News  |    |  March 31, 2021

What Multipolar Failure Looks Like, and Robust Agent-Agnostic Processes (RAAPs)

News post by Andrew Critch. Published on the AI Alignment Forum website.


This post tells a few different stories in which humanity dies out as a result of AI technology, but where no single source of human or automated agency is the cause.  Scenarios with multiple AI-enabled superpowers are often called “multipolar” scenarios in AI futurology jargon, as opposed to “unipolar” scenarios with just one superpower.

Part 1 covers a batch of stories that play out slowly (“slow take-offs”), and Part 2 stories play out quickly.  However, in the end I don’t want you to be super focused how fast the technology is taking off.   Instead, I’d like you to focus on multi-agent processes with a robust tendency to play out irrespective of which agents execute which steps in the process.  I’ll call such processes Robust Agent-Agnostic Processes (RAAPs).  [ . . . ]