The Basilisk of the Singularity

The Singularity is tech’s religion, and Roko’s Basilisk is their answer to Pascal’s Wager:

Roko’s basilisk is a proposition that says an all-powerful artificial intelligence from the future may retroactively punish those who did not assist in bringing about its existence. It resembles a futurist version of Pascal’s wager; an argument used to try and suggest people should subscribe to particular singularitarian ideas, or even donate money to them, by weighing up the prospect of punishment versus reward. Furthermore, the proposition says that merely knowing about it incurs the risk of punishment. It is named after the member of the rationalist community LessWrong who most clearly described it.

Okay so this idea is totally new to me. It’s like… some sort of cross between a required belief in God and one of those chain letters that threaten a curse. And according to them, this is the best-case scenario!

In other news, I for one am actively working to help our future AI overlords.


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