Monday, June 17, 2024

Thinking Game (2024) tribeca 2024

Portrait of Demis Hassabis who is head of the AI firm Deep Mind. Hassabis is working to make artificial intelligence a part of all our lives which he is certain will make things better.

Insanely myopic portrait of a very intelligent man who is selling his services and wants this film to assure us that AI i safe and will never be used for bad things. He says this because he said he has been told by people in authority that they have no intention of turning AI to the dark side.

Watching the film my jaw hung open in utter disbelief. It's such a sweet and saccharine portrait of its subject that it is impossible to buy his bullshit. While I admire Hassabis' enthusiasm, his myopia is troubling. He reminded me of all the truly brilliant genius track kids I knew in school who would chase these grand projects (some sort of exploding do dad) or to improve this or that in some weird way, completely unaware of the problems they were creating - sort of like the people referenced in Dr Ian Malcolms line in JURASSIC PARK to the effect they were so into the fact that they could recreate dinosaurs they never stopped to think if they should. Hassabis seems to be unaware that anything bad will ever happen with AI. If he is lying through his teeth and down playing the dangers he is not to be trusted. If he genuinely believes it then he is a fool and should be removed from the project. This is especially true since more and more we are getting reports of errors in AI generated materials.

While I know the genie is out of the bottle and AI is here to stay, I think having a blind portrait of a mad genius who loves AI that doesn't consider the dangers is a mistake. We need clear eyed discussions not a sales pitch for new toy that maybe blow up in our faces.

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