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In Defense of AI Doomerism (Robert Wright & Liron Shapira)

In Defense of AI Doomerism (Robert Wright & Liron Shapira)


This episode includes an Overtime segment that’s available to paid subscribers. If you’re not a paid subscriber, we of course encourage you to become one. If you are a paid subscriber, you can access the complete conversation either via the audio and video on this post or by setting up the paid-subscriber podcast feed, which includes all exclusive audio content. To set that up, simply grab the RSS feed from this page (by first clicking the “...” icon on the audio player) and paste it into your favorite podcast app.

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0:00 Why this pod’s a little odd
2:26 Ilya Sutskever and Jan Leike quit OpenAI—part of a larger pattern?
9:56 Bob: AI doomers need Hollywood
16:02 Does an AI arms race spell doom for alignment?
20:16 Why the “Pause AI” movement matters
24:30 AI doomerism and Don’t Look Up: compare and contrast
26:59 How Liron (fore)sees AI doom
32:54 Are Sam Altman’s concerns about AI safety sincere?
39:22 Paperclip maximizing, evolution, and the AI will to power question
51:10 Are there real-world examples of AI going rogue?
1:06:48 Should we really align AI to human values?
1:15:03 Heading to Overtime

Robert Wright (Nonzero, The Evolution of God, Why Buddhism Is True) and Liron Shapira (Pause AI, Relationship Hero). Recorded May 06, 2024. Additional segment recorded May 15, 2024.


Overtime titles:

0:00 Anthropic vs OpenAI
3:35 To survive an AI takeover… be like gut bacteria?
8:48 The Darwinian differences between humans and AI
18:43 Should we treat AI like nuclear weapons?
28:41 Open source AI, China, and Cold War II
40:59 Why time may be running out for an AI treaty
45:21 How AI agents work (and don't)
52:11 GPT-5: evolution or revolution?
55:41 The thing that led Liron to AI doom

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Nonzero Newsletter
Robert Wright's Nonzero
Conversations with a series of people who have nothing in common except that program host Robert Wright is curious about what they’re thinking.