Tag: impact

Random Thoughts: Internet and AI Equality

Imagine that you are a CEO or a hiring manager of a company named XYU. You are about to choose from two candidates.

The first one is an Ivy League computer science graduate, with a recent machine learning doctorate. The second one is a random kid from Romania, a self-starter with just a high school diploma. The first spent the last five years working on the latest AI technology in MIT’s lab. The second spent the last 3 doing the same but on its own research agenda, starting from scratch while spending 8 hours every day working a random daily job to feed his family. The first was solely focused on his thesis. The second did all the advanced work while renting 8 hours of his life 5 days a week. Surprisingly, Romanian self-started has a better portfolio and demonstrates more innovative thinking in the interview.

Both PhD-s. The first was stamped by the prestigious institution. The second? “Poor, hungry and determined”.

That’s the Internet.

Internet and Equality

The Internet made the world the most equal ever.

The most obvious recent big thing:

“Permanently divorcing physical location from economic opportunity gives us a real shot at radically expanding the number of good jobs in the world while also dramatically improving quality of life for millions, or billions, of people.” 


The world is still insanely inequal. Thankfully, so many great people are working on it. Hopefully, the world will be a much better place soon. Technology is what makes the world more equal. 

AI and Equality

We are still early in the AI game. It’s interesting to think about what advanced AI can do for equality building on the top of the world wide web.

I like this theory that we already are some sort of cyborgs. We use Google in so many gorgeous ways, so extensively that it is part of our core, almost physical beings. We are always connected to the Internet and enhance our abilities by it, intuitively. Google knows what to give us, and it does it so fast. Some kind of intelligence, right, that has so deeply become part of our instincts.

Let’s imagine an even brighter future.

Education. The Internet made it free. For the first time in human history, almost any knowledge is free of charge. Learning with others and mentors is more effective though. Imagine personalized AI tutors. What if we can build conversational AIs that can teach us things we would like to learn, and guide us along the whole way? What if that’s the most effective way to learn? Imagine every kid having a personalized AI mentor.

Life itself. We might extend our lifespan soon. Also, and more importantly, we might end a lot of chronic and other diseases, saving lives of millions every year, particularly of those in marginalized communities and positions. There’s a very high probability that some kind of AI will charge these breakthrough, life-saving and life extension achievements, directly or indirectly.

AI guardian angels”. I like this notion. Take for example the epidemic of loneliness and the cost of psychological help. AI beings might be there to provide help when there’s no one else. 

Paths. Life used to be so confusing for the vast majority of the worldwide population, so – inequal. Access to knowledge and routes to XYZ were hidden in closed networks. Class societies. The open Internet democratized it, revolutionizing societies at scale. Now imagine an AI layer on top of it. A personal assistant that can sketch your different paths, and how and where they lead. 

Language. If you know English well you are a few years ahead. Real-time translation can break down many barriers, access and learning being one of the first serious use cases. 

Rule of Law. We are equal on paper, but in reality, there are racisms in this world, ethnic and other discriminations, violence, biases, corruption… All of these affect the underprivileged much more. AI might. Who’s building “AI for Justice“? Things like “algorithmic bias patrol”, ” corruption AI officers” and things like that?

Random Thoughts: “Get the Fucking Money” / Chamath

Random Thoughts: “Get the Fucking Money” / Chamat 

Money is one of the most consequential inventions. It makes the world go round; It’s used to fund space exploration, do fundamental scientific research, and build brave products that change the world. Sure, it’s directly connected to so many shitstorms at the same time, being the driver of so many “instrumental evils” when people will do nasty stuff to acquire it. They would also use it as an antidote to moral rules and civil behavior, to buy themselves justice, privilege, and other exemptions.

It is the instrument with the capital “i”. Like any other technology, it’s mostly about how it’s used.  By having it more, you can either solve a big problem you care about deeply, or become a terrible, corrupted person.

From the government and citizens’ perspective, it enables prosperity. More money means more taxes, a more vibrant economy and dynamic markets, more innovations, better science, and countless other things.

Wealthier people live longer and happier lives. Check this famous graph:


It can’t buy happiness and friends and it would be wrong to center everything around it – it’s a tool – but it can change the world and solve so many problems. r.  

Not having it? Some research suggests it even lowers the IQ! This is an interesting talk:

Poverty reduction, thus, should be one of the key priorities of our civilization.

Effective Altruism

I stumbled upon effective altruism a few years ago. Effective altruism is all about using reason to produce the best for the world. What should you focus on if you care about the world?

If searching for a new job or thinking about transitioning, check their career section, “jobs that are tackling the world’s most pressing problems”.

My immediate response when I first encountered it was, naturally, to think about myself and my actions and decisions. I consider myself an activist, trying to make the world a better place. Are my approaches wrong?

Let’s get hypothetical. 

So X decides to influence Serbian/Algerian/Korean society as much as he or she can. He/she decides to put it all on paper, to visualize it, and think it through. Let’s say that he/she cares about X the most. It doesn’t matter why X cares about Y, it’s probably very personal.

After some deep thinking, X realizes that it would be the most effective to earn 7 figures, become a multi-millionaire, and put that money in the work for cause Y in this way or another.

While the probability might be low, if he/she does even 20% of it, it’s still a better use of time than struggling to promote the Y cause directly.  It’s just a 10-15 year-long hack.

Have you ever tried to anyhow measure your impact? It’s an interesting exercise.

What I truly love about this sort of thinking is that you can count a lot. You, as an individual, can influence the world directly.

Some other girl, let’s call her Z, is a writer. She does more with words, touching hearts in a beautiful way than she can do with money. So she writes. 

Chamat P

Chamath Palihapitiya is one of the most prominent people in Silicon Valley at this point.

His story, in short, if I understood correctly:

  • A refugee (Sri Lanka) in Canada
  • United States of America, tech: Winamp 
  • AOL, product (youngest VP)
  • The first senior person in FB in charge of growth (up to almost a billion users). Fat equity and “billion-dollar club”
  • Venture capitalist
  • Some of the investments, private + fund: Bitcoin (100 thousand pieces), Tesla (almost 10 times growth), Amazon (almost 10 times growth), Slack (10% of the company -> $2.8 billion), Golden State Warriors (4-5 x) etc.

This is a great article with many great anecdotes.

And this is the main video reference:

What is the assumption?

If money is important as the instrument for < whatever >, it’s about in which direction it flows. If it’s to be made anyway, it’s much better and effective to decide on where it goes. The world is an open playground, with constant power dynamics, and money is what makes the difference. Get it. It’s OK, you as well should become the “capital allocator”. Care about refugees or homeless people? Fund the cause. Advocate for different policies, but add some money on the top.

I am amazed how financially illiterate most of the population is and how financial skills are not evenly distributed. It should be taught from kindergarten. Inequality is often a consequence! I am talking from personal experience. Of course, it’s also about empowerment. No matter where you start – you can fly.  

A bigger picture?

I also loved the idea of giving a certain percentage of your monthly income to what you believe needs to be done. I am considering it, although I wouldn’t say that I am rich. I am thinking of establishing this as a regular practice. Sure, you pay taxes, and that surely does a thing. But you can do much more, proactively. It doesn’t have to be much. Even 3-5 percent can work. What do you care about the most? You don’t have to volunteer for the cause and donate your time. Money is also fine.

Instead of a conclusion: “get the fucking money” is a call to action to think about it as an instrument for desired change, whatever it might be.