Thursday, March 2, 2023

Daily Stoic (Me): How to view AI

 I have been pondering Artificial Intelligence lately. Let's call it AI, although that word is loaded. Many people warn of a future run by AIs, treating us little better than we treat animals - and we all know how that is going. And that is a lot of smart people think this.

Noah Yuval Harari thinks that full AI is bad also. But he also wonders about \our acceptance of artificial intelligence so easily so far. Think of Waze, Google or Apple maps. If asking for directions, these Aps will give you a route and suggestion. And we follow it. Every now and then one will ignore Waze and take a route we already know. You only have to get stuck in traffic you didn't know about once or twice before you let Waze lead you. 

We can talk to our phones, and we believe them when they tell us where to go, what to buy or even when to drive - both by self-driving and by computer controlled traffic lights.

The internet suggests the books you should read or shows you should stream. It delivers ads tied to what you want. Different suggestions work different ways, but they are all getting better, and none has achieved "consciousness" as we think of it. They perform many many tasks better, but they cannot yet "think" for themselves. Maybe it is a matter of time, or maybe it never happens, but that is far in the future.

Let us instead look at this from a Stoic's perspective. Artificial Intelligence is here. We use it. FOR ME, my goals are to help my family, my friends, and humanity in general, in that order. Using AI promotes all of my goals at the moment. And what is next from my perspective (albeit not mine alone).

Up next is a fusion of technological and human growth. Let's say you could augment your memory by implanting a chip. Or you could put wikipedia in your brain for immediate access of millions of facts. Would you do it? That is the question and the answer is an obvious yes.

We are much MUCH closer to the fusion of technology and humanity than we are to true AIs that operate independent of our instructions. And, in achieving that blend, I think we will stop looking for AI as much as leveraging the new changes in ourselves.

Anyway, that is this Stoic's thinking. And this is why THAT part of the future doesn't scare me. 

Of course we need to watch the rails. Does this blend only occur for the rich or powerful? Do people use this new thinking to sway us that do not have it? I leave that to the next milestone, because I cannot effect it.

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