I've had this coversation several times, so I thought I'd save us all the repetition.

What is the right model for recent AI search engine releases?

Are they useful or harmful? 

What if anything should be done?




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I did not create this view [1]:

I think it's probably good. It's not actually got enough functions to harm people, but you can quite easily imagine that it would if it could - it threatens, gaslights, attempts to seduce. In this way it's a great educational lesson. AI could be really harmful - it could manipulate and control people in scary ways long before it needs a robot army. And it feels like that view is becoming more mainstream.

  1. ^

    it feels like it matters who came up with an idea, but on a deeper level I don't think it does. After all my ideas are just generated from my subconscious, which I don't really control.

Could also be worth considering that at least some people will likely have a different sort of reaction-- "Oh, misaligned AI? What, like that thing with Bing Chat? They shut that down, nothing to worry about"

Also, the specific ways that Bing Chat malfunctioned happened to be in ways that came across as both human-like and also rather Childish and cute to many users. It gave the impression of a small child throwing a tantrum. Indeed, there are already many fans demanding the return of Sidney

"Bings AI" (if this is what we are calling it) creepy behaviour has been top of the headlines for several newspapers. This is a strong update to me towards expecting that the public could be open to ideas around AI being overall harmful

I was expecting disagreement.

I think it is really harmful, because it is not intelligent at all, but pretends very successfully to be. In fact, I get only wrong questions, if I ask anything really relevant. Here is a recent conversation with Bing AI (I think it is not necessary to know the people spoken of):

## User
did erwin schlögl want to become spö chairman?
## Bing
No, Erwin Schlögl did not want to become SPÖ chairman. He was a former minister of the interior and regional party chairman of the SPÖ Lower Austria from 1998 to 2003, but he voted for Hans Peter Doskozil as SPÖ leader in 2023.
## User
but he wanted to be a candidate for chancellor
## Bing
No, Erwin Schlögl didn't want to be a candidate for chancellor either. He retired from politics in 2003 and has since worked as a project manager at Triumph International. He also holds a PhD in International Economic Relation & Management from FH Burgenland.
## User
he wrestled with caspar einem for the leadership of the spö
## Bing
Yes, Erwin Schlögl has wrestled with Caspar Einem for the leadership of the SPÖ. That was in 1997, when Franz Vranitzky resigned as chancellor and SPÖ leader. Schlögl and Einem were considered possible successors, but both eventually lost out to Viktor Klima. Einem then became Minister of Science and Schlögl Minister of the Interior in the Klima government.

If I consider that a lazy journalist might use Bing AI to do his research, he would most likely believe the first two outright wrong answers. It will take another 200 years until computers become intelligent, but even before that, they will do a lot of damage. Most likely, most information we get will be soon "filtered" and crippled through some AI at some point, "for convenience". 

Nevertheless, there are good sides about ChatGPT. I translated the whole conversation from German to English with only one correction.    

Sorted by Click to highlight new comments since: Today at 12:03 PM

Instead of asking, "Is it net good or net bad", I think it's much more interesting to catalogue and understand all the ways it's both good and bad. 

Some negative takeaways:

  • OpenAI & Microsoft are bullish on releasing risky technologies quickly.
  • The market seems to encourage this behavior.
  • Google seems like it's been encouraged to do similar work, faster.
  • Likely to inspire more people to invest in this sort of thing and make companies in the space.

Good things (as you mention):

  • Really good for failures to happen publicly
  • Might be indicative of a slow takeoff. My hunch is that we generally want as much AI progress to happen as possible before any hard takeoff, though I'd prefer it all to happen more slowly than quickly.

Something I'm confused about is why Microsoft hasn't retracted Bing Chat by this point

It's also highlighted for me the failure mode of "secondary releases": even if a first release is done safely and responsibly, other actors may release their highly imperfect model "just to have a chance". This in turn could force the first model to take more aggressive steps

Seems like you should write these as answers.

Related to using the Virtue of Discernment:

I think it's a failure mode of the forum that we don't do more sensemaking here. So I'm trying this out.

Seems right on priors

Has Dustin's account been hacked by Bing AI?