The “Effective Accelerationism” movement is an eccentric pro-tech movement that seeks to unleash the power of artificial intelligence and have fun in the process. A recent secretive society called the “Keep A.I. Open” party was organized in San Francisco, where […]
The “Effective Accelerationism” movement is an eccentric pro-tech movement that seeks to unleash the power of artificial intelligence and have fun in the process. A recent secretive society called the “Keep A.I. Open” party was organized in San Francisco, where young, predominantly male AI enthusiasts gathered to celebrate a vision of a less corporate AI future.
Effective Accelerationism, abbreviated as “e/acc,” is a loosely organized movement dedicated to fearless technological advancement. The group believes that artificial intelligence and other emerging technologies should be developed as quickly as possible, without any obstacles or controls.
The movement originated on social media last year and gained popularity through Twitter Spaces and group discussions, where members shared memes, engaged in late-night conversations, and collectively ridiculed “decels” and “doomers”—people who expressed concerns about AI safety or regulations that could impede its progress. The movement has also expanded offline, organizing parties and hackathons in the Bay Area and beyond.
The ideas embraced by e/acc, such as opposition to regulations, are part of the standard techno-libertarian scientific belief. The movement appears to resemble older subcultures in Silicon Valley, like the Transhumanists and Extropians, who also valued progress and resisted attempts to restrict technology. The group draws inspiration from the works of British philosopher Nick Land, who wrote several years ago that the accelerated forces of capitalism and AI would eventually collide in a “tech-capital singularity,” a point at which technology exceeds our ability to limit it. (New information suggests that Mr. Land later lost support due to endorsing extreme racial and authoritarian ideas.)
While the e/acc movement captures attention, there are also critics. Critics oppose the notion that we should passively accept the takeover by robots and instead advocate for preserving existing forms of life. Peter S. Park, an AI researcher at M.I.T. and director of an AI safety advocacy group called Stakeout.AI, believes e/acc is a “dangerous and irresponsible ideology that seeks to replace humanity with AI.”
Although initially appearing as a fringe novelty, more prominent technology leaders such as Marc Andreessen and Garry Tan are starting to support “Effective Accelerationism.” This development suggests that the movement may have a greater influence on the technology industry in the future.