Category Archives: ethics

Elon Musk and top AI researchers call for pause on ‘giant AI experiments’

A number of well-known AI researchers — and Elon Musk — have signed an open letter calling on AI labs around the world to pause development of large-scale AI systems, citing fears over the “profound risks to society and humanity” they claim this software poses.

The letter, published by the nonprofit Future of Life Institute, notes that AI labs are currently locked in an “out-of-control race” to develop and deploy machine learning systems “that no one — not even their creators — can understand, predict, or reliably control.”

Levi’s to Use AI-Generated Models to ‘Increase Diversity’ (Deepfake Diversity)

Fashion brand Levi Strauss & Co has announced a partnership with digital fashion studio to make custom artificial intelligence (AI) generated avatars in what it says will increase diversity among its models.

That TikTok hearing was pretty messed up, right? (Op-Ed)

Instead of asking actual important questions related to how TikTok does business and uses the data it gathers from users, Congress was focused on being xenophobic, and people noticed.

ChatGPT is about to revolutionize the economy. We need to decide what that looks like.

Will ChatGPT make the already troubling income and wealth inequality in the US and many other countries even worse? Or could it help? Could it in fact provide a much-needed boost to productivity?

Google and Microsoft’s chatbots are already citing one another in a misinformation shitshow

Microsoft’s Bing said Google’s Bard had been shut down after it misread a story citing a tweet sourced from a joke. It’s not a good sign for the future of online misinformation.

OpenAI Research Says 80% of U.S. Workers’ Jobs Will Be Impacted by GPT

In a paper posted to the arXiv preprint server, researchers from OpenAI and the University of Pennsylvania argued that 80 percent of the US workforce could have at least 10 percent of their tasks affected by the introduction of GPTs, the series of popular large language models made by OpenAI. They also found that around 19 percent of workers will see at least 50 percent of their tasks impacted. GPT exposure is greater for higher-income jobs, they wrote in the study, but spans across almost all industries. They argue that GPT models are general-purpose technologies like the steam engine or the printing press.

Bill Gates Sees GPT’s AI as Revolutionary Tech Breakthrough

“The world needs to make sure that everyone—and not just people who are well-off—benefits from artificial intelligence. Governments and philanthropy will need to play a major role in ensuring that it reduces inequity and doesn’t contribute to it. This is the priority for my own work related to AI,” he wrote.

Your brain may not be private much longer

Neurotechnology is upon us. Your brain urgently needs new rights.

The risks are profound. And the gaps in our existing rights are deeply problematic. So, where do I come out on the balance? I’m a little bit of a tech inevitabilist. I think the idea that you can somehow stop the train and say, “On balance, maybe this isn’t better for humanity and therefore we shouldn’t introduce it” — I just don’t see it working.

Maybe people will say, “My brain is too sacred and the risks are so profound that I’m not willing to do it myself,” but with the ways that people unwittingly give up information all the time and the benefits that are promised to them, I think that’s unlikely. I think we’ve got to carve out a different approach.

Nita Farahany

TikTok Is Changing What It Means to Be ‘Old’

“I started noticing this trend of people who are essentially your peers, they’re a few years younger than you, addressing people who are older than them like they’re elderly, talking to them like they’re a senior citizen,” says Laurier, who is based in the US state of Georgia. In January, she made a TikTok about the “rampant” ageism she sees on the app. “The way that it is normal these days for someone in their late teens or early twenties to call someone in their late twenties or thirties ‘old’ or ‘washed up’ … I just find that really disturbing,” she said in the video.

Resetting the Hero Code

by Marie Lena Tupot and Tim Stock

This morning, Robert C. Hockett, Cornell Professor of Law, discussed the Silicon Valley Bank situation on CNN. Hockett emphasized that the moment we are in is one of reindustrialization. We are back to making things. Hockett calls out the renewed importance of sector-specific banks, functioning as defacto credit unions and managed prudently. The situation has caught everyone off guard. Why? One reason Hockett cites is that the U.S. hasn’t had an interest rise like this in 50 years.

Agreed, but there is another phenomenon we are seeing. The narrative of hero code. Silicon Valley Bank has functioned along the lines of hero code. It was founded by former Bank of America managers in 1983 over a game of poker (Piscione, 2013). The most recent Wired Magazine‘s interview with Hockett asks “Is it sensible for a single bank to dominate an industry?” and uses words such as “rescue.”

With reindustrialization and a move back to maker culture, the notion of hero has long been losing its relevance.

This makes sense when we hear Hockett bring up the 1970s’ Volcker Era. PBS discussed Volcker in November 2022: “Ultimately, it took a crackdown by cigar-chomping Fed chairman Paul Volcker to break the cycle of rising prices and wages. Volcker slammed the brakes on the economy by raising interest rates to 20% — tough medicine to prove he was serious about getting inflation under control” (Horsley, 2022).

Heroes are not about “tough medicine.”

We can look at what hero code really means through the lens of developing AI and the design of ideal artificial moral agents: applying bravery, courage, integrity (Wiltshire, 2015). It’s a bit alarming though that in the age of ChatGPT, the most recent archetypal discussion looks at only the hero.

We have come so far from that framework, and are now stuck with heroes. Some right-wing memes even take issue with extending the honor of hero to healthcare frontline workers, believing hero lives only in the realm of law enforcement.

A hero is only one archetype that makes the world go ‘round.

We need to diversify our understanding of human behavioral codes. Karl Jung established nine archetypes. They each play a role in human culture. We look at each archetype to better understand centers of gravity. 

The everyman, ruler, caregiver, innocent, lover, hero, jester, creator, explorer, magician, sage, and rebel. They all live out there at the same moment. To date, the hero stands alone having devolved into a dreaded narcissist. Hello, Russell Brand. Guardian columnist George Monbiot says he “once admired Russell Brand. But his grim trajectory shows us where politics is heading.”

We need a clear process of information gathering and intelligence to understand the cognitive spaces behind these discussions.

Director John Walker’s 2019 documentary Assholes: A Theory is onto something. “BAD behavior is as old as human history, something we all encounter at some point—whether on the playground, in the workplace or in public life. But the phenomenon seems to be amplified in an age of venomous social media and resurgent authoritarian politics.”

The academics, including Hockett, interviewed in support of the hypothesis are pretty remarkable. Although, the documentary makers are liberally using the term “theory” at this point. 

Works cited:

Horsley, S. (2022, September 29). Memories of the 1970s haunt the Fed, pushing its aggressive rate moves. NPR. Retrieved March 13, 2023, from,about%20getting%20inflation%20under%20control. 

Lichfield, G. (2023, March 13). Silicon Valley will still need a bank. Wired. Retrieved March 13, 2023, from

Monbiot, G. (2023, March 10). I once admired Russell Brand. but his grim trajectory shows us where politics is heading | George Monbiot. The Guardian. Retrieved March 13, 2023, from 

Piscione, D. P. (2013, April). Secrets of Silicon Valley: What everyone else can learn from the innovation capital of the world. Palgrave Macmillan.

Walker, J. (Director). (2019). Assholes: A Theory [Film]. A John Walker Production.

Wiltshire, T. J. (2015, February 14). A prospective framework for the design of ideal artificial moral agents: Insights from the science of heroism in humans – minds and machines. SpringerLink. Retrieved March 13, 2023, from