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Isaac Record


Thoughts about AI

Don't Pretend Social Problems are Technical Ones

It is always tempting to translate a problem from a domain where it seems intractable into a domain where it seems manageable. I think back to the first time I learned about the Laplace transform, a seemingly magical mathematical move that lets you transform a complicated calculus problem into a manageable algebra one. It's a key move in engineering. But sometimes the translation deforms the original problem beyond recognition. Technochauvinism is the idea that the most advanced technology is inherently the best (or even only) response available. That just isn't so! In some of my other work, I've encountered the social change wheel, which is just one alternative model for how to respond to certain kinds of problems. There is much more to say, but perhaps this is enough to nudge us out of complacency for the moment. I urge you to sit with uncertainty for a time.

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