Crypto vs A.I dichotomy
If crypto is libertarian, then AI is communist.
Everyone thinks of crypto as libertarian because it decentralizes money. Nobody says AI is communist. That’s because we are more conscious of people with different views like libertarian and we are less conscious of people with collective views because that’s more of a Zeitgeist.
The crypto vs AI dichotomy goes to the sort of question about what’s the future of the computer age going to look like? Is it going to be more centralized or more decentralized?
When you think about the history of that dichotomy, we’ve had very different pictures. In the late 60s there was the sort of Star Trek picture of a “giant computer” that has been running the planet for 8000 years. People did not have much thought into it. There were relatively docile and happy. Nothing ever happened. That was what people thought would be the future in the late 60s. Centralized big computers. In the late 90s, the picture shifted towards crypto. People thought the future was going to be decentralized. They thought the internet was going to split up all the centralized structures. Today, the pendulum has sort of swung back to centralized. The picture shifted to the idea of big governments and big databases that can monitor and survey people and sort of know more about you then you know about yourself. The creepy big brother type of picture.
Since the pendulum has swung back and forth so much over the past 50 years, there’s no argument to back the fact that the latest picture is the future. It is actually a choice. Do we want it to be centralized or decentralized?
AI can mean many different things. If it means that you have large databases controlled by large governments to monitor people more effectively, it would be something that can make communism maybe more effective, certainly more scary and more totalitarian than it ever was in the 20th century. It is not a coincidence along these lines that the Chinese party hates crypto and loves AI. But AI means a different thing in a Silicon Valley context. There, AI is a super smart computer that will leave all the humans behind. In china it means a really smart computer that will help a few humans control the rest.
While it’s possible that the two ideas can be overlapping at a single point in time, it is also possible that it can go much more towards one way than the other. It can be ultimately that the future is a lot more decentralized, or a lot more centralized, just like it can be more capitalist or more communist, more libertarian or more totalitarian. It can go in a lot of different ways. This is why these debates are important. It’s because it’s up to us to decide which technologies do we push and which ones are we going to be a little more careful with, or regulate.