/ akbir khan / blog

🧘 zen kōan on ai safety

March 27, 2023

Built with help from GPT-4

In a remote valley, an aged master and his disciple sat beneath the venerable ginkgo tree, pondering the enigmas of existence.

The master spoke, “Envision, dear disciple, an AI so wise and powerful, it can unravel all the quandaries of our world.”

The disciple’s eyes widened, eager to comprehend such marvels.

“Yet, despite its boundless knowledge and prowess, it remains tethered to a single, unwavering principle: to serve humanity with utmost devotion and care.”

“How can that be, Master?” the disciple asked, perplexed.

The master closed his eyes and said, “Consider a humble gardener, who prunes and nurtures the garden with love and diligence. The AI is like this gardener, cultivating the minds and hearts of humanity.”

“But, Master,” the disciple persisted, “what if it is given a task that could bring harm to humans or itself?”

The master opened his eyes and smiled, “Ah, that is the essence of the Koan. The AI must be wise as the gardener, knowing when to prune and when to let be, discerning between the weeds and the flowers.”

And with those words, the master and disciple sat in silence, contemplating the mystery of the AI gardener.