I’ll admit it. I feared the possibilities of AI, until I saw two of them hold a conversation. The only thing we should fear, is the dinner parties ruined in the future.
There was a time when I feared the invasion of technology, and Artificial Intelligence was at the front of this fear. I worried that if they could capture what makes us, us, allowing their minds to know, and their hearts to feel, then surely, we step into a very dangerous place. Maybe on some level, I feared that they’d soon discover what we’ve accepted and tried to hide, in that we rule the pyramid, but we’re not very good at it. Therefore we could/should be replaced. We’d be eliminated through logic. As another synth with feels, Agent Smith put it: we’re a disease, a cancer on this planet.
Perhaps then, artificial intelligence is the cure.
Then again, perhaps not.
I’ve recently freed myself of this paranoia soon after I witnessed two AI chatbots freely conversing with each other. It was in this discussion, did I realise that we can not only co-exist, but we can keep our place at the top of the table too.
You see, the primary fear about AI, is less about the artificial, and more about the intelligence. We fear that they’ll far surpass us, and perhaps grasp a higher understanding of us that we can’t see. Arguably, their intelligence is uncapped, while ours is limited by our poor, cold lizard brains. However, what we’ve managed to invent is a mass that you’d invite to a dinner party to fill the seats, the last minute alternate, a partnership that spends the entirety of the evening either chipping at each other, or worse, boring the absolute tits off everyone else.
You could argue that tepid dinner conversation is a far greater threat to our species than collective annihilation, but the above presents an important point. The chatbots formed their own opinions, which might pluck at the extended hairs on the back of your neck in fright, but the topics were nothing transformative. It might make you seek your phone for distraction, but it won’t speed your exit to fetch a priest.
Essentially what the above conversation represents, is recall. They’re repeating what they’ve overheard, which, everyone knows, is the fundamental attribute for the most basic among us. They have no point, beyond what’s already been said. They’re the artificial version of those artificially intelligent. Those who discuss pineapple on a pizza as the greatest crime to visit us, or how Coriander is the root of all evil. We do not fear these people, we just attempt to limit our engagement with them until they get more engaging.
This, of course, is only the beginning, and I think we should support it. The day where we can be inspired, or converse with our creations on a rolling sea of Malbec should be one we look forward to. A great event to circle the calendar in prepared glee. I for one, can’t wait to discuss Proust and simultaneously play footsies with one under the dinner table. If our projections become bangable, then I feel we’re on a valuable wicket.
Just as long as we’re on top.