OpenAI’s ChatGPT (Photo by Jonathan Raa/NurPhoto)
NurPhoto via Getty Images
This time the doom is real.
Doom is popular. If you want to get people to read your material there is no better way than to highlight the negativity. We have all been dunked in it these last few years, none more so than via the climate change narrative.
Runaway greenhouse effects caused by CO2 are going to destroy the environment unless we turn our backs on fossil fuels. To even quibble is apostasy. This theme has put a lot of established businesses on the back foot, especially energy companies harvesting or utilizing hydrocarbons.
I tend to think the basis for this is largely influenced by the well-established “Malthusian” mindset that constantly states we are about to be out of resources and the four horseman are just around the corner. Malthus simply stated that population rises until all resources are consumed creating a boom bust dynamic similar to what we today often see in markets. Too many people equates to too much consumption which results in unavoidable catastrophe.
Happily, since humans got serious about science this hasn’t been how things have worked out, but still the tendency remains to believe things just can’t keep getting bigger, faster, stronger.
It is not too crazy to take a Malthusian viewpoint; when humans started out the environment only had the capacity to support perhaps 250,000 stick-wielding, balding ape-men, by some counts the population maximum of Neanderthals was less than 100,000 individuals. If you count bears in the wilderness you will note the natural environment can just about support half a million apex predators in a space like Canada, so to embrace the idea that 6,000,000,000 bald ape-folk can muddle along just fine in the new human engineered environment, seems quite a stretch for even the most Panglossian.
Yet here we are.
So we should nonetheless worry about climate change and therefore we need to worry about energy use because if “climate change is a thing,” if energy use is not carefully curated, it’s not that we perish because we run out of energy, we all perish because we run out of environment.
Let’s hope this is wrong because something just happened that apparently changes everything if it works as sold. AI just started to work.
So people are expecting it to rise up and kill us all and projections of doom come from this direction, but that is speculative compared to another Armageddon-al vector.
Remember how Bitcoin BTC was going to boil the oceans and how its energy use was going to CO2 us into extinction? I’m sure it remains a key obvious climate change problem but have you wondered about all those Apple AAPL /Amazon AMZN /Google GOOG clouds out there storing infinite photos for eternity? How many inland seas do they boil? However, clever them for staying under the radar about that, but what it helps to hide is the future impact of AI.
GPUs used to mine Ethereum ETH , until Ethereum went to a different technology. GPUs are basically fan heaters that do computing tasks. 500 watts go in one end and 500 watts of heat come out of the other and hopefully you get some crypto. These babies are what does AI, or rather, mining crypto, and crunching AI is such a similar technology graphic cards come loaded with both types of silicon structure that work for hashing crypto, rendering computer graphics and coming up with AI outcomes.
AI equates to power equates to CO2.
Now governments can say, “crypto is naughty you must stop that or be punished.” It can say that to wicked plastic straw users, drivers of petrol engine cars, evil people with insufficient roof insulation or the wrong kind of cooking hob. However, it can’t say, we will save the world by remaining less smart than our overseas enemy by not using energy to the max to stay ahead with AI.
If ChatGPT really is the beginning of transhuman intelligence, then that’s it for the decarbonization strategy because any country not prepared to run its energy at full blast to fuel its AI is going to be crushed by its opponents like how the Stockfish chess program crushes the Chess World Champion Magnus Carlson.
So for one, governments can look away from fighting the Godzilla of energy companies, it can wrap up its recent fascination with fighting Baby-zilla crypto and turn its attention to how it is going to win the AI battle ahead.
The winner is going to take all and it’s going to do so in an energy-burning arms race the like of which has never been seen before.
The thing is, this is unavoidable. The only thing that stops it is if AI isn’t after all “a thing.” But for even a skeptic like me, ChapGPT writing my bio in the style of the old testament is enough to prove it’s smarter than 95% of people I know, so how long before that the full 100%?
Write me an evil strategic plan to rule the world in 10 years:
1. Begin a campaign to influence public opinion, creating a perception of a need for a strong leader to improve global stability.
2. Utilize media and social media to spread propaganda and increase support for a political agenda.
3. Gather a team of influential allies to form a powerful political base and gain access to key resources.
4. Utilize economic and military tactics to gain control of key geographical areas.
5. Create a global policy that promotes economic prosperity, social justice, and political stability.
6. Establish a global government with a centralized power structure and a single ruling body.
7. Create a unified system of laws and regulations to ensure compliance and strengthen the power of the ruling body.
8. Utilize technology and surveillance to maintain control and ensure compliance.
9. Utilize diplomacy and international relations to foster cooperation and alliances.
10. Launch a public relations campaign to ensure public acceptance of the new global order.
This rings bells…
So here we are on the cusp of the biggest, most-dangerous arms race of all time.
Time to be thinking about investing because pretty soon one man, one dollar is the only voting system you are going to have access to.
…Chat GPT, write me an evil strategic plan to begin a campaign to influence public opinion, creating a perception of a need for a strong leader to improve global stability.