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Sometimes I wonder if there will ever come a time when I will no longer find everything about Microsoft, Windows, and its founders and their “foundations” and “philanthropies” outright revolting. But, in stark contrast to this recent inanity by “Microsoft Research” on, Bill Gates keeps things in perspective:

What is powering things like ChatGPT is artificial intelligence. It is learning how to do chat better but can’t learn other tasks. By contrast, the term artificial general intelligence refers to software that’s capable of learning any task or subject. AGI doesn’t exist yet—there is a robust debate going on in the computing industry about how to create it, and whether it can even be created at all. […]

These “strong” AIs, as they’re known, will probably be able to establish their own goals. What will those goals be? What happens if they conflict with humanity’s interests? Should we try to prevent strong AI from ever being developed? These questions will get more pressing with time.

But none of the breakthroughs of the past few months have moved us substantially closer to strong AI.

Most of his post then goes on about reasonable business applications, sprinkled with pseudo-naïve bullshit about how AI, e.g., will free up people’s time so they can care more for the elderly and some such. (I’m not making this up.) Which, however, culminates in a clincher that brings me right back to where I started at the beginning of this post:

When productivity goes up, society benefits because people are freed up to do other things, at work and at home. Of course, there are serious questions about what kind of support and retraining people will need. Governments need to help workers transition into other roles.

Governments! These institutions, you know, that corporations and billionaires don’t pay taxes to, and whose interference in even their most atrocious business practices is resisted inch by inch. These will be responsible to “help workers transition into other roles” so that productivity can go up. Right. I got that.

While LLM/ChatGPT/AI systems will certainly change how we work in ways comparable to the introduction of visual user interfaces, the World Wide Web, or the iPhone, or perhaps even the steam engine, who knows, it will remain business as usual: socialism for the rich and capitalism for the poor. In that regard, if we don’t also change the system, AI will change fuck nothing.