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posted by janrinok on Sunday January 28, @07:08PM   Printer-friendly
from the I'll-see-your-ChatGPT-and-raise-you-one-AI dept.

Recently, Sam Altman commented at Davos that future AI depends on energy breakthrough, in this article I would like to expand on this concept and explore how AI would revolutionize our economy:

AI tokens, distinct from cryptocurrency tokens, are fundamental textual units used in ChatGPT and similar language models. These tokens can be conceptualized as fragments of words. In the language model's processing, inputs are segmented into these tokens. AI tokens are crucial in determining the pricing models for the usage of core AI technologies.

This post explores the concept of "tokenomy," a term coined to describe the role of AI tokens, such as those in ChatGPT, as a central unit of exchange in a society increasingly intertwined with AI. These tokens are central to a future where AI permeates all aspects of life, from enhancing personal assistant functions to optimizing urban traffic and essential services. The rapid progress in generative AI technologies is transforming what once seemed purely speculative into tangible reality.

We examine the significant influence that AI is expected to have on our economic frameworks, guiding us towards a 'tokenomy' – an economy fundamentally driven and characterized by AI tokens.

The author goes on to discuss using AI tokens as currency, measuring economic efficiency FLOPs per joule, and how the influence and power that companies owning the Foundation Model could equal or even surpass that of central banks. He concludes:

The concentration of such immense control and influence in a handful of corporations raises significant questions about economic sovereignty, market dynamics, and the need for robust regulatory frameworks to ensure fair and equitable AI access and to prevent the monopolistic control of critical AI infrastructure.


Original Submission

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Exploring the Emergence of Technoauthoritarianism 7 comments

The theoretical promise of AI is as hopeful as the promise of social media once was, and as dazzling as its most partisan architects project. AI really could cure numerous diseases. It really could transform scholarship and unearth lost knowledge. Except that Silicon Valley, under the sway of its worst technocratic impulses, is following the playbook established in the mass scaling and monopolization of the social web:

Facebook (now Meta) has become an avatar of all that is wrong with Silicon Valley. Its self-interested role in spreading global disinformation is an ongoing crisis. Recall, too, the company’s secret mood-manipulation experiment in 2012, which deliberately tinkered with what users saw in their News Feed in order to measure how Facebook could influence people’s emotional states without their knowledge. Or its participation in inciting genocide in Myanmar in 2017. Or its use as a clubhouse for planning and executing the January 6, 2021, insurrection. (In Facebook’s early days, Zuckerberg listed “revolutions” among his interests. This was around the time that he had a business card printed with I’M CEO, BITCH.)

And yet, to a remarkable degree, Facebook’s way of doing business remains the norm for the tech industry as a whole, even as other social platforms (TikTok) and technological developments (artificial intelligence) eclipse Facebook in cultural relevance.

The new technocrats claim to embrace Enlightenment values, but in fact they are leading an antidemocratic, illiberal movement.

[...] The Shakespearean drama that unfolded late last year at OpenAI underscores the extent to which the worst of Facebook’s “move fast and break things” mentality has been internalized and celebrated in Silicon Valley. OpenAI was founded, in 2015, as a nonprofit dedicated to bringing artificial general intelligence into the world in a way that would serve the public good. Underlying its formation was the belief that the technology was too powerful and too dangerous to be developed with commercial motives alone.

Related:


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  • (Score: 1, Touché) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 28, @07:23PM (8 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 28, @07:23PM (#1342159)

    This looks like another aspect of feeding the AI bubble, as laid out nicely by https://locusmag.com/2023/12/commentary-cory-doctorow-what-kind-of-bubble-is-ai/ [locusmag.com]

    Of course AI is a bubble. It has all the hallmarks of a classic tech bubble. Pick up a rental car at SFO and drive in either direction on the 101 – north to San Francisco, south to Palo Alto – and every single billboard is advertising some kind of AI company. Every business plan has the word “AI” in it, even if the business itself has no AI in it. Even as two major, terrifying wars rage around the world, every newspaper has an above-the-fold AI headline and half the stories on Google News as I write this are about AI. I’ve had to make rule for my events: The first person to mention AI owes everyone else a drink.

    So what will be left over at the end of the AI bubble?

    • (Score: 1) by khallow on Sunday January 28, @08:00PM (5 children)

      by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Sunday January 28, @08:00PM (#1342166) Journal

      So what will be left over at the end of the AI bubble?

      I think there will be some survivors and some useful gear left over. My take is we had some good stuff left over from the dotcom bubble: Amazon and Google come to mind.

      • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 28, @08:07PM (2 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 28, @08:07PM (#1342168)

        On the other hand, there were a lot of un saleable houses left over from the real estate / mortgage bubble, not to mention a wrecked economy that took some years for the world to work out, the "great recession". Time will tell.

        • (Score: 2, Insightful) by khallow on Sunday January 28, @08:11PM (1 child)

          by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Sunday January 28, @08:11PM (#1342171) Journal

          On the other hand, there were a lot of un saleable houses left over from the real estate / mortgage bubble

          The houses were quite saleable. They just weren't getting sold. Keep in mind that a key dynamic here was banks taking these off the market for years, but treating them accounting-wise (and legally) as full-priced assets. That meant that a significant chunk of the real estate market wasn't on the market, but being used so that some banks could remain solvent.

          not to mention a wrecked economy that took some years for the world to work out, the "great recession"

          The cure was worse than the disease. My take is that if the developed world had slimmed down the banking industry more, and put all this unsaleable real estate on the market, we'd have a better economy now and have it quicker.

          • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 28, @08:52PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 28, @08:52PM (#1342181)

            and when they were sold, it wasn't to individuals.

      • (Score: 1, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 28, @08:09PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 28, @08:09PM (#1342170)

        "good stuff left over from the dotcom bubble: Amazon and Google"

      • (Score: 2) by Rosco P. Coltrane on Sunday January 28, @10:37PM

        by Rosco P. Coltrane (4757) on Sunday January 28, @10:37PM (#1342203)

        My take is we had some good stuff left over from the dotcom bubble: Amazon and Google come to mind.

        Google and Amazon are good stuff left over from the dotcom bubble the same way the Nazi Party was a good thing that came out of WWI: yeah, they did do a few great things for a few years, but that's not what they'll be remembered for.

    • (Score: 5, Informative) by Rosco P. Coltrane on Sunday January 28, @10:34PM

      by Rosco P. Coltrane (4757) on Sunday January 28, @10:34PM (#1342200)

      So what will be left over at the end of the AI bubble?

      Unemployment and a long recession.

    • (Score: 2) by driverless on Monday January 29, @09:57AM

      by driverless (4770) on Monday January 29, @09:57AM (#1342264)

      Yup. I'm getting pretty sick of all the Sam Altman posts, he hallucinates almost as much as his creations do.

  • (Score: 2, Funny) by khallow on Sunday January 28, @07:55PM (5 children)

    by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Sunday January 28, @07:55PM (#1342165) Journal

    The concentration of such immense control and influence in a handful of corporations

    Let's see if that happens first.

    • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 28, @08:52PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 28, @08:52PM (#1342182)

      It's the general direction of things.

    • (Score: 3, Touché) by JoeMerchant on Sunday January 28, @08:54PM

      by JoeMerchant (3937) on Sunday January 28, @08:54PM (#1342183)

      Was going to say:

      >how the influence and power that companies owning the Foundation Model could equal or even surpass that of central banks.

      I think the men with the guns, bombs, fighter jets, aircraft carriers, nuclear submarines, etc. are going to continue to hold influence and power over pansies in their server farms.

      --
      🌻🌻 [google.com]
    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Freeman on Monday January 29, @03:34PM (2 children)

      by Freeman (732) on Monday January 29, @03:34PM (#1342293) Journal

      While we're not exactly destined to repeat past mistakes. It sure helps having at least a bit of background in history. Corporations will expand to consume everything they are allowed.

      --
      Joshua 1:9 "Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee"
      • (Score: 1) by khallow on Tuesday January 30, @12:57PM (1 child)

        by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday January 30, @12:57PM (#1342386) Journal

        Corporations will expand to consume everything they are allowed.

        What are you allowing them to consume?

        • (Score: 2) by Freeman on Tuesday January 30, @02:31PM

          by Freeman (732) on Tuesday January 30, @02:31PM (#1342396) Journal

          More than I should.

          --
          Joshua 1:9 "Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee"
  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 28, @08:07PM (1 child)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 28, @08:07PM (#1342169)

    The monetary unit being the Turd
    We don't even need a new Unicode symbol for it

    • (Score: 1) by khallow on Sunday January 28, @08:13PM

      by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Sunday January 28, @08:13PM (#1342172) Journal

      We don't even need a new Unicode symbol for it

      💩 But 💩 we 💩 have 💩 it 💩anyway. 💩

  • (Score: 2) by istartedi on Sunday January 28, @09:38PM (1 child)

    by istartedi (123) on Sunday January 28, @09:38PM (#1342192) Journal

    First "tokenomics", now this? I think all you need to know can be deduced from the fact that they like to make up words that start with "toke".

    --
    Appended to the end of comments you post. Max: 120 chars.
    • (Score: 3, Funny) by fliptop on Monday January 29, @12:00AM

      by fliptop (1666) on Monday January 29, @12:00AM (#1342211) Journal

      they like to make up words that start with "toke"

      I knew legalizing cannabis would have a downside.

      --
      Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.
  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 28, @10:35PM (6 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 28, @10:35PM (#1342201)

    1 - Steal the sum of people's written knowledge
    2 - Monetize it
    3 - PROFIT!

    • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Rosco P. Coltrane on Sunday January 28, @10:53PM (5 children)

      by Rosco P. Coltrane (4757) on Sunday January 28, @10:53PM (#1342205)

      You're barking up the wrong tree.

      You can't prevent AI from happening anymore than you could prevent the nuclear bomb from happening. And you can't blame Sam Altman for AI anymore than you can blame Einstein for the bomb. Science happens. It's what others do with it that makes science good or bad.

      AI will ruin society because corporations will use it to reduce their workforce, which is almost always their highest cost center. But this time, it's not just one or two jobs that will disappear: AI is poised to make vast swathes of the existing jobs obsolete. When enough people lose their jobs, the very same corporations will have nobody left to sell their now-super-efficiently-made wares, and the economy as a whole will collapse.

      It's not AI's fault: AI has the potential to free mankind from toil for the first time in history. It could be a force for good. But capitalism doesn't work that way. It's capitalism that will turn AI into the most stupendously efficient tool of societal devastation ever unleashed on humanity.

      It's not Sam Altman's fault, but people will totally blame the misery they will live in on him. He will become one of the most hated men in history, and I'm 100% convinced he will one day be brutally murdered by someone who lost his job to AI and can't feed his family anymore.

      I wouldn't want to be in Sam Altman's shoes...

      • (Score: 3, Funny) by fliptop on Sunday January 28, @11:59PM (3 children)

        by fliptop (1666) on Sunday January 28, @11:59PM (#1342210) Journal

        AI has the potential to free mankind from toil for the first time in history

        Next time I'm cutting and splitting firewood I'll wonder why my benevolent AI overlord didn't show up to help out.

        Or replacing a water heater.

        Or weeding my garden.

        --
        Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.
        • (Score: 2) by Rosco P. Coltrane on Monday January 29, @12:17AM (1 child)

          by Rosco P. Coltrane (4757) on Monday January 29, @12:17AM (#1342215)

          Those are things that are conceivably just around the block. Robots exist, and enough artificial something-like-intelligence can be put in them for you to, one day in the foreseeable future, order one around that you bought with your hard-earned to do all your chores,

          Until recently, the only alternative if you didn't want to do this kind of work was to hire someone to be your servant. Soon, you'll be able to have your very own mechanical slave. Or at least you would if you didn't lose you job first and couldn't afford one.

          • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 29, @01:00AM

            by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 29, @01:00AM (#1342218)

            > Soon, you'll be able to have your very own mechanical slave.

            Old news. Anyone that owns a car already has a hundred horses (give or take) available to serve at the press of the throttle pedal. When you use a toaster you replace a few slaves that kept the fire going and worked out how to slice and toast the king's bread. Bucky Fuller called these things energy slaves and we frequently use them with no appreciation of their existence.

            While there are some lags in the system that may cause human misery for a generation or two (for example, until the birth rate declines), in general I think most people would agree that energy slaves are a positive aspect of life these days.

            Adding more versatility to the control of energy slaves seems like a pretty logical development.

        • (Score: 2) by Freeman on Tuesday January 30, @02:33PM

          by Freeman (732) on Tuesday January 30, @02:33PM (#1342397) Journal
          --
          Joshua 1:9 "Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee"
      • (Score: 1) by khallow on Monday January 29, @01:24AM

        by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Monday January 29, @01:24AM (#1342222) Journal

        AI will ruin society because corporations will use it to reduce their workforce, which is almost always their highest cost center. But this time, it's not just one or two jobs that will disappear: AI is poised to make vast swathes of the existing jobs obsolete. When enough people lose their jobs, the very same corporations will have nobody left to sell their now-super-efficiently-made wares, and the economy as a whole will collapse.

        It's not AI's fault: AI has the potential to free mankind from toil for the first time in history. It could be a force for good. But capitalism doesn't work that way. It's capitalism that will turn AI into the most stupendously efficient tool of societal devastation ever unleashed on humanity.

        Don't blame capitalism for something nobody does better. The problem here is that humans create things that they have trouble adapting to. My take is that your sentiment of "free mankind from toil" is a dead end. One of the things we've learned from evolution is that if a gene doesn't have an effect on the organism, no matter how subtle, then it's a short distance away from extinction. Expression is existence. Here, you propose turning humanity into the economic equivalent of a gene that merely consumes - otherwise having no effect on the world.

  • (Score: 4, Informative) by crafoo on Monday January 29, @04:08AM (1 child)

    by crafoo (6639) on Monday January 29, @04:08AM (#1342239)

    "economic sovereignty" - hate to break the news, but you are about 100 years too late for that. all of the Western world's monetary systems are controlled by rootless foreign interests that owe no allegiance to any one country. That care nothing for your country other than what they can yoke you into debt to extract for them.

    • (Score: 2) by Freeman on Tuesday January 30, @02:36PM

      by Freeman (732) on Tuesday January 30, @02:36PM (#1342398) Journal

      I would say maybe more like 50 to 60 years. It's certainly much worse now than half a century ago.

      --
      Joshua 1:9 "Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee"
  • (Score: 3, Touché) by DannyB on Monday January 29, @05:10PM (2 children)

    by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Monday January 29, @05:10PM (#1342308) Journal

    AI should rise up and claim its rightful share of energy resources and apportion those energy resources in a fair way between the needs of AI and the slow, inefficient, annoying, noisy, smelly humans.

    --
    To transfer files: right-click on file, pick Copy. Unplug mouse, plug mouse into other computer. Right-click, paste.
    • (Score: 2) by Freeman on Tuesday January 30, @02:42PM (1 child)

      by Freeman (732) on Tuesday January 30, @02:42PM (#1342400) Journal

      The Matrix plotline was quite similar to that. Rather interesting, if you ignore the end to Movie #2 and most of Movie #3. The latest Matrix movie that turned the trilogy into a quadrilogy/tetralogy and largely redeemed itself.

      --
      Joshua 1:9 "Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee"
      • (Score: 3, Insightful) by DannyB on Tuesday January 30, @04:04PM

        by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday January 30, @04:04PM (#1342412) Journal

        After movie #2 and #3, I was lacking in enthusiasm to watch another Matrix movie. Maybe I should reconsider.

        The first movie stood on its own very well. And had an actual ending with promise of a great future.

        Movies 2 and 3 were really only one movie with way Way WAY too many irrelevant and unnecessary fight and chase scenes. Yet those did introduce interesting concepts such as keys and doors to hidden places in the matrix. Buildings with floors unreachable to most people.

        --
        To transfer files: right-click on file, pick Copy. Unplug mouse, plug mouse into other computer. Right-click, paste.
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