Graphic ASI

Tim Urban’s exercise in visualizing Artificial Superintelligence guides intuition step by step. Jumping impatiently to the end of the diagrammatic staircase:

staircase2

In an intelligence explosion — where the smarter a machine gets, the quicker it’s able to increase its own intelligence, until it begins to soar upwards — a machine might take years to rise from the chimp step to the one above it, but perhaps only hours to jump up a step once it’s on the dark green step two above us, and by the time it’s ten steps above us, it might be jumping up in four-step leaps every second that goes by. Which is why we need to realize that it’s distinctly possible that very shortly after the big news story about the first machine reaching human-level AGI, we might be facing the reality of coexisting on the Earth with something that’s here on the staircase (or maybe a million times higher) …

It’s not difficult to understand why some people get nervous. (The Urban link was scavenged from Musk‘s reliably-gripping twitter stream, btw.)

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