Written by 9:00 am AI, Discussions, Uncategorized

– Unveiling the Mantra of this A.I. Subculture: “Embrace, Depart, Acquire, Obtain”

The eccentric pro-tech movement known as “Effective Accelerationism” wants to unshackle powerful A.…

The unconventional pro-tech faction referred to as “Effective Accelerationism” advocates for unleashing advanced A.I. technology while reveling in the process.

During a Monday evening last month, shortly after a developer event hosted by OpenAI in downtown San Francisco, a multitude of artificial intelligence enthusiasts congregated in a three-story nightclub a few blocks away to commemorate a more relaxed, less corporate outlook on the future of A.I.

Amid vibrant lights and screens displaying anime graphics, the predominantly young, predominantly male attendees grooved to a DJ set by the artist Grimes, recognized in tech circles as Elon Musk’s former partner. A prominent banner displayed the phrase “Accelerate or Die,” while another depicted an A.I. neural network with the slogan “Come and Take It.” A startup specializing in A.I. distributed promotional leaflets proclaiming “THE MESSENGER TO THE GODS IS AVAILABLE TO YOU.”

The event, dubbed “Keep A.I. Open,” served as a debut celebration for Effective Accelerationism, a peculiar and intriguing faction that has emerged from the recent surge in A.I. advancements.

Effective Accelerationism, often abbreviated as “e/acc” and pronounced as “e-ack,” is a loosely structured movement dedicated to unrestricted technological advancement. The group advocates for allowing artificial intelligence and other emerging technologies to progress as swiftly as possible, without impediments or overseers hindering innovation.

Originating on social media last year, e/acc members connected through Twitter Spaces and group discussions, bonding over memes, late-night chats, and a shared disdain for individuals termed “decels” and “doomers” — those concerned about A.I. safety or advocates for its regulation. The movement has also transitioned into offline activities, including parties and hackathons in the Bay Area and beyond.

Initially conceived as a playful response to the established Effective Altruism movement, which has gained prominence in the realm of A.I., e/acc champions an open approach to A.I. software rather than subjecting it to the control of large corporations. Unlike Effective Altruists, e/acc enthusiasts do not view powerful A.I. as a threat to be feared or guarded against. They believe that the benefits of A.I. far outweigh any potential drawbacks and assert that the appropriate course of action with such pivotal technology is to step aside and allow it to flourish.

While some of e/acc’s principles, such as opposition to regulation, align with standard techno-libertarian beliefs, others draw parallels to earlier Silicon Valley subcultures like the Transhumanists and the Extropians, who valued progress and resisted constraints on technology. The movement also draws inspiration from the ideas of British philosopher Nick Land, who predicted years ago that the forces of capitalism and A.I. would eventually converge in a “techno-capital singularity,” surpassing our ability to control it. However, Land has faced criticism more recently for endorsing extreme views on race and authoritarianism.

In a manifesto published online last year, e/acc’s founders — identified by whimsical pseudonyms like “Bayeslord” and “Based Beff Jezos” — articulated their ambitions in grandiose terms, aiming to “usher in the next evolution of consciousness, creating unthinkable next-generation lifeforms.”

While many individuals prioritize preserving existing life-forms, critics of e/acc are wary of the notion of yielding to the dominance of robots. Peter S. Park, an A.I. researcher at M.I.T. and the director of Stakeout.AI, an A.I. safety advocacy group, views e/acc as “a perilous unaccountable ideology that advocates for replacing humanity with A.I.”

Initially perceived as a fringe phenomenon, e/acc garnered attention when prominent figures in the tech industry, such as Marc Andreessen and Garry Tan, expressed support for its principles. The movement expanded beyond A.I. to encompass discussions on cryptocurrencies and nuclear fusion.

Despite the unveiling of Based Beff Jezos as Guillaume Verdon, the founder of an A.I. hardware startup called Extropic, the momentum of e/acc remained undeterred. Followers remained enthusiastic, buoyed by the acknowledgment from influential figures in the tech world.

In recent interviews with e/acc supporters, ranging from early adopters to recent followers, the movement was lauded as a refreshing departure from the prevailing pessimism surrounding A.I. safety.

Amjad Masad, CEO of the A.I. coding startup Replit, commended e/acc as a counterbalance to the prevailing narrative of A.I. doom and gloom. Julie Fredrickson, a startup investor, viewed e/acc as a symbol of a future prioritizing progress and solutions. Rochelle Shen, a startup founder and biohacker, found solace in the welcoming atmosphere of e/acc, contrasting it with the perceived rigidity of Effective Altruism.

While e/acc’s ambiance received positive feedback, some of its more extreme ideas remain contentious. Critics highlight that some e/acc leaders, including Guillaume Verdon, acknowledge the potential existential threat posed by rogue A.I. but view it as a natural progression in evolution. The movement’s evolution into a more serious and partisan entity has also been noted.

As e/acc evolves, it has spawned subgroups like “bio/acc” and “a/acc,” each with its unique focus on technology and progress. The future impact of these factions remains uncertain, but what is evident is the emergence of a new era characterized by A.I. tribalism, where speculative visions of the future are transformed into techno-religious doctrines disseminated by tech evangelists to their followers seeking clarity amidst uncertainty.

Visited 1 times, 1 visit(s) today
Last modified: February 12, 2024
Close Search Window