Artificial intelligence : friend or foe?

Artificial intelligence : friend or foe?

I recently read an article about this topic. I read a lot and I see more and more articles on this topic.

Whether we want it or not, technology is advancing, fast, and no one can do anything about it.

Technology has always been perceived as a threat first.

Just think back about the first cars ! Henry Ford apparently replied to its detractors,  “If I had asked what people wanted they would have said “a faster horse” !

Innovators do no wait for people to agree to create the future.

Whether it is Jethro Tull’s seed drill (oh, yes, this story is true… Tull is not only a rock band!), Bell’s telephone, Edison’s light bulb or Clarke’s wild idea of communication satellite in 1945 innovators push the limits of the human mind.

If you can imagine it, you can create it, as Ward wisely said. Well, artificial intelligence has been on a lot of people’s mind lately and for a long time !

Movies like Terminator and Matrix horror stories come to mind. The AI taking over the world plot.

Transcendence, and early Dune novels mention the transfer of the humain mind into machines, a human mind becoming like a computer.

Second life or oculus rift are current technologies that almost transfer our conscience into virtual world… Neuromancer, here I come!

Will the machines take over ?

If you think about it, humans are the worst thing that happened on the planet since the dawn of times. We basically invaded the whole planet, depleted the resources, polluted the oceans, contaminated some area with radioactive waste and spread our trash all over the place.

Any sane and logic algorithm would quickly solve the “problem” by removing the insulting presence from the face of the earth. It would not even require artificial “intelligence”.

Stories depicted in the aforementioned movies almost makes sense and I almost feel sorry for the machines …. we humans are pests !

Could machines, create machines ? Why not ? They already do !

Could machines really wipe humans ? Could self-driving cars suddenly all accelarate to “ludicrous mode” ? SURE!

but then…

Could AI be useful ?

SURE !

So many decisions are taken in a slow mode by ego-driven humans.

So many decisions are taken with no consideration to the needs of the many to satisfy the few.

Some people are afraid that machine will take our jobs … good for us !

The jobs of the future do not exist today anyway. Who would have thought that professional (and very well-paid) gamers could ever exist some day when pong arrived on the market in 1972 ?

Oh, by the way… suppose the AI-equipped machines do ALL the work ? What then ?

Would that mean that nobody would work ? No !

It might mean that humans could pursue other goals than amassing money…

It might mean more creative and worthy activities…

Is Creativity the sole attribute left for the human mind, the one thing that Ai might not be able to imitate ?

Isaac Asimov in his excellent story Bicentennial mind propose a different view on this where a robot develops its creativity to the point where he must question what defines humanity.

Good question : what defines humanity ?

  • Creativity ?
  • Risk taking ?
  • Temerity ?
  • Adventure ?
  • Chaos ?
  • Random association ?

All attributes of a troubled mind by the way with respect to the orderly connections of a cybernetic intelligence

Well that might be it.

We are living in a VUCA world, Volatilty, Uncertainty, Complexity and Ambiguity. I love this acronym (ok,ok, I love acronyms in general… but this one hits home !)

Our chaotic brain might eventually save us. Our imperfections might be the source of our survival. Our unpredictability and complexity.

AI is coming. Whether we want it or not.

Ray Kurzweil announces it to become a reality… well …now !

As he describes it, AI is not one big super computer, it is 2 billions very small computers connected together… in your hands, now… as you might read this article on your smartphone.

Keep it coming !

Keep on using it.

Not being used by IT !

Adapt to it.

Stay focus on what is important : YOU !

 

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