Will a solar storm at least as powerful as the Carrington Event hit Earth before superintelligence is created?
13
53
340
2100
29%
chance

The half-baked idea occurred to me the other day that a catastrophic geomagnetic storm that ruins all our electronics might be the closest thing we could get to an Eliezer Yudkowsky style 'pivotal act' to prevent AI doom comparable to his example of 'burn all CPUs'.

For brief context, the Carrington Event geomagnetic storm hit Earth in the 1800s, and a similar sized storm narrowly missed Earth in 2012.

Get Ṁ200 play money
Sort by:

Geomagnetic storms only affect one half of the earth, so at least one of Asia /. North America / Europe would emerge with their GPUs and electrical infrastructure intact (although a perfectly positioned one could hit California, Taiwan and China at the same time). It'd still be likely to delay things considerably, but it's not quite the pivotal act you might be hoping for.

@SaviorofPlant ah shit, I didn't think of that, guess we'll die then haha 🤷

@TheAllMemeingEye Why would we die?

@Snarflak Because there's a significant chance superintelligence alignment will fail, so if its creation isn't prevented (e.g. by a geomagnetic storm destroying all computing technology), it may kill us and everyone we love.

https://time.com/6266923/ai-eliezer-yudkowsky-open-letter-not-enough/

"We are not ready. We are not on track to be significantly readier in the foreseeable future. If we go ahead on this everyone will die, including children who did not choose this and did not do anything wrong." - Eliezer Yudkowsky

Obviously it's not guaranteed, but I personally believe the chances are 20-40% of death.

"At least as powerful as the Carrington Event" would be more than 1 billion deaths, right?

@singer I mean in terms of physical properties of the storm (speed, mass, magnetic field warping etc) rather than its end result, though based on the Kurzgesagt video I gather it could range from a few hundreds of deaths to billions depending on power grid resilience and knock on effects to agriculture

Relevant arbitration opportunities:

More related questions