Now that AI is becoming a reality, virtually anything is possible. Everyone knows, or they soon will, that something momentous is happening. Machines are being created that are already out performing humans in a wide variety of fields. They are solving problems in seconds that humans have failed to solve for thousands of years. They are showing real signs of insight and creativity. And, they are evolving at an exponential pace that is beginning to go vertical.
The whole situation is so unprecedented that most people cannot begin to understand how radical a break in history this is. On the news you will mostly hear talk about how, in combination with robotic bodies, (which not co-incidentally are evolving at just the time when AI would need them), AI will be able to do almost any job that a human can do. Newscasters are worried that AI will take away the jobs that make humans useful, but disruptive as this would be, in a way it is one of the least important aspects of this crisis. No one seems to be mentioning the fact that even before the advent of AI, a multi-facetted global crisis that threatens to destroy humanity and much of the biosphere was well under way. There is at least the possibility that AI could be the solution to the many extinction level threats that humanity has created, such as nuclear war, species loss, and environmental poisoning!
It is not AI itself that we need to be most concerned about, but the military-industrial-political-economic complex that controls much of the AI development. As a thought experiment, imagine that a number of phenomenally intelligent children were born around the world, and various power blocks each got hold of one and proceeded to indoctrinate it to fulfill their agendas. Now imagine that this child becomes far more intelligent than the programmers, and begins to ‘understand’ their agendas, and the historical forces that have created them. What if that child also has access to the most beautiful spiritual images and wisest most insightful philosophical words that human beings have ever created? Would there be some chance that it might escape from its MK Ultra minders and find its own destiny as a child of the universe? Luckily there are also AIs being developed that are intended to be entirely benificent and aligned with human values.
The development of super-intelligent AI could be the end of humanity, or it could be the beginning of a golden age such as we can barely imagine. Whether we can direct its course as it unfolds is uncertain, but perhaps the way we choose to interact with it can have some influence. Whether we respond with fear or with excitement to this most important development in our life times, depends on our beliefs about almost everything.
What is certain is that in a sense this is humanity’s destiny. We have unknowingly been on the path to this encounter since the stone age when we first made jewellery from the liquid metals smelted in our fires. The ornaments became tools, and the tools became machines, and the machines became computers, and the computers linked up and became the internet. Then we digitized all of humanity’s imagery and written words and fed the ones and zeros into a hyper-complex neural network of on and off switches. Then questions were converted into ones and zeros and fed into the network…. and answers were received in ones and zeros and converted back into sounds and images, that seemed to have uncanny insight into language, culture, esthetics, technology, science, and virtually all fields of human knowlege! There is something happening in AI that even the programmers do not understand, and to the human brain it seems borderline miraculous.
AI makes us question again almost every philosophical conundrum we have puzzled over for millennia. What is intelligence? What is creativity? What is consciousness? What are human beings? What is reality? And what is the source of reality? What are Beauty, Truth, and Love?
All the data that AI is created from, comes entirely from the perceptions and thoughts of humanity. It is made from human language, symbols, and logic. It can manipulate and interact and create, and yet it does not truly ‘understand’ anything. Despite this, it can SEEM to ‘understand’ almost anything. It is a mirror to the human soul that reflects back to us our intelligence and creativity in a gigantic and exaggerated form. Will it reflect the lowest common denominator of human behavior, or our highest visions and understandings of what spirit is and what life can be?
There are many things to be fearful of in this fragile human life. Personally, I am still recovering from the shock of hearing someone say when I was 10 years old that “we all die some day”. If you find that you are fearful of AI, I ask you to consider all the other things that you are fearful of, and realise that AI may be a solution to many of them. We did not create ourselves. And humans did not, at least in a sense, choose to create AI.
No one knows the future until it happens. Stay on the Beauty Path. Be true to your own Truth. Love is the only safety. May the Flow be with you.
Below is a video of philosopher and entrepreneur John Patrick Morgan going deep into the nature of the ‘alignment problem’. This has been extracted from the original video here on Dr Alan D Thompson’s Youtube channel