How should we invest in "long-term short-termism" given the likelihood of transformative AI?

post by James_Banks · 2021-01-12T23:54:28.866Z · EA · GW · None comments

This is a question post.

Transformative AI (TAI) is supposed to "change everything".  It may make a new world order and have superior problem-solving abilities, making human altruism (knowledge, institutions, people groups) obsolete.  How true is this?  Naively, it would seem that investing in anything that would have an expected maturing date after the likely occurrence of TAI wouldn't be worth it -- instead we should do good at short time scales.  But if for some reason TAI takes a lot longer to arrive than we expect, we might have wished we had planned for the future more in a "status quo way" (as if TAI were not coming).  

A related question: how untransformative might TAI be?  (The least transformative futures are the ones where status quo altruistic pursuits would have the greatest relevance, I would guess.)

(Some examples of long-term short-termism: building organizations / movements, targeting systemic problems, designing cultural changes, research that is more exploratory rather than directly practical.)

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