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:
- I am much more interested in artificial intelligence to begin with: I don't have to push myself to learn about AI.
- 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.)
- 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 aiadventures.net (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.