Last night I saw an article come up in my “recommended” section that claims the US Energy Department now believes that the most likely cause of the COVID pandemic was a lab leak in Wuhan:
This is something I have believed since the beginning. But, as with everything these days, it was quickly politicized and associated with the right-wing narratives, so as a liberal, it was not really acceptable to believe that. What I find extremely interesting about this particular article is who is being cited – the US Department of Energy. Why do I find that interesting? Because it’s the DoE that oversees the US nuclear weapons program. Of course that doesn’t really mean anything on the surface, but still – I find the connection somewhat foreboding.
The timing of the release of this information seems quite “interesting” too, given the recent Chinese balloon incident. The Chinese claim it was a weather balloon gone astray, but the US claims it was a surveillance balloon attempting to gather intelligence. This has created a bit of a row between the nations, and definitely increased what was already a tense relationship. And then came ChatGPT.
Wait – what? What does ChatGPT have to do with any of this? I can imagine you might be asking yourself that. Well, I think it has everything to do with it. And I think that because of this comment, made my Vladimir Putin himself just a short 5 years ago:
“The one who becomes the leader in this sphere [artificial intelligence] will be the ruler of the world.”
And wouldn’t you know – who was it that visited Russia just last week, as their war with Ukraine enters its second year? Why, China of course.
I think the US is on the verge of achieving (or has already achieved) true AGI, China and Russia know that, and are allying in preparation of fighting a war they know must come. Because they know, based on Putin’s own comments, that whoever rules in AI will rule the world. And right now, it’s looking more and more likely that the US is going to achieve that distinction.
I don’t think a lot of people are making this connection – at least not most I know or read about. But I believe we are in an extremely precarious position right now globally, and sadly, I think we are going to see a major conflict arise between the the US and its European allies, and China, Russia, and whoever else aligns with them. The news about the lab leak seems like just another precursor, something else to point to to justify going to war with them.
This is not the most elegant piece I’ve ever written. In fact, I haven’t been writing much at all lately. But I felt this really needed to get out there, and people need to have their eyes opened to what’s really going on, and what the *real* cause of it is. Make no mistake – China and Russia are much more afraid of ChatGPT than they are our nuclear weapons stockpile. And given the complete lack of regulation and oversight, I think we should all be pretty concerned too. Because an improperly aligned AGI unleashed on the world will be a greater risk to us – to the entire world – than any foreign nation ever could be. The genie is being let out of the bottle, but no one is taking the time to be sure the genie has good intentions, or that those intentions can even be understood, much less controlled.
A note of caution about this next link: it could cause some serious worry and existential crisis, so please don’t watch unless you are emotionally and mentally strong enough to hear some harsh ideas. If this was just some Internet doofus saying these things, it could easily be dismissed. But given Eliezer Yudkowsky’s CV and status, it’s hard to dismiss as just “fear mongering.”
I have my own fringe theory about all of this – I don’t think we are *all* going to die. And it’s funny in a way – I see AGI playing the role of the Biblical God, sorting people into those who will make it to “heaven,” who will survive, and those who won’t. And this isn’t to say that I am one of those who will make it, or that such a process is a good, just, fair, etc one. It’s just a strange though I had that I thought I’d share with the hopes of offering an alternative way to consider what may happen.
Ultimately, as the Buddha taught, all phenomena, including us, are impermanent. And I think that humanity as a whole is being forced to confront that truth now. Doom, at a species level, seems to be looming on every front – climate, conflict, pathogens, etc. But death is just a transition from one phase of being to another. It is not the end. And how that transition happens is almost always beyond our control or power anyway. So rather than fret about how it might come, let us instead make the most of each moment we have; let us give thanks for all those blessings that we enjoy each day; and let us remember that what lives on long after our physical bodies have left is the love, kindness, and compassion that we showed to other living beings. Be that Love that lights the world for others, and know that light lives on, always and forever.