“Imagine that you spend 10 hours a day on the internet and […] have no idea if maybe you talked for five hours to neural networks of different forms and shapes and wasted your time. It will be terrible.”
— Alex Blania, Worldcoin
Watching AI tools pop up like crocuses suggests that, yes, we’re going to need proof-of-humanity soon.
Sam Altman co-founded a start-up to tackle this problem back in 2019 as he took the helm at OpenAI.
There’s something disturbing yet lovely about Altman foreseeing the new problems that companies like his would create. Imagine if ExxonMobil had, decades ago, experimented with technologies to mitigate carbon dioxide increases. While some might argue that it’s dumb to ever build anything that might create new problems and we should’ve never used fossil fuels to start with, life would look very different today. You wouldn’t have the smartphone you’re probably reading this on. Some would then argue that life would be better with all this tech, but let’s not digress.
I’m glad he thought ahead—it’s rare.
But it’s also a reminder that is going to be a real, hard problem, and likely in 1-2 years rather than decades.
It’s difficult to imagine a solution that doesn’t feel at least somewhat invasive, because it needs to tap into some part of us that is human AND unique. (Why unique? Because catfishing with AI will be even easier.) Worldcoin uses retinal scans. While I’m not sure how this would prevent me from logging in with my eyeballs and then using ChatGPT, it would theoretically prevent scams based on people pretending to be other people. It also feels like a scene out of a dystopian movie.
The world is changing.