Remember: Why the World Needs Decentralized Legal AI

Legalcomplex
3 min readMay 13, 2024

We now ask AI to answer complex questions. Eventually, AI will also take actions on our behalf. At that point, will we lose free will?

Borg

My eldest just discovered Black Mirror, and she asked for my favorite episode. It’s impossible to pick favorites, but I eventually settled on season 3, episode 3: Shut Up and Dance. No spoilers, but the overarching theme of Black Mirror is the impact of technology on society. Especially the pressure tech exerts on our power to decide. A power that is derived from access to our information.

The main reason TikTok is banned in the USA is the fear of Influence by China. The irony is that this move is unconstitutional, since the decision to ban is actually also authoritarian. There is legal precedence for reciprocity. Meaning, China bans American apps all the time. However, the speed at which these decisions were made, invoke unease. Especially with a lack of evidence and transparency on all sides.

To summarize: Technology with our information, can exert control over us. That technology is hard to trust when control is concentrated in a few places.

AGI

Sam Altman, the CEO of OpenAI, defines AGI (Artificial General Intelligence) as an AI system that is generally smarter than humans and can perform any intellectual task that a median human can do. Whether you agree with this definition or not, such a system would require immense energy, data, and compute resources. Not only all the world’s knowledge but also all our personal information. Who we are, who our friends and colleagues are, where we work, and how we feel. If we are hurting and ask AI to heal, it has to know our symptoms. And it will need to remember more about us, to get better at serving us.

AGI will need more data on us, because we’ll rely more on AGI for our decisions. And one day,AGI will also takes actions on our behalf. In case you missed this: The Rabbit R1 is a physical device that can order a meal from DoorDash. Now, we should not expect these devices to be flawless any time soon. However, consider how we could ever live without them after they do become telepathic. He rabbit, how did you know I was hungry and craved some taco’s? Rabbit: you have habits and there is a pattern. You are predictable.

The ability of AGI to anticipate our every need is scarier than the capability to wipe us out. Now, the first to give us AGI will receive the most power to shape our lives.

Remember

As humans, our natural drive has been to automate as much as possible. AGI is the tool that brings unimaginable efficiency. This will change business models and our entire economy. Society will shift from Google/Meta attention economy towards an algorithm economy. Like TikTok, those who have data on our habits will have the best chance to break them. Similar to the ban, it is technically and psychologically hard to untangle the dependencies. Unless, we decide early what would be the best design for these systems to influence us.

The rise of Blockchain coincided with the Occupy Wall Street movement. The solution that made blockchain technology so attractive was its decentralized architecture. This meant a distribution of power. In short, a few unelected could not mess up the lives of the many. This also attracted the legal industry, which invented a concept of separation of power dating all the way back to Greece’s Aristotle. Only lawyers feel a twinkle when they hear the name: Montesquieu. Ultimately, a long line of legal scholars wrote the code that makes society run safely.

Ponder: What would be a healthy and safe design for AGI to rule us all? Well, if you’ve had any legal ed, it should be obvious.

Originally published at https://www.legalcomplex.com on May 13, 2024.

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Legalcomplex

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