Jeremy Grantham: Imagine A World Where You Have 1,000,000 Devices Learning Simultaneously

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During his recent interview with WealthTrack, Jeremy Grantham discussed AI and a world where you have 1,000,000 devices learning simultaneously. Here’s an excerpt from the interview:

Grantham: So artificial intelligence has the biggest scrambling of opinions doesn’t it about the future that one has ever seen. I mean there are really some of the brightest people on the planet saying it’s all nonsense. It’s just a parrot learning by trial and error, and other people saying it will change everything, it will double productivity for decades and everybody in between.

This is not my specialty, but what my specialty is is to go out further than other people. And I would say this, that if you can chain-link a million machines so that they all learn the same thing at the same time, they all acquire any information that any of them acquire. This is a pretty unequal struggle with human beings.

And it’s been an advantage that computers had for the last 60 years, but it didn’t matter because the computers were stupid. And now what’s happened is they’re kind of arming that huge advantage by making the computer finally pretty smart.

And there’s only one direction that pretty smart is going to go, and that is into the very smart. So imagine a world where you have a million devices that all learn everything simultaneously and they have acquired an IQ of 200.

And this is where you start to panic and you decide that you better destroy them or limit them quickly before they get ideas above their station.

I completely get that. I don’t think there is any chance over decades if society stays coherent. I don’t think there’s any chance that artificial intelligence and computing power will not come together in a way that will give them powers way in excess of human beings. And I agree with the group that says they should be regulated.

However, I also look at Homo sapiens so far and think this is not our strength, this is not going to be easy and it’s incredible risky. What it means in the short term for the stock market is in comparison, utterly trivial in significance. But my guess is it’s not operating on the time frame of this bubble.

You can watch the entire discussion here:

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