etc, a person doesn't expect that to be countered in two sentences. In reality, many complex arguments have simple flaws.
This becomes exacerbated as people in the opposition lose interest and leave the debate. Because the opposition position, while correct, is not interesting.
The negative reputation of doomerism is in large part, due to the fact that doomist arguments tend to be longer, more complex and more exciting than their opposition's. This does have the negative side effect that doom is important and it's actually bad to dismiss the entire category of doomerist predictions but, be that as it may...
Also- People tend to think that, in a disagreement between math and heuristics, the math is correct. The problem is, many heuristics are so reliable, that if it disagrees with your math, there’s probably an error in your math. This becomes exacerbated as code sequences extend towards arbitrary lengths, becoming complicated megaliths that, despite [being math], are almost certainly wrong.
Okay, so, the AI doomer side presents a complicated argument with lots of math combined with lots of handwaving, to posit that a plan that has always and inevitably produced positive outcomes, will suddenly proceed to produce negative outcomes, and in turn, a plan that has always and inevitably produced negative outcomes, will suddenly proceed to produce positive outcomes.
On this, I remind that AI alignment failure is something that’s already happened, and that’s why humans exist at all. This of course, proceeds from the position that evolution is obviously both intelligent and agentic.
More broadly, I see this as a rehash of the same old, tired, debate. The luddist communists point out that their philosophy and way of life cannot survive any further recursive self improvement and say we should ban (language, gold, math, the printing press, the internet, etc) and remain as (hunter gatherers, herders, farmers, peasants, craftsmen, manufacturers, programmers, etc) for the rest of time.
Say we've designed exactly such a machine, and call it the Oracle. The Oracle aims only to answer questions well, and is very good at it. Zero agency, right?
You ask the Oracle for a detailed plan of how to start a successful drone delivery company. It gives you a 934 page printout that clearly expl... (read more)