Some takes on Mr. Harari’s takes

Tristan B. V. Kildaire



A little bit of pushback against the ideas of wanting regulation (to the extent uttered here with Harari) on AI and freedom of expression.

The idea proposed is that bots have to be clearly defined, many networks on the fediverse allow this already as a way to tag an acount as such. However, the notion that it should be forced upon whoever runs a bot account (a Python script with some ML sprinkled ontop of it and access to, for example, the Twitter API) is a rather low-hanging fruit argument. The argument in favor of this is that we cannot have a democracy if the “public square” is literred throughout with such content - non-human generated content. Which will cause distrust amongst people online due to one not entirely knowing for sure if the intentions behind a message (political or otherwise) are genuine or not.

Video in question:


Freedom to choose

There’s a few critiques I have to offer against this notion. Right off the bat I I’ll get the free market aspect through. If it isn’t hurting anyone, then let it be free - you need not engage with that account nor even use that platform. This has been true with people migrating from twitter to Nostr, BlueSky, the Fediverse (true for many years prior, think of GNU Social - prior to the whole “twitter exodus” even being coined). To cut it short - people will find networks they trust which do have such rules - I have used many that do so there’s a market for that sort of controlled/filtered/tagged discourse platforms.

You will touch the grass

The next two are more interesting ideas, the former of the two is one I have had for some time now - I see it as a more anti-AI silverlining that can occur with voluntary action to just “not use social media”. I’ve been addicted to social media in my past just as anyone else has but came to terms with this addiction after realising “I have better things to do, life is short and I need to do them now even if Becky just posted a cute dog photo”. When you find better uses of your time you don’t need it as much and you will be fine with just normal instant messengers with people who you have verified are real by the aspect of getting their mobile number with them in reality. So it isn’t anti-tech, I’m pro instant messengers but the idea of social-media as in - consuming extra social activities as you would during your day at uni/work/church but via your phone. It is that which I am against and have come to terms to cut it out of my life. A day’s worth of socialising is enough, I already work on a computer for a living I don’t need more visual stimulation. There’s better activities I have taken up, reading, running, jogging. Never did I believe I’d do any of those things - but I am. I think the infestation of bots will lead more of us away from the screen and into nature - not like Teddy K (not that extreme) but just back to balanced traditional (I’m doing that word injustice by implying it only means to go outdoors but you get the idea) life.

If AI is bad discourse, damn humans on Twitter are downbad

The last point I think is rather interesting and has to probably do with the state of debate and “the loud minority” (i.e. the noise is generated by few, not necessarily the majority). That, and, close mindedness. I need to define what I mean by closed-mindedness. It doesn’t mean that in a situation like “liberal person A talking to conservative person B”, that person B is close minded if their stance doesn’t change - no, it just means willingness to listen, engage - you know, view the link person A sent you and vice-versa rather than instant dismissal, followed by an angry reply. That angry reply which normally follows, could may as well be an AI seeing how NPC-like your average online interaction is. That being said, who is really at fault, AI or ourselves. Some people act like a poorly trained AI running off of a Thoshiba Laptop with 4GB of RAM, should we maybe focus on improving discourse standards rather than AI?

Closing remarks

Anyway, just my thoughts whilst I was drinking a beer for lunch, I may be wrong, right, stupid or a 10X developer but I’d like to know what you think.

That aside, Mr Harari was a good guest despite me probably not agreeing much with most of what he had to say - he speaks well and keeps your attention.