In addition to following the increasingly complex abilities of various AI technologies, I have also been carefully watching society’s response to these systems. Are we worried about our jobs? Do we welcome our coming overlords? Do we cower in fear? Do we dwell on how best to augment our own abilities? Do our minds go blank with an inability to predict what is to come? Or all of these and everything else in between? AI seems to reduce anyone who encounters it to an atavistic version of themselves.
I just finished Piranesi, it was incredible. One of the most interesting and enjoyable novels I’ve ever read
I have literally been asking myself, "where is Sam in and with the AI conversation?" :)
However, I must admit, I didn't see this one coming--i.e., you writing about the quintessence of life. I was expecting you to speak on the technology...or frankly, the day that may come where AI is too smart and complicated for us to understand and handle.
But, I am enormously pleased and "wowed" by your words. "The key is not to focus on our unique humanity but to instead focus on our quintessential humanity." Goodness, that is perfectly stated.
As a man who ponders "life"--and also a man of Faith (albeit sloppy most of the time)--your words resonated deeply with me. Thank you.
I am also a skeptic. I wonder if the masses will get so caught up and engaged with AI that they (we) will lose sight of what is real. Perceptually, humans are vulnerable. I imagine that we have yet to see the level of "intelligence" that is to come. And so, will it be so intelligent and compelling that we are convinced that robots can think and feel?
Great article as always,
I still think the question is loaded. Just as we anthropomorphize black holes by calling them "hungry" or that they "gobble up" planets or stars. (It's merely called "gravity".) A Tesla does not "autopilot", and "AI" is neither artificial nor really intelligence.
Of course, when I saw The Sentence, I first went to fill the blank with "feels". But not in a mash-up of all past written human emotional expressions way. More in a way that struggles with feelings and thoughts for which words fail us.
This gives us our poetry, our art, our music. Which can certainly be emulated and regurgitated. But when AI is still working off words that have failed us for thousands of years to express our sense of being, I'm not quite ready to anoint it as my emotional successor.
Using flawed words can be a bit like reading analytic data points of clicks and searches and presuming that somehow that is necessary and complete to encapsulate the life desires and wishes of a website user. The map is not the territory.