AI Alignment in a Divided or Holistic World View

By Kate Kheel of Safe Tech International

Technology and AI are different from other inventions such as the nuclear bomb or gene editing which are entities unto themselves. Tech and AI act on other systems increasing their scope, complexity, and speed. Whatever the endeavor at hand – be it good, bad, or values neutral – when integrated with tech and AI, it will grow exponentially. Energy from fossil fuels, though more a discovery than invention, also act on other systems by increasing their energy input and output by orders of magnitude.

On multiple accounts, we are on the brink of societal collapse: wars, talk of nuclear “exchange”, loss of biodiversity; pollutants that permeate our air, food, water, and soil; distrust in governments and institutions; a food system that promotes chronic disease, cancers, heart disease, and obesity while depleting the land. An ocean full of plastic, and bustling with infrastructure, sonar, mining, and debris; more animals incarcerated in CAFOS than remain in the wild; an epidemic of depression and loneliness, and a generation lost to tech addiction. Our current economic, political, social, environmental, and cultural state of affairs doesn’t bode well for a future with nearly all systems accelerated and exponentialized.

In considering how tech and AI will impact how (and if) the future unfolds, the question is often posed: Can we create AI to align with human values? But what exactly are human values?

What exactly are human values? 

Values are subjective and vary greatly from person to person and culture to culture. Values-based choices are context and culture dependent. People can have vastly different framing around a given action being considered.

Values require long-term and full-picture thinking…

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