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Heineken 0.0% Alcohol Beer is False Advertising, Drug-Seeking Habits May Fuel Relapse Rather Than the Drug, and Experts are Worried About AI Becoming Addicts
Lawsuit takes issue with Heineken's 0.0 beer for containing as much as 0.03% alcohol
When it comes to drinking alcohol, volume matters. To use the "non-alcoholic" label, a brew only has to be less than 0.5% alcohol by volume (ABV). Comparatively, for a drink to be labeled "alcohol-free," the alcohol level has to be literally 0.00% ABV.
As a result, because of the labeling for Heineken 0.0 — the Dutch brand's "alcohol-free" beer that launched in the U.S. in 2019 — it would imply it has 0.0% alcohol. Beyond stating 0.0% ABV, the product is labeled with the phrase "alcohol free." A recent lawsuit suggests that the beer shouldn't be called "0.0" at all. A Louisiana woman is suing Heineken USA, saying that Heineken 0.0's label is misleading because it actually contains 0.03% alcohol.
The lawsuit states, "There are consumers who do not wish to ingest even the minuscule amount of alcohol contained in the product. Consumers should be given that option by being fully informed of the ingredients (i.e. alcohol content) in the product even if it contains less than 0.03% alcohol."
Addiction relapse driven by drug-seeking habit, not just drug
A new study in rats identifies the maladaptive nature of drug-seeking habits and how they contribute to the tendency to relapse.
People with SUD do not just take addictive drugs, they spend a great deal of time foraging for these drugs. During drug foraging, many compulsive behaviors characteristic of SUD manifest themselves, particularly during episodes of relapse following periods of forced abstinence.
“Therefore,” says David Belin, PhD, the study’s senior author, “we found it important to consider the psychological and neural mechanisms of the tendency to inflexibly engage in drug-seeking behaviors, which may reflect the development of maladaptive drug-seeking habits.”
“When they are prevented from enacting their drug-seeking behavior, in conditions for instance like incarceration (…), individuals experience the building of internal distress that results in explosive behavior at relapse, which is mediated by so-called ‘negative urgency,’” says Dr. Belin.
Drugs, robots, and the pursuit of pleasure: Why experts are worried about AIs becoming addicts
In 1953, a Harvard psychologist thought he discovered pleasure within the cranium of a rat. With an electrode inserted into a specific area of its brain, the rat was allowed to pulse the implant by pulling a lever. It kept returning for more: insatiably, incessantly, lever-pulling. In fact, the rat didn’t seem to want to do anything else. Seemingly, the reward center of the brain had been located.
In 2016, a pair of artificial intelligence (AI) researchers were training an AI to play video games. The goal of one game was to complete a racetrack. But the AI was rewarded for picking up collectable items along the track. When the program ran, they witnessed something strange. The AI found a way to skid in an unending circle, picking up an unlimited cycle of collectibles. It did this instead of completing the course.
What links these seemingly unconnected events is something strangely akin to addiction in humans. Some AI researchers call the phenomenon “wireheading.”
If such an AI is created, we can expect that it may have access to its own “source code,” such that it can manipulate its motivational structure and administer its own rewards. This could prove an immediate path to wirehead behavior, and cause such an entity to become, effectively, a “super-junkie.” But unlike the human addict, it may not be the case that its state of bliss is coupled with an unproductive state of inebriation.
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