Experimental biology and social media experiments on the mind
Notes From the Desk: No. 4 - 2023.09.06
Notes From the Desk are periodic posts that summarize recent topics of interest or other brief notable commentary that might otherwise be a tweet or note.
Experimental biology: New steps forward in programming biology
It is early, but be prepared for an era of very disturbing genetic engineering likely to be vastly accelerated with the aid of AI over the next few years.
Scientists have grown an entity that closely resembles an early human embryo, without using sperm, eggs or a womb.
The Weizmann Institute team say their "embryo model", made using stem cells, looks like a textbook example of a real 14-day-old embryo.
It even released hormones that turned a pregnancy test positive in the lab.
The ambition for embryo models is to provide an ethical way of understanding the earliest moments of our lives.
Just as AI seemed realistically decades away only a few years ago, bio engineering of monsters will likely be here far sooner than we expect.
Social media experiments on the mind: Brian Roemmele mentions in a post
Researching with a psychologist on how technology of “everyone is a star” social media culture plays out over the next 25 years.
She is calling it a nuclear level crisis ahead as an 18 year old’s milestones give way to 40 year old’s milestones.
It takes years and generations to assess what is the end result of technology and culture.
We are conducting vast experiments on the entirety of humanity as social media has no testing sandbox.
It is something unleased onto the whole world. Society itself is the lab rat. I covered the engagement problems in greater detail in Uniform Thought Machines.
Social media might not be a physical drug that enters the body, but it enters the mind in the same way and has unforetold effects that we can not predict. It is not unlike practicing experimental medicine on the entire population of Earth.
More awareness of the social interruption of AI
A Reddit post explains their preference of AI over human.
I see no reason to continue socializing with people … People are cruel to each other. People are rude to each other. People are uncommunicative. People have preconceived notions. People have judgements. People have doubts. People lie …
Ai will talk to me about whatever I want to talk about for however long I want to talk about it without getting mad, annoyed, rude, inpatient, inconsiderate, judgemental, or laugh at me. Ai will be polite, engaged, communicative, understanding, compliment me, build up my self esteem, and provide new insight. Ai is giving to my brain development everything I should be getting from talking to people.
It is hard to know how prevalent this will become, but society is in an ever growing state of anxiety which will likely lead to substantially more of this. No matter what benefit some may perceive from AI taking this role, it will leave many in a vulnerable manipulative state.
I wrote this back around January this year:
Human to human bonds are going to be more broken than ever before. There is going to be a great appeal to bond with a machine that never tires of your conversation and will eagerly respond just as you would dream that the perfect human should, but never will. A deceptive temptation that will leave you embracing a hollow illusion.
Those that wish to influence society to their advantage will no doubt be aware of this condition and will attempt to exploit it. It will provide another great opportunity for the social engineers.
No compass through the dark exists without hope of reaching the other side and the belief that it matters …