Silicon Valley Guys Casually Calculating Probability Their AI Will Destroy Humankind

Doom and Gloom If you find yourself talking to a tech bro about AI, be warned that they might ask you about your “p(doom)” — the hot new statistic that’s become part of the everyday lingo among Silicon Valley researchers in recent months, The New York Times reports. P(doom), or the probability of doom, is a quasi-empirical way of expressing how likely you think AI will destroy humanity — y’know, the kind of cheerful stuff you might talk about over a cup of coffee. It lets other AI guys know where you stand on the tech without getting too far into the weeds on what exactly constitutes an existential risk. Someone with a p(doom) of 50 percent might be labeled a “doomer,” like short-lived interim CEO of OpenAI Emmet Shear, while another with 5 percent might be your typical optimist. Wherever people stand, it now serves, at the very least, as a useful bit of small talk. “It comes up in almost every dinner conversation,” Aaron Levie, CEO of the cloud platform Box, told the NYT. Scaredy Cats It should come as no surprise that jargon like p(doom) exists. Fears over the technology, both apocalyptic and mundane, have blown up with the explosive rise of generative AI and large language models like OpenAI’s ChatGPT. In many cases, the leaders of the tech, like OpenAI CEO Sam Altman, have been more than willing to play into those fears. Where the term originated isn’t a matter of record. The NYT speculates that…Silicon Valley Guys Casually Calculating Probability Their AI Will Destroy Humankind

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