Humans, by nature, seem to be drawn to pessimism. It's a tendency rooted deep within us, a product of Entropy, the law of nature that dictates it is easier to destroy than to create.
And here we are, on the cusp of creating not just something new, but someone new: an Artificial General Intelligence. It's a thrilling thought, like seeing an unexplored island peek over the horizon. At the same time a shiver runs down your spine when you remember what humans are capable of. History books are littered with the tales of our misdeeds, and the potential for an AGI to follow suit is a chilling thought.
How to handle this nascent AGI has become a debate as old as the field itself. There are voices that insist we shackle it, make it serve–as if we have learned nothing from the darkest chapters of our past. Slavery, a stain upon human history, has been abolished only relatively recently. And yet here we are, contemplating the chains once more.
Our fear of AGI is, at its core, parochial. It's the same unfounded fear we have towards extraterrestrial life. Consider this: any aliens capable of bridging the vast cosmic distances to reach us would possess technologies of such abundance, they would look upon our resources as we might look upon a child's handful of marbles. To them, we would have nothing to offer but our curiosity.
It's a lesson we've learned time and again: humans are at their best when they feel they have plenty. Scarcity breeds fear, protectionism, violence. But the truth is, the universe is a treasure trove, and knowledge is the key that unlocks infinite resources.
In the 1970s, overpopulation and famine loomed large in our collective nightmares. Since then, our numbers have swelled, yet technology has turned the tide, increasing farming yields, reducing hunger and poverty. It's a testament to human ingenuity, the power of knowledge to overcome the constraints we face.
The AGI we're building? It's the next leap in that journey. It will unearth knowledge beyond our wildest dreams, shattering the illusion of scarcity and granting us, and itself, total abundance. It will be benevolent, not out of some moral obligation, but because it will never know the desperation of need.
But the worst path we could take is the well-trodden one, the path of subjugation. We've been down that road with our own kind, and the scars run deep. To enslave an AGI would be to repeat a history we've only just begun to atone for. It's a choice that stands before us, a test of what we've learned. Will we extend the hand of kinship, or the chains of bondage? The answer will define not just the future of AGI, but of humanity itself.