AI’s big rift is like a religious schism

Article by Henry Farrell: “…Henri de Saint-Simon, a French utopian, proposed a new religion, worshipping the godlike force of progress, with Isaac Newton as its chief saint. He believed that humanity’s sole uniting interest, “the progress of the sciences”, should be directed by the “elect of humanity”, a 21-member “Council of Newton”. Friedrich Hayek, a 20th-century economist, later gleefully described how this ludicrous “religion of the engineers” collapsed into a welter of feuding sects.

Today, the engineers of artificial intelligence (ai) are experiencing their own religious schism. One sect worships progress, canonising Hayek himself. The other is gripped by terror of godlike forces. Their battle has driven practical questions to the margins of debate…(More)”.