How are people here dealing with AI doomerism? Thoughts about the future of AI and specifically the date of creation of the first recursively self-improving AGI have invaded almost every part of my life. Should I stay in my current career if it is unlikely to have an impact on AGI? Should I donate all of my money to AI-safety-related research efforts? Should I take up a career trying to convince top scientists at DeepMind to stop publishing their research? Should I have kids if that would mean a major distraction from work on such problems?
More than anything though, I’ve found the news of progress in the AI field to be a major source of stress. The recent drops in Metaculus estimates of how far we are from AGI have been particularly concerning. And very few people outside of this tiny almost cult-like community of AI safety people even seem to understand the unbelievable level of danger we are in right now. It often feels like there are no adults anywhere; there is only this tiny little island of sanity amidst a sea of insanity.
I understand how people working on AI safety deal with the problem; they at least can actively work on the problem. But how about the rest of you? If you don’t work directly on AI, how are you dealing with these shrinking timelines and feelings of existential pointlessness about everything you’re doing? How are you dealing with any anger you may feel towards people at large AI orgs who are probably well-intentioned but nonetheless seem to be actively working to increase the probability of the world being destroyed? How are you dealing with thoughts that there may be less than a decade left until the world ends?