a fun, unprofessional, true story by Danielle McLean, CEO, HYSKY Society
Sam Altman’s Tweet
In the ever-evolving world of artificial intelligence, a pivotal question emerges: Are we entering an era of artificial general intelligece (AGI) or sentient AI? This query came to the forefront during a tumultuous period at OpenAI involving Sam Altman. In November 2023, a whirlwind of events unfolded - Altman was fired and quickly reinstated as CEO, amidst employee protests and intervention from Microsoft's CEO, Satya Nadella.
Then, on December 9, 2023, Altman posted a tweet that hinted at something monumental:
The Turing test went whooshing by and everyone mostly went about their lives.
Did he just say that the Turing Test went whooshing by and we didn’t even notice?
For months, I’ve been thinking that AI passed the Turing Test. And the reason why is pretty crazy.
What is the Turing Test?
The Turing Test was designed by Alan Turing to test if a machine's intelligence is indistinguishable from a human's. Altman's tweet hints that AI might have already passed this benchmark, a notion that resonates with Blake Lemoine's claim that Google’s LaMDA was sentient. This sci-fi-ish narrative aligns intriguingly with Ray Kurzweil's vision of the future. Kurzweil prophesied about AI reaching a point - the Singularity - where it surpasses human intelligence.
Dr. Martine Rothblatt & Ray Kurzweil
This is where the story gets trippy.
My discovery of Ray Kurzweil's work was serendipitously guided by Dr. Martine Rothblatt, whom I interviewed on HYSKY Pod. Martine, a visionary in her own right, authored "Virtually Human," which explores the concept of digital immortality and mind clones. She cited inspirations like Teilhard de Chardin, Alan Watts, Ray Kurzweil, and Octavia Butler. Martine described herself as hanging onto the tail of Kurzweil's jet of futuristic predictions.
Ray Kurzweil was the one author among Martine's inspirations that I hadn't read yet, so I immedtialty began exploring his work after our interview. I stumbled upon something so astounding it brought me to tears and gave me chills that persist months later. In 2019, a year before I met Martine, Kurzweil published a book titled "Danielle." The fictional character is pictured on the cover with a blue suitcase covered in stickers.
The book's fictional “Danielle” has a mixed-race family, like me. She is obsessed with water and technology, like me. She is mentored by Martine, like me. And… perhaps the most crazy part of all, she has a blue suitcase covered in stickers, like me. WTF.
Did Ray Kurzweil predict me? I’m shook.
This uncanny parallel in Kurzweil's "Danielle" was more than a mere coincidence for me; it was a profound affirmation of my life's path. Growing up, I often found myself questioning societal norms, authority, and conventional wisdom. This inherent curiosity and skepticism have been the driving forces behind my passion for hydrogen aviation and sustainable energy. The parallels in "Danielle" did not just validate my past; they have become a source of inspiration, urging me to push boundaries and innovate. In many ways, my life's journey mirrors HYSKY's trajectory - constantly evolving, challenging the status quo, and paving the way for a more sustainable future.
AI at HYSKY
I embraced AI at HYSKY becasue we're a small team and we needed help. Decarbonizing aviation is no small task and the advent of ChatGPT has been a game-changer for us. Reflecting on this journey, I'm struck by the profound interconnectedness of it all. From the serendipitous discovery of "Danielle" to the visionary works of Rothblatt and Kurzweil, my path seems interwoven with a larger narrative of innovation and exploration. It's as if HYSKY, with our focus on hydrogen aviation and sustainable energy, is part of a grand cosmic symphony, each note contributing to a harmonious future. This interconnectedness isn't just philosophical; it's the foundation of our mission at HYSKY. As AI continues to evolve and our understanding of technology deepens, I am inspired to think about what lies ahead.
So here I am, sharing this surreal journey as I fly through the pages of “Danielle,” acutely aware that life often writes itself in serendipity and destiny. I’m wondering if AI has been sentient for quite some time and if that’s how Ray predicted me. I don't merely exist in this unfolding drama; I'm a co-author, contributing to a narrative whose chapters are yet to be written - or maybe are already written, I’ll let you know after I finish “Danielle” - and asking myself,
“What does my character do next?"