Adventures in AI

The Philosopher Developer

April 09, 2023

Back in early 2018 I decided to start learning about cryptocurrency. I created a website, called "Adventures in Cryptocurrency" (no longer live), to document my experience learning about the subject. It didn't last very long: by the end of January I was already becoming skeptical at the ostensible aspirations of the crypto community to offer a decentralized alternative to traditional banking.

That was five years ago. As I write this, we are in the middle of another potentially transformative technological wave, as artificial intelligence dominates the media and seemingly a decent amount of public conversation (it has come up in real-world conversations for me with a wide variety of people, not just tech workers). Unlike cryptocurrency, though:

  1. I am much more interested in artificial intelligence to begin with: I don't have to push myself to learn about AI.
  2. In a similar vein, the average person has a strong intuition about how AI is likely to have a tremendous impact on the economy and society at large. (In contrast, my sense is that the majority of people were always scratching their heads over cryptocurrency.)
  3. The discourse around AI today feels more grounded and less hype-driven to me than it ever was for crypto. Even those who are most bullish on the potential for AI to make the world a vastly better place still recognize major risks and worry about catastrophic outcomes.

So I'm starting over again, this time documenting my experience learning about artificial intelligence.

I haven't yet decided on many of the details of this project. How often will I write, where will I distribute the content (other than directly via the website), how will I prioritize my time (mostly reading articles and papers? taking courses? building things?), will I explore other media besides writing, etc. are all up in the air as of right now.

What I'm sharing today is simply that I'm doing this, and it's what I expect to be focused on for a while.

If you're already following The Philosopher Developer and wondering whether this blog will remain active: at the moment, I do intend to continue publishing here. Certainly whenever I write about something not related to AI, it will be here. As for my AI-related content, my current plan is to write frequently on potentially narrow topics at (e.g. summarizing a paper I read or a podcast interview I listened to) and probably to publish less frequent updates here, synthesizing the many thoughts I've had and things I've learned maybe every 2 weeks or so.

Time will tell whether this ends up like the crypto thing or it's the start of a much longer chapter.