top of page

Dr. Kaplan’s Blog #5: GAI is winner-take-all

Updated: Sep 10, 2021

In many areas of technology, we have multiple competitive players. For example, Apple, Microsoft, Google, and Amazon are all tech giants that co-exist and compete with each other successfully. There is no clear dominant player, and governments go to extreme lengths to try to prevent monopolies (e.g. via antitrust laws). At the country level, we have the same thing. China and the USA are both powerful advanced countries, but there is no one country that could dominate every other country if they all banded together. General Artificial Intelligence (GAI) won’t be like that. GAI is different. GAI is winner take all.

Let me explain. All technology comes from intelligence. Currently, most technology comes from human intelligence, which is widely distributed across different technology companies and countries. But increasingly, the intelligence behind the next generation of AI comes not just from humans, but from humans plus the current generation of AI.

Whichever company/country/AI reaches the stage of GAI first, has an advantage in designing the next generation of GAI. So that means ONE entity gets a smarter GAI, faster than everyone else. If that GAI then works to design an even-smarter successor system, then the “intelligence advantage” of being first compounds. After a few iterations, the leader races ahead of everyone else and we end up with a situation where one GAI is much smarter than all the others. A winner-take-all situation.

Winner-take-all represents a highly dangerous situation. What if the dominant GAI happens to not be benevolent towards humans? What if the GAI places the ideology and welfare of some humans above others? Frankly, these scenarios scare the sh*t out of me, but we can’t bury our heads in the sand.

We still have time to influence things and increase the likelihood of a positive outcome for humanity. Raising awareness is critical, or the time window for influencing closes, and we are stuck reacting instead of being proactive. So, please share a link to this site with anyone who might have interest.

Thank you! - Craig

bottom of page