The two tribes of AI

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The Future. In a world increasingly shaped by artificial intelligence, a fierce debate rages between two contrasting philosophies: the “doomers” and the “accelerationists.” This divide has been highlighted by the recent tumult at OpenAI — and the outcome of this debate could significantly shape the future of humanity as we know it.

A battle of extremes
The debate between AI doomers and accelerationists is coming to a head. 

  • Doom and gloom. So-called “doomers,” fearing a dystopian future, advocate for a significant slowdown in AI development. They worry about the existential risks for humanity, emphasizing safety and ethical concerns.
  • Vroom vroom. Meanwhile, “accelerationists” are all-in for rapid AI advancement. They believe in harnessing AI to solve critical global issues and, in more extreme cases, envision AI transcending human existence, reshaping humanity itself.

Zooming out
The controversy at OpenAI, marked by the world’s fastest CEO ousting and reinstatement, has illuminated these conflicting ideologies. 

While the facts and details remain murky, many saw the OpenAI controversy as a microcosm of the broader AI debate — the tension between those insisting on moving slower and emphasizing safety/ethical concerns (the board) vs. those vying for rapid innovation and technotopia (the Sam Altman crew). 

Or, maybe we could all just, you know, talk it out — like how Altman and board member Adam D’Angelo did over Thanksgiving?

Melody Song

Melody is a Bay Area-based writer exploring mental health innovation, psychedelics, and consciousness. When she’s not working with words, you can find her practicing yoga, soaking in the CA sun with a good book, or traveling somewhere tropical.


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