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⏩ Slowing down feels safe, but it's more dangerous
It certainly feels like slower progress is safer than faster, right? If it's slow, you have time to think and avoid mistakes. However, when it comes to technological development, it's often the opposite.
In the All In podcast, David Friedberg talks about this. He shows statistics on why people die in traffic accidents in the US. The top three are 1) drunk driving, 2) speeding, and 3) not wearing a seatbelt. (seriously...)
These account for about 80 percent of fatal accidents in the US. All three would disappear with self-driving cars. We do not have fully self-driving cars now, but the faster we get them, the more lives will be saved.
Development is ongoing and of course, it involves accidents, even fatal ones. These receive massive negative attention, making us believe that self-driving cars are dangerous and scary, when studies show they are already safer.
We make the same mistake regarding AI, where doomsday rhetoric is beginning to take hold and a slowdown could become a reality. Last week I wrote:
To stop climate change, we need all the help we can get. And it's urgent. AI is the perfect tool for that job.
Not the pedal to the metal, but accelerating
This doesn’t mean that one should just floor it without considering the consequences. Nor should you fill a self-driving bus with people the first time you test it. Development is based on knowledge. More knowledge reduces risk. As David Deutsch wrote in Optimism, pessimism, and cynicism:
Every species whose members had the capacity for innovation, is now extinct, except ours, and genetic evidence shows that that was a close-run thing. All of them, and every past civilization that has fallen, could have been saved by faster innovation.
The Angry Optimist
🌳 Floating trees
Very cool "liquid trees". The whole video on X.
📺 Mr Beast's YouTube channel is a beast
The Angry Optimist