It’s gotta be satire, right? The “Way of the the Future Church” worshipped artificial idiocy. (Update #2)

Updates

  1. Originally published, February 23, 2021, 10:02 am.
  2. February 23, 2021, 11:57 am:

Pandemic

As of this morning the death toll from COVID-19 had passed 500,000, reaching 500,103.[1]


Artificial idiocy

This is satire, right? I had not been aware that Anthony Levandowski, who was the central figure in the dispute between Uber and Waymo over self-driving car technology, and who was pardoned by Donald Trump for stealing trade secrets from Waymo, had founded a church worshipping artificial intelligence idiocy. He dissolved it and donated its funds to the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People’s Legal Defense and Education Fund.[2] I explain artificial idiocy in a blog post entitled, “Our new Satan: artificial idiocy and big data mining.” Everything I’ve heard and experienced, including that tangle with Twitter’s artificial idiots, since writing that post only reinforces it, however the technology is being used in combination with networking to impressive effect with traffic signals in the Pittsburgh area.[3]

But here’s the thing: A statistical approach that constitutes artificial idiocy[4] probably is the best that can be done to improve traffic flow. Controls here will never be perfect and the Wall Street Journal headline about eliminating traffic congestion[5] exaggerates. The downside is minimal: In a vast majority of cases, the statistical approach will yield a benefit. In the minority, the effect is unlikely to be worse than with uncoordinated signals. Nobody’s going to die waiting for a red light, certainly any more than they do now.


  1. [1]New York Times, “Coronavirus in the U.S.: Latest Map and Case Count,” February 23, 2021, https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2020/us/coronavirus-us-cases.html
  2. [2]Anthony Levandowski, “The former Uber exec who was pardoned by Trump has closed his church that worshipped AI, donating its funds to the NAACP,” Business Insider, February 19, 2021, https://www.businessinsider.com/uber-google-ai-anthony-levandowski-trump-pardon-church-naacp-2021-2
  3. [3]Henry Williams, “Artificial Intelligence May Make Traffic Congestion a Thing of the Past,” Wall Street Journal, June 26, 2018, https://www.wsj.com/articles/artificial-intelligence-may-make-traffic-congestion-a-thing-of-the-past-1530043151
  4. [4]David Benfell, “Our new Satan: artificial idiocy and big data mining,” Not Housebroken, February 20, 2021, https://disunitedstates.org/2020/01/13/our-new-satan-artificial-idiocy-and-big-data-mining/
  5. [5]Henry Williams, “Artificial Intelligence May Make Traffic Congestion a Thing of the Past,” Wall Street Journal, June 26, 2018, https://www.wsj.com/articles/artificial-intelligence-may-make-traffic-congestion-a-thing-of-the-past-1530043151

Artificial idiocy ethics researchers would be well-advised to steer well clear of Google employment

Google

There is a new blog post entitled, “Having already fucked up in ousting an ethics researcher, Google doubles down.”

Mitchell Clark and Zoe Schiffer, “After firing a top AI ethicist, Google is changing its diversity and research policies,” Verge, February 19, 2021, https://www.theverge.com/2021/2/19/22291631/google-diversity-research-policy-changes-timnet-gebru-firing

Ina Fried, “Google tweaks diversity, research policies following inquiry,” Axios, February 19, 2021, https://www.axios.com/google-tweaks-diversity-research-policies-following-inquiry-8baa6346-d2a2-456f-9743-7912e4659ca2.html

Alex Hanna, [Twitter thread], Thread Reader App, February 18, 2021, https://threadreaderapp.com/thread/1362476196693303297.html

Zoe Schiffer, “Google fires second AI ethics researcher following internal investigation,” Verge, February 19, 2021, https://www.theverge.com/2021/2/19/22292011/google-second-ethical-ai-researcher-fired


Amerikkkan dreaming

Artificial idiocy

As of yesterday, January 13, there is a new blog post entitled, “Our new Satan: artificial idiocy and big data mining.”


Royalty

There is a new blog post entitled, “‘The ugly premise that one group of humans had the absolute right to rule over another group of humans’.”

Gary Vogt, “Letters to the Editor: Royals everywhere should follow Meghan and Harry into obscurity,” Los Angeles Times, January 12, 2020, https://www.latimes.com/opinion/story/2020-01-12/meghan-markle-prince-harry-quit