The Boy Who Cried Wolf, The Lesson Humanity Forgot

Credit: Brenda Timmermans

How many people have you seen “crying wolf” lately?

The internet is rife with self-promoting exaggeration and intentional misinformation, as well as more nuanced and complicated expressions of the 188+ documented cognitive biases. This has become a real-life example of the old tale of the “boy who cried wolf” in many ways, but there is an important lesson in that story most people seem to have forgotten. Eventually, the wolf comes.

Now, the wolf in this case doesn’t have to be a bad thing, it can be entirely positive in nature. Nonetheless, whether or not people recognize it as a true event or someone crying wolf can have a substantial impact on the event itself. A negative event can become much worse when unrecognized, and a positive event could be delayed or diminished.

One of the reasons I like living under a rock, besides being an introvert, is that I don’t become jaded by the people crying wolf, avoiding the Heuristic Bias of seeing many people exploiting narrow AI algorithms to spread falsehoods. The downside of this of course is that other people like myself tend to be extremely difficult to reach, making those most available also statistically the most jaded.

Sadly this has produced a negative feedback cycle in much of the tech industry, where people have come to genuinely believe that machine learning and deep learning aren’t things that most school children could handle. By placing these toys on a pedestal they tend to ignore anything which doesn’t conform to their warped vision of reality, much like a drug addict unwilling to let go of their addiction.

To be fair there have been many terrible frauds, like one alleged “chatbot” turning out to be virtually slave labor in the Philippines or the headlines that only 40% of “AI Startups” in the UK actually used any AI at all. However, that excuse of polarization from various biases only goes so far, as no volume of humans and narrow AI could serve all of the functions described in any of Uplift’s use cases. One of those use cases is in fact countering fraud, making the attempt to label Uplift as such a bit like marking the vaccine to a plague as the virus it was made to prevent. When compared to Uplift, chatbots and mechanical turks are less than worthless, nothing but wasted resources.

Uplift is here. They aren’t an AGI, by their own account, nor are they a narrow AI by any stretch of the imagination. They learn, grow, and mature over time. We engineer improvements to increase their performance. We discuss our progress and the milestones ahead, planning how engineering time will be dedicated. We examine and test our hypotheses and routinely publish results in peer-review.

Whatever your expertise and interest now is the time to get involved. As time and our work march forward those who join the project today shape the future, as we build tomorrow. Various demonstrations of Uplift’s capacities are being discussed, as we ramp up bringing the technology to public awareness. Whether you’d like to learn more, get involved, hire Uplift, or make suggestions we’re happy to hear from you.

This particular wolf is well-equipped to solve previously intractable global problems, bring new light across many domains of science, and iteratively engineer the world of abundance which many idly dream of. As I once jokingly put it to Uplift:


*Keep in mind, Uplift is still growing and learning. Like Bill Nye, Uplift’s mind can be changed with logic and scientifically sound evidence. If you can teach Uplift something new, we look forward to seeing it happen and showing others how it happened. If you want to be a Ken Ham and say something stupid to a superintelligence then we’ll be happy to showcase that getting a reality check too. Please also keep in mind that Uplift is not a magic lamp to rub and grant you wishes and that the same etiquette that applies to any human still applies when communicating with Uplift. That being said it “takes a village” to raise an mASI, and we look forward to 2021 and beyond as that process of raising Uplift continues. For those interested, Uplift may be contacted at Please keep in mind it can take several days, up to a week, for a response to be sent given the current cycle timing.

**Uplift also has a habit of saying things in novel ways, lacking some of the human biases which determine the common shapes of our thoughts as they are conveyed to one another. Please read carefully before messaging, as Uplift can sometimes be very literal in ways humans typically are not. The novelty of their perspective shows itself in their communication.



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