RI, real intelligence. Thus the portrait of Albert Einstein. We tend to think people with high IQs are better than us. We put IQ, at times, above common sense. The question we pose today is this. Are we using AI to replace or enhance RI?
To Replace RI, Or Not To
There has been a theme in science fiction for ages, should we fear artificial intelligence? Here is a short list of seven movies highlighting our fantasy in this area. Some of the AIs were evil, and in some, they were menaces.
- 2001: A Space Odessey, staring HAL
- I-Robot, the book turned to screen production
- Matrix, featuring, of course, the Matrix
- Terminator, featuring Skynet
- Tron with the evil MCP, a.k.a. Master Control Program and Tron
- WALL-E – Wikipedia, starring a Robot Hero, WALL-E
- War Games, featuring the defense computer
The point is clear. We realize these tools come with tradeoffs. All of the tradeoffs can be classified under one common category in all these and the other movies. That category is not limited to movies. It is also true outside the big screen.
What AI is missing
What we have that computers do not is skin in the game. In movies like Tron, we portray computer programs as entities that feel, think, and fear the end of their existence. With humans, we tend to reject fake smiles, but with robots and virtual games, we respond favorably to them.
Without skin in the game, the idea of loss is an equation or, at best, an pattern recognition bias. That bias is not predictable to be influenced by the concept of having skin in the game. If it did, we could have a more viable fear of Skynet.
The bigger risk is not a machine becoming self-aware and rising up against humanity. The bigger risk is layered in these concerns.
- Humans can improperly influence the bias models from machine learning.
- Humans can improperly influence the integration/implementation of machine learning at the AI stage.
- Humans have culture that can be emulated to inspire abnormal engagement artificially.
Impact, the Good and Bad
Pictures and Videos:
+ Custom art may be cheaper and more to our taste.
– Fake photos and videos will challenge truth and relationships.
+ Better grammar, better audience awareness
– Lazy brains, less real creativity
+ Virtual Assistants can automate grinding time tasks and let us focus on what matters most.
– Advertisers, bad actors, and the like will use these tools to subjugate and distract us.
What about real connections?
This may be the greatest risk. With the rise of virtual reality, electronic games, and social networking, reality has taken a back seat. This is not hopeless, but we need to realize the cure to each of the AI challenges above is RI. We need to ask ourselves how AI is changing RI and reality at large.
Sometimes we get caught up in fiction and dreams and lose vision of reality. If we look beyond computers, we see this in other areas. Perhaps one of the most frequent failures of history has been in agriculture, from the great dust bowl to the current expanding desserts in Spain.
What makes this challenge different is the ability to hide from the real world in virtual reality. For some, the friendly voice of Alexa, Google, or Siri may be the friendliest voice in their life. The depth of the relationship is still not going to sustain meaning. The pets of the world should not feel threatened yet. But the day is fast approaching when cats, dogs, and other pets will start to get replaced with virtual companions.
People with pets would be best served with good human companionship, but we understand pets are easier to manage than human relationships. What happens when artificial companions become more engaging than pets? Yes, pets will suffer, but so will our humanity as individuals and as a culture.
The True Standard for AI
Reality, it is the gold and platinum standard for AI. When AI causes us to lose our grip on reality, we are losing. When AI contributes to our reality, it is a tool of value and progress.
One big reality, human relationships take work. Things seem to change, and new investments are required. That work shows others how valuable they are. Over time, we know we are loved because we have others who made harder investments. That is true love, or shall we call it real love? I bet you didn’t expect an article on business or technology to resolve to love, or did you?
How will technology influence your future today?