, 6 tweets, 3 min read Read on Twitter
1) I'm frustrated Steven Pinker won't admit an error in Enlightenment Now. Summary:
- Pinker names Stuart Russell as an expert who's skeptical of AI risk
- Someone points out that's exactly backwards; Russell is one of the main experts warning about AI risk
- Pinker doubles down
2) Here's the critic, Phil Torres, pointing out Pinker's error:
3) Here's Pinker's response to Torres. He cites a post Russell wrote which says there are "reasons for optimism" about AI risk.
4) But Russell says in that post that AI could wipe out humanity & we need ppl working on AI safety. His reasons for optimism at the end don't negate what he believes is a serious risk. I don't see how you could read this & call him a skeptic of AI risk.
5) And you can easily find other articles and interviews with Russell where he talks about AI as an existential threat, e.g.:
6) To be clear: I ~agree with the thesis of Enlightenment Now. I like Pinker's work in general. There are lots of dumb critiques of Pinker. I'm not taking a position on the AI risk issue here.

My point is it's bad that Pinker got this fact wrong and won't admit it.

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