E/ACC or Decel?

Jan 17, 2024
E/ACC or Decel?

Recent Breakthroughs in Artificial Intelligence Have Ignited a Global Battle

A battle has been brewing on a planetary scale.

But it’s not the kind that we’re used to.

It’s not a geopolitical conflict. There’s no hand-to-hand combat. And there are no borders to control.

And yet, powerful forces are at play. Some of which are evil. And others whose only goal is to affect the best possible outcome.

This is a battle for control, or lack thereof, and it’s the biggest conflict that we’ll experience in our lifetimes.

The catalyst for the conflict, which has already begun, is the string of breakthroughs in artificial intelligence that happened last year.

The resolution… is far less certain.

Are You Down with E/ACC?

It almost sounds like a scene from The Outsiders, the 1967 S.E. Hinton novel about two rival gangs, the Greasers and the Socs, and the divided communities and classes they represent.

Except today, it’s real life… and it’s happening in real-time.

The two opposing “forces” are the “E/ACCs” (pronounced “e-acks”) and the “decels.”

And the issues that both sides have been standing for has become a matter of fierce debate.

We might think that this is some kind of nuanced topic fermented in Silicon Valley… I assure you it is not.

In fact, I would argue that the outcome of this fight is existential. It will determine the future of the human race. Which is why we should be familiar with the E/ACCs and the Decels.

E/ACC stands for effective acceleration. It is a belief that humanity can and will solve its problems through technological innovation and growth.

Those who believe in E/ACC know that the right path forward is to accelerate technological development.

They believe in employing human capital (i.e. our intelligence) and financial capital for the purpose of building, innovating, and advancing technology… for the purpose of bettering the human race and expanding our human consciousness. And they believe in consuming more energy, not less, to achieve those ends.

E/ACCs wish to leverage technology, free markets, and capital to build a world of abundance and freedom, and to achieve that as quickly as possible.

The Decels, on the other hand, wish to decelerate technological advancement. They are interested in degrowth, in slowing things down, and are sometimes referred to as doomers.

Their concern is that AI will spin horribly out of control, wreak havoc, and become too great a risk to society.

Most in the Decel camp also believe that the Earth’s population is a problem and that depopulation is necessary.

Decels wish to limit our consumption, as well as economic activity. This line of thinking is positioned as a “sustainable” solution.

These visions of the future are diametrically opposed. They are deeply philosophical. And they are deeply rooted in the political philosophies of those that prefer decentralization, freedom of speech, and freedom of thought…

Versus those that prefer centralized control and the ability to censor “the others” who harbor different beliefs.

This is a battle for the ages…

But only now that we have created artificial intelligence has this battle come to a head.

For only artificial intelligence (AI) is capable of achieving the radical breakthroughs that turn the E/ACC vision of an optimistic and abundant future into a reality.

The OpenAI Flashpoint

Last November, we witnessed a microcosm of the E/ACC versus Decel battle play out.

It came over the struggle to control OpenAI’s powerful large language models (LLMs). We explored this in my November 27, 2023 issue of Outer Limits.

It was a remarkable situation.

A couple of Decel board members wanted to slow things down at OpenAI. They wanted to gain control over what the CEO, Sam Altman, and his team had built with the large language model (LLM) GPT-4 and Chat-GPT.

OpenAI had already generated more than $1 billion in revenue and soared to an $86 billion valuation in a matter of just a few years.

The allure of immense riches, power, and control were simply too great.

So the Decels managed to remove Sam Altman — who was of the E/ACC mindset wanting to accelerate — from the business that he founded.

The Decels threatened the entire existence of the company.

But then the majority of the employees threatened to resign. In fact, many actually did after Altman’s ousting. OpenAI nearly collapsed.

Fortunately, though, the E/ACCs won. Altman and his team were reinstated. And the Decels were removed from the board.

This is a great example of what is happening on a global scale.

Two Opposing AI Visions

The Decels tend to fall into two camps:

  • The small, but loud, minority of people that see growth and advancement as “oppressive.” Their excuse for not being productive or not taking positive actions is centered on the deeply faulted ideology of “safetyism” or “keeping everyone safe.”

    Naturally, AI is a huge target. For these kinds of Decels, they struggle with the concept of a technology that they don’t understand, and therefore it becomes a massive, oppressive risk in their minds.

    They wish to slow down and control the development of AI to ensure that it is developed and used in a “safe” way. And they have a strong tendency to try to shame, censor, and ban the thoughts and ideas of those they don’t agree with.

    They use these absurd ideals to virtue signal superiority, and use that false superiority to take actions that cause division and are ultimately harmful to society.
  • The other camp of Decels falls to nation states, political groups, large incumbent companies, and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) like the World Economic Forum (WEF). The latter firmly believes in reducing human consumption, restricting human movement, limiting economic activity, and reducing the human population.

    Certain nation states, political groups, or NGOs not only want to slow the development of AI, they want centralized control over the technology, so “they” can use it as they see fit.

    And incumbent technology companies desire heavy-handed regulations for regulatory capture that will ultimately benefit them, and disadvantage smaller, more innovative companies.

The vision of E/ACCs is exactly the opposite.

The goal is to speed up, not slow down. After all, AI is the greatest productivity enhancement to the human race in all of history.

This form of synthetic intelligence has already solved incredibly complex problems that were outside of the reach of human intelligence (for example, DeepMind’s AlphaFold AI predicting how all known proteins fold).

E/ACCs believe that the decentralization of AI technology is a far more stable equilibrium than entrusting such powerful technology to centralized control.

And they also believe that market forces do have a way of self-regulating.

Self-Regulating and Self-Correcting

By way of example, which party would be at fault if an accident occurred between a human driving their pickup truck, and a Tesla driving itself with its fully autonomous AI? Would it be the human in the truck? The human in the Tesla? Tesla itself? Or Tesla’s AI?

Or if an AI-powered robotic arm crushed a human working in a factory, where would the blame fall? The human for being in the wrong place at the wrong time? The company using the robotic arm in its factory? The technology company that produced the robotic arm? Or the AI powering the robotic arm?

In most cases, the liability would fall to the company that developed the AI. And that’s precisely the point.

Technology companies developing AI, even at an accelerated pace, are heavily incentivized to do so in a responsible manner.

They are incentivized to employ extensive testing to ensure that their systems are safe and function as intended.

Otherwise, they will expose their companies to such large liabilities, large enough to sink their company.

Not to mention the fact that they would also lose their customers.

In order to achieve these breakthroughs, the vision of E/ACC has four overarching goals:

  • To increase the amount of energy that we can capture in our solar system. Energy is directly tied to fueling the computational systems required to run artificial intelligence software on a vastly decentralized architecture. The desire is for this to be clean energy, which means either nuclear fission or nuclear fusion.
  • Increase investment and pro-growth policies to enable this acceleration. Again, decentralized utilization of artificial intelligence is critical for this to happen. Open sourced AI is strongly supportive of this goal, as it makes the technology widely available.
  • Create artificial general intelligence (AGI) as quickly as possible. Once we build an AGI, it will have the ability to solve problems of humanity at an even more accelerated pace.
  • Develop the technology to become a multi-planetary species. The goal is to spread both human consciousness and synthetic intelligence beyond Earth.

To some of us, these ideas may seem exciting, thrilling, and portend an incredible future.

And to others, they may seem impossible to comprehend, or may even be frightening.

But to be clear, this is happening. Artificial intelligence is software. And the employment, and utilization of software simply can’t be contained by a centralized organization.

The genie is out of the bottle.

Open source AI software is available to any and all, which raises a key point…

… and an argument in favor of E/ACC…

Bad Actors & Tools for Evil

Because AI is so widely available, that also means that it is already in the hands of bad actors.

That might mean small factions, or nation states, which might wish to dominate or do harm.

If the world were to listen to the Decels, it would give the bad actors free reign to use the technology for their malicious agendas… at an accelerated pace.

It would give them an advantage.

And if the E/ACC community races ahead, not only can the technology be developed in a responsible manner, the AI-powered systems can be built to protect against those bad actors as well.

The Decel mindset is a disease.

At best, it is pessimistic. And at its worse, it is a tool for evil.

It chooses degrowth over growth and positive progress.

It chooses centralized tyrannical control over decentralized and open access.

It chooses a dystopian future over a future of abundance and lifting those remaining in poverty out of poverty.

The reality is that the upside of the E/ACC vision is too great to just wonder about it.

The world that will follow from the future breakthroughs is so optimistic.

It doesn’t argue for replacing humans, but for augmenting humans with this incredible technology that will radically improve our quality of life, not just for the elites, but for everyone.

And for that reason, I believe in E/ACC.

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Well, where do you fall? Are you an E/ACC or a Decel? Let us know… and feel free to tell us why right here.

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