Saturday, March 28, 2015

Will AI Just be Slick and Catastrophic?

I just finished listening to Monica Lewinisky’s Ted Talk on the price of shame. You can also listen to it here: The Price of Shame
She shared her experience of public shaming, and the overwhelming intensity of having it occur on the internet. She ended the 22 minute talk with a call for compassion. She received a standing ovation. It made me think: Compassion is a brilliant concept, why are we so (often) averse to practicing it? Why do we really, truly, not give it much more than lip service as a species? I’m not saying compassion doesn’t exist. I’m just noting that on March 28, 2015 compassion is not a guiding force in the global forum.

A few days ago I read an article about Steve Wozniak’s (Steve Jobs best friend, ex-best friend, best friend) fears about artificial intelligence (AI), i.e. The Future of AI is 'Scary and Very Bad for People'

I’ve been mulling that over in my mind. That article wasn’t the first such article I’ve browsed. Stephen Hawking a physicist and the subject of the move The Theory of Everything (which I haven't seen) also has dire predictions concerning the proliferation of AI. But I’ve been thinking. Compassion, benevolence, generosity. These qualities require intelligence. They require looking beyond the instant gratification of bullying, dissent into destructive envy, violence resolution, and advertising-fueled consumption. Could AI advance the trajectory of a universal wisdom that our collective emotional-social-personal human psyches have not been able to achieve to date? Could AI usher in a brighter future?
I don’t know. But it certainly makes for interesting daydreams.

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