In “Intelligence: a history”, Stephen Cave, executive director and senior research fellow of the Leverhulme Centre for the Future of Intelligence at the University of Cambridge, muddles into some mucky P.C. virtue-signaling:
If we’ve absorbed the idea that the more intelligent can colonise the less intelligent as of right, then it’s natural that we’d fear enslavement by our super-smart creations. If we justify our own positions of power and prosperity by virtue of our intellect, it’s understandable that we see superior AI as an existential threat.
This narrative of privilege might explain why, as the New York-based scholar and technologist Kate Crawford has noted, the fear of rogue AI seems predominant among Western white men. Other groups have endured a long history of domination by self-appointed superiors, and are still fighting against real oppressors. White men, on the other hand, are used to being at the top of the pecking order. They have most to lose if new entities arrive that excel in exactly those areas that have been used to justify male superiority.
The fear of rogue AI is predominant among Western white men. So, I guess that means the threat of rogue AI… is not real threat? What is Cave trying to say? Is rogue AI not a threat?
If it is a threat, and only Western white men seem worried, I’d say this speaks highly of Western white men… and not everyone else.
I’ve heard the same sorts of arguments about analytic philosophy: as a discipline, it is almost entirely comprised of white males. The same is true for theoretical physics and mathematics.
So, what are we to make of this? Is it the product of ‘patriarchy’, or are there some things that just tickle the fancy of white men, or that white men are simply better equipped to excel in, unlike other demographic groups?
Given how the modern conception of philosophy began some 2,500 years ago in ancient Greece (again, white males), I would hazard to guess that ‘patriarchy’ explains very little of the white male-oriented phenomenon we’ve seen now for a couple thousand years.