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Good write up. These are important discussions we should be having and you’ve done well to highlight some possible positives. I do have a few points I don’t necessarily agree with though. First off, all these are pretty moot without a good steady power supply. An AGI utopia is plausible in the west for example, because some fusion focused companies like Helion energy are already working on Mini fusion reactors (unsure about efficacy, but preliminary demos are promising). Such technologies aren’t even close to being discussed in Nigeria given that we don’t even have the most basic power generating mechanisms or even national level piped clean water. Nigeria is at least a century behind on that front.

The next is in the plausibility of “robots” working in any capacity in Nigeria in the next decade. Robots being a reality, even the west, likely won’t happen until the 2030s, as engineering hardware like robots is very resource intensive, and has slow iteration cycles unlike software. Like, imagine trying to train a humanoid level robot on RLHF for physical tasks, the iteration cycles would be so slow. The current state of robotics also hasn’t had its large aha moment like deep learning was for machine learning. There are still fundamental mechanical constraints like actuator DOF limits as well as required breakthroughs in materials sciences for humanoid AI powered humanoid robots to be something taken seriously in any capacity.

The fundamental problems in Nigeria are safety and poverty. Even if it’s possible to deploy security robots across the country, what’s stopping people from just stripping them for spare parts and selling em. It’s not like the robots can defend themselves or anything (that’s a whole can of worms).

The last point I have is that, the singularity can occur under two directions, the utopia, everyone is a god type of scenario, or the dystopic, only some people, from some places, are gods, and the people that aren’t from those places, exist in the outskirts and are nothing more than dregs. The movie Elysium does well in depicting such a society. A third is the world lives in a technological utopia, while the remaking two thirds don’t. The promises of incredible GDP returns from AGI will likely cause fragmentation in a place like Nigeria, as the off guard would rather destroy the country than let it be free. They believe that if they can’t have it, no one can, and will summarily destroy it without hesitation. As we saw, they didn’t hesitate to descend to Goebbles level propaganda against Igbos just to win the election. They are aware of the implications of they did, and the can of worms it is opening up, but they’d rather the country implode than lose power.

My points might not be super clear because I just woke up, but I’d love to discuss this more. AGI might not save Africa, unless Africans develop their own government funded Labs, which they are not going to do. And it’s likely already too late. The gap that the Industrial Revolution brought about between the west and Africa is about to pale in comparison to the differential outcomes AGI is going to bring. Scary and promising thins ahead regardless. If you’re an African with IQ > 115 (can best leverage new technology to either escape Nigeria or “help?”), then the future AGI brings will be good to you. I can’t say the same for the rest.

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