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Saturday 25th June, 2022 - Sentient AI
Hello and welcome to my newsletter!
Another season 2 instalment…
A short intro this week.
I haven’t made as much progress as I’d hoped on my ssg development this week. It’s a bit strange building with a new plugin system, because I haven’t settled yet on the best way to organise things. But yesterday I came up with a solid refactoring plan, so here’s hoping next week will be better.
Substack closed my support case about the issue I’ve been having adding links. I guess we are just waiting on their development team. So for now it’s the long links with random insertions, I hope it isn’t too jarring. I’ll follow up with them in a couple of weeks.
In the earlier part of the week there was quite a lot of stuff about the recent incident of the Google employee that spoke out about how he believed that some of the Google AIs had become sentient. He then lost his job, which is worrying. The researchers need to feel comfortable speaking out when they see something they feel isn’t right, especially with these new very powerful AI systems. There’s so much we don’t understand, and it’s bringing up all sorts of weirdnesses about how we view tech, consciousness and ourselves.
There’s an interesting essay by cellular automata pioneer Stephen Wolfram about alien civilisations and technology. He’s been developing a pretty far out theory about computation, and how we might use something called the ruliad to communicate with intelligences very different to our own. It’s an everything-theory that to me feels somehow very similar or related to Lee Cronin’s Assembly Theory and Donald Hoffman’s reality is an illusion / spacetime is dead theory. It also just feels similar in some way to how I personally view human culture. Worth spending a bit of time pondering such ideas, especially in this age of rapid AI development we are living through.
Still lots of talk about the benefits and perils of alt-coins & stable coins following the big Tera/Luna crash event from a few week’s ago. I’m wondering if there might be some applications where this sort of dynamics could be a feature rather than something that’s all bad. There was also on one of the podcasts I listened to this week the observation that with all the quantitative easing that has happened recently in fiat money systems, that we don’t really know what it means that the value of Bitcoin increases as this new ‘invented’ money is invested into crypo.
This weekend 5 of the planets in the solar system are viewable at the same time in the early morning sky. That’s pretty amazing, doesn’t happen very often. Hopefully we get some clear skies.
I’ll leave you with a blog post I wrote:
Alternative Nations - Where do you come from? https://blog.markjgsmith.com/2022/06/24/alternative-nations.html
Mitch Horowitz (Duncan Trussel Podcast) - Hard questions and interesting discussion about the possibility of sentient AI https://audioboom.com/posts/8105025
Stock options, DALL-E, Internet Explorer (Techmeme Ride Home Experience) - The discussion around AI used in photo manipulation is pretty fascinating https://podcasts.google.com/feed/aHR0cHM6Ly9yc3MuYXJ0MTkuY29tL3RlY2htZW1lLXJpZGVob21l/episode/Z2lkOi8vYXJ0MTktZXBpc29kZS1sb2NhdG9yL1YwL1VqODlhSlRjR1AzZGNLV290Y2MyM2hNR1RJTVd0VS1PWEtrSjFuSUJDNnc?sa=X&ved=0CAUQkfYCahcKEwjw-4WR3cf4AhUAAAAAHQAAAAAQBQ
The Great Crypo Crash of ‘22 (Techmeme Ride Home Podcast) - Interesting piece covering how some crypto coins communities are trying to take over individuals holdings via DAOs https://podcasts.google.com/feed/aHR0cHM6Ly9yc3MuYXJ0MTkuY29tL3RlY2htZW1lLXJpZGVob21l/episode/Z2lkOi8vYXJ0MTktZXBpc29kZS1sb2NhdG9yL1YwLzBGWFVocGo4REl0MmNGZWplNXRSdjh4STlhLVFSVWg5eE5SUEZCRTJfOU0?sa=X&ved=0CAUQkfYCahcKEwjw-4WR3cf4AhUAAAAAHQAAAAAQBQ
The secret Somali mixtapes (Far Flung Podcast) - An audio treat from a culturally very different place to what I am used to, interesting story from a music scene that survived much adversity, highlights why archives are so important https://www.stitcher.com/show/far-flung-with-saleem-reshamwala/episode/the-secret-somali-mixtapes-204304281
Meta’s VR Prototyoes, ear buds for phone calls, and out dream e-ink device (Vergecast Podcast) - I link to the these guys almost every issue at the minute, they’ve started experimenting with the format in this episode, with a live outdoors coffee shop expedition, and designing the tech of the future for reals - This is what creative journalism should be like, and it’s tech/developer/maker focussed, can’t wait to see what directions they take it https://podcasts.google.com/feed/aHR0cHM6Ly9mZWVkcy5tZWdhcGhvbmUuZm0vdmVyZ2VjYXN0/episode/NGYzYzBhOTgtYzY0Zi0xMWVjLTg5YWEtMTczMDIyODc2ZGUy?sa=X&ved=0CAYQkfYCahcKEwjo-Pfh3sf4AhUAAAAAHQAAAAAQBQ
Alien Intelligence and the Concept of Technology (Stephen Wolfram) https://writings.stephenwolfram.com/2022/06/alien-intelligence-and-the-concept-of-technology
Mobile-First CSS: Is It Time for a Rethink? https://alistapart.com/article/mobile-first-css-is-it-time-for-a-rethink
My 40-liter backpack travel guide (Vitalik Butterin) https://vitalik.ca/general/2022/06/20/backpack.html
Deno raises $21 million - The whole way these guys are approaching things feels very this-is-probably-the-future to me, very developer focussed, based on open standards, and a clear and unique vision; really interesting that they seem to be gaining a lot of ground in the edge functions space https://deno.com/blog/series-a
Bitcoin mining becomes unprofitable as BTC price falls to the average cost of mining https://finbold.com/bitcoin-mining-becomes-unprofitable-as-btc-price-falls-to-the-average-cost-of-mining/
Apple auto verification tokens for bypassing capchas https://www.macrumors.com/2022/06/20/ios-16-bypass-captchas/?scrolla=5eb6d68b7fedc32c19ef33b4
Microsoft’s surface duo has software updates that make it actually pretty cool https://www.theverge.com/23171638/microsoft-surface-duo-2-dual-screen-revisit-updates-price?scrolla=5eb6d68b7fedc32c19ef33b4
Just 100 days left to spend paper £20 and £50 notes - Alan Turing is on the new plastic £50 note https://www.bbc.com/news/business-61895327
How to add interactivity to browser native web components with vanilla JS https://gomakethings.com/how-to-add-interactivity-to-browser-native-web-components-with-vanilla-js/
Five solar system planets viewable in the early morning skies this weekend https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-61910977
Diversity is Commonwealth's strength, Prince Charles to say - I had no idea there were that many countries in the Commonwealth (54!), there’s a big meeting in Rwanda, lots of interesting things happening in African countries at the minute https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-61919514
Member States of the Commonwealth of Nations https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Member_states_of_the_Commonwealth_of_Nations?wprov=sfti1
That’s all from me…
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Have a great weekend and a fantastic next week!