In the early 20th century, anything Princeton staff represented related to computing and the simulation of human thought was assumed to be flawless. In the late 20th century, it was MIT's AI lab that was trusted to define what was feasible and what were the next steps. Is Google the new source of legitimacy in AI pronouncements? Because of the connection between that corporation and the daily life of people on earth, has that publication honor that was given to the primary AI centers of research in the 20th century reached a level in the early 21st century that rivals deity?

It sometimes seems that, when people don't understand something in a paper with the word Google anywhere in the authorship block, it is automatically assumed that the reader is wrong because the paper is of universal authority. They seem to jump to the assumption that their mind must adjust to whatever the paper states. Is this equivalent to religious scripture?

Carl Jung wrote,

Contemporary man is blind to the fact that, with all his rationality and efficiency, he is possessed by "powers" that are beyond his control. His gods and demons have not disappeared at all; they have merely got new names.

This is an AI StackExchange, so the proposal in this question is that perhaps the same brain machinery has been used for the following things

  • An ancient Egyptian gathering with others to worship the sun god Re
  • Casiodoris using the resources of the Roman Empire to send holy scripture out on horseback to the far reaches of the empire to save it from the invading barbarian hordes
  • AI researchers finding some unassailable source of truth in a university or a multinational corporation

Is Carl Jung correct, and, if so, is this human need to find legitimacy in an institution now manifesting in the AI community's absolute trust in a corporation that automated the 18th century library card catalog and built that automaton into a large multinational corporation?

Lastly, if both those questions can be answered in the affirmative, what risks can exist when the human mind treats a university or a corporation as a god from an economic or social risk management perspective?


To your first question, there are two stages that keep us far from ai realization. Stage one: gods' ai. As to say man must first conjure a way to produce something capable of reason. Stage two: mother's touch to ai. As to say, the first intelligent non-organic creature will not be as smart as its true potential. Just as we as humans must strive to realize what is and what could be.

What is being created today are sharp, efficient tools. They are nothing more and never will be anything but what they are. When a tool is made every aspect is thought through and perfected to its makers ends.

If Google or another company would like to lay claim to the making of their tools, then who are we to criticize such patents of thought?

As to the second question, there are no gods, no love, no sunshine without the lessons from mother. The term mother in this case is a loose term to describe the lessons, or "programming" humans receive from the day the emerge out into the ever demanding world that humans inhabit.

The "powers" man is possessed by can be called many things, but in its raw form it is simply a programmatic inflection as a true driver.

My programming had me come on here and exchange my thoughts as I have, and yours the same in your own way. You question because, there are not any powers beyond you to force you otherwise.

To your last question, Yuval Harari summed this question up best in his book Homo Deus. I will leave it short and sweet.

He explained that when institutions were first created, they were used to serve man. Today, institutions are entities in which we as humans put everything we have into them, for little to nothing in return.

Your question touches on so many thought processes. I will keep my thoughts short for now.

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No, "Google's view of AI" (which in and of itself already is kind of vague, there are plenty of people within Google who have very different ideas) has not risen to the status of universal truth.

It sometimes seems that, when people don't understand something in a paper with the word Google anywhere in the authorship block, it is automatically assumed that the reader is wrong because the paper is of universal authority. They seem to jump to the assumption that their mind must adjust to whatever the paper states.

It does not seem like that to me at all.

Yes, there has been research (from Google actually) indicating that there is some bias in paper review for example. When reviewers can see the author names and their affiliations, there is some measurable bias towards accepting them more often when they are from famous / well-known than when they are not famous. That includes Google, but also other companies (like Facebook, OpenAI) and universities and simply individuals who happen to be well-known even if their affiliations aren't. The same thing probably also happens occasionally even when double-blind reviewing is used, because... well, it's not difficult to guess where the anonymous authors may be coming from when the experiments described in their paper use a huge collection of TPUs.

It's nothing more than that though, just a bias. They get their papers accepted (and probably also cited) a bit more often. They definitely do not always get their papers accepted. Plenty of papers from Google have been rejected too (which means the reviewers did not simply accept whatever was written without critical thinking), and that will continue to happen too. It also happens more often than not that I see/hear others being critical or confused by things they write. There is still plenty of critical thinking going around.

Of course, the fact of the matter still is that they have managed to attract many world-class researchers (who were also already known as such before joining Google). It is no surprise that such researchers do have many good ideas, do write solid papers, and with Google they also do have the resources (in terms of computation, finances, development support from highly skilled software engineers, etc.) to execute more ideas, execute them more quickly, and more thoroughly. This naturally gives them an important voice, but they are not immune to criticism.

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