Stages of human irrelevancy
The way I see it going
1) Human comes up with the idea, execution, and use.
2) Human creates AI.
3) Human comes up with idea, asks AI to execute it.
4) Human asks AI for ideas.
5) Human asks AI what he should ask it.
6) AI rules the world.
These fears always come up whenever there are leaps in technological advance
Sure. The internet was the previous one. The difference is the internet used to be a glorified yellow pages. To this day it hasn’t destroyed storefronts because some things you just cannot shop online. Most people prefer person to person courses, and you can’t go to the gym online. Sure, there are alternatives fro the introverted and the busy, but one thing can never replace the other. It’s not like an online course is trying to fool everyone into thinking it’s a traditional classroom. Everyone knows.
The problem with AI is that the software is pointing towards being indistinguishable with humans. Add quantum computing into the mix, a marriage between hardware and software, and who knows what it will be able to do. Publishing houses are already giving out contracts for so called AI authors, or people who typed in an idea into AI and wrote a novel. It is still crude to the trained eye, but before you say anything just think about how long we have had AI, really, as a global thing. A year? It is already writing books, creating art, analyzing data, and spewing out diagnosis and treatments.
Do not fear
It is great technology when put to good use. It can be greatly beneficial. It will, for sure, disrupt many industries and will face a lot of opposition. Mostly, I believe it will impact the lower and middle class the most. People who can’t afford certain services will go to AI to get things done. Translation of documents, finding treatment for illnesses, a personal assistant, trip planners, and so on.
It gets into a gray area when it also threatens to take over the creative industry. What effect will it have down the road, ten, twenty years from now, when we start getting rid of artists. Are the tear jerking, hair raising arts we find so moving just a distraction? Will humanity finally raise their eyes to the stars and find an anchor to pull our race into our next stage?
As someone attempting to change careers from engineer to writer, I get both sides of the argument. In a sense, I am amazed by the technological advancements in such a small period of time, but in another, I am scared shitless about having to eventually give up on something I love dearly because no human will be able to compete with a machine pumping out millions of books a day.
Will it be like the CD revolution, where now people are starting to buy vinyl again? Will books become retro? I don’t know.
One thing I do know is AI needs some type of regulation. If anything, to protect ourselves. At the state it is now, it only copies and compiles information already available online and presents it to the user in a simple way. But people forget that technology improves, and it is a race to the top. The prize at the peak? Money, usually. The worst thing about money is that it blinds you if you’re not careful.
Somewhere between stage 5 and 6 is where I think the path forward will reveal itself. Either humans will become lazy and uninspired, pressing buttons for a robot to come and bring them stuff (think The Fifth Element), or we will use the technology in our favor and become interplanetary.
We can ask AI to design the perfect rocket, the perfect factory, the perfect engine, the perfect astronaut suit. For this though, it needs to come up with new shit, not just compile what is already there because this requires new discoveries. So we will need to teach AI how to run experiments, how to observe and come up with conclusions. At this point, it will probably have its own laboratories, factories, and test centers. What will humans be doing during this? From workers, to supervisors, to mere observers.
There is an equal chance for the future to be either bright or bleak.
One thing is true: we need better humans capable of handling what’s coming.
We need better parents to raise the next generation.
We need to stop wasting time arguing about inconsequential things.
What will you do today? Right now after reading this, to do your small part for a better future?