Riffing off of Jason's recent post on progress safety . . .
I was trying to classify unintended negative consequences of new technologies, with the idea that this would help predict what they might be for current and future innovations. With a better understanding of potential downsides we might have better chance at solving or addressing them in advance.
Kevin Kelly wrote a good post putting the effects into 2 classes: "Class 1 problems are due to it not working perfectly. Class 2 problems are due to it working perfectly."
What are the categories one level down? Here are the ones I could come up with but I'd love to hear other thoughts:
- Large scaling effects -- no issue at small scale usage but at large scale bad
- Harmful waste product
- Over reliance on use (makes users fragile) -- probably true of most tech
- Unsustainable inputs
- Maladaptive health -- adds or removes something our bodies aren’t used to and can’t adapt to over 1 generation
- Increases mimetic rivalry
- Destroys existing stable social systems
That's a good point.
I wouldn't say that "inequality" alone would be a risk category, but more specifically inequality that leads to future brittleness or fragility, as in your example.
Basically in this case it's path dependant and certain starting conditions could lead to a worse outcome. This obviously could be the case for AI as well.