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This A.I. Subculture's Motto: Go, Go, Go

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Accelerate or Die, a riff on the Revolutionary War era “Join or Die” flag, at a recent Effective Accelerationism, or “e/acc,” rave in San Francisco.

Credit: Dylan Patel

On a Monday night last month, a few hours after OpenAI held an event for developers in downtown San Francisco, hundreds of artificial intelligence aficionados packed into a three-story nightclub several blocks away to celebrate a looser, less corporate vision of the A.I. future.

Under colorful lights and screens showing anime images, the mostly young, mostly male crowd danced to a D.J. set by the musician Grimes, who is better known in tech circles as Elon Musk's ex. A big banner on the wall read "Accelerate or Die." Another sign showed a diagram of an A.I. neural network emblazoned with the motto "Come and Take It." An A.I. start-up handed out promotional fliers that read "THE MESSENGER TO THE GODS IS AVAILABLE TO YOU."

The party was called "Keep A.I. Open," and it was a coming-out bash of sorts for Effective Accelerationism, one of the weirder and more interesting splinter groups that have emerged from the A.I. boom of the past year.

Effective Accelerationism (often shortened to "e/acc," pronounced "e-ack") is a loosely organized movement devoted to the no-holds-barred pursuit of technological progress. The group believes that artificial intelligence and other emerging technologies should be allowed to move as fast as possible, with no guardrails or gatekeepers standing in the way of innovation.

From The New York Times
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