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“Effective Accelerationism” Pushes for Unrestricted Progress in AI

December 10, 2023

While many are looking to put the brakes on AI, a pro-tech movement called “Effective Accelerationism” (often shortened to “e/acc,” pronounced “e-ack”) is pushing for unrestricted progress in AI and other emerging technologies.

Kevin Roose of The New York Times reports the group, which originated on social media, opposes regulations and believes the benefits of AI far outweigh the potential harms.

EA emerged in response to a movement by the name of “Effective Altruism” which promotes slow going on AI due to its potential risks.

While AI scares many, it’s all go at EA, reports Roose,

E/acc prefers the all-gas, no-brakes approach. Its adherents favor open-sourcing A.I. software rather than having it be controlled by big corporations, and unlike Effective Altruists, they don’t see powerful A.I. as something to be feared or guarded against. They believe that A.I.’s benefits far outweigh its harms, and that the right thing to do with such important technology is to get out of the way and let it rip.

EA is no lightweight cause. Longtime tech leaders Marc Andreessen, who gave us the first browser, and Garry Tan, the president of the influential start-up incubator Y Combinator, are among its supporters.

Critics of EA argue that its laissez-faire approach to AI could lead to harmful tech advances on multiple fronts.

My guess is that any number of legal associations and lawyers would join the critics. Bar associations are looking to restrict the use of AI and they are being joined by a good number of lawyers.

From a practical standpoint, AI is continuing to advance no matter the attempts to restrict its growth.

Neither the US nor the UK have passed laws nor issued orders to significantly limit AI growth. Last week’s EU AI Act could be years in the making.

No question AI brings risks. AI amplifies what we do – including the conduct of those looking to bring evil.

At the same AI amplifies the work of educators, scientists, medical professionals, and those looking to bring access to legal services.