Artificial Intelligence In Sparky Prose

Artificial Intelligence

Background to the article: The human world is benefiting greatly from its ubiquitous use of number-crunching Artificial Narrow Intelligence (ANI) technologies, and eLearning is on the cusp of revolutionizing changes. Imagine how ANI-powered technology enhanced learning (TEL) might be a boon for teaching and learning. Imagine how ANI-powered-technologies might be a boon for human creativity. Imagine how artificial intelligence (AI) research might be a boon for greater human introspection. Yet, before we get too excited, let’s also ask ourselves how increasingly powerful AI technology might end up being used in a world which is fast approaching possibly the most massive monetary, societal and geopolitical upheavals it has ever experienced. This article, in a rather circuitous way, takes a profound stand asserting human uniqueness must triumph in this apathetic age of technological distortion and dehumanization.

The Alien AI, The Human Writer, And A Tad Of Poetic Freedom

[Alien artificial intelligence observes human writer: Log 1] The writer starts writing... 

Quite recently, I interrupted a computer programmer while he was coding indefatigably, which was quite imprudent in retrospect, and asked him, on a whim, whether he would fight against the (clichéd) machines if they decided to do what every sci-fi film aficionado suspects i.e. in spite of all the brainy algorithms, Artificial Super Intelligence (ASI) recondite reasoning would dictate that the elimination of those pesky puny humans and establishment of said ASI should be the next logical step in the human evolutionary chain. The programmer however replied, and quite surprisingly for me at least, that he would fight with the machines stating that, we (humans) are a joke. But are we really a joke, is our system a joke, does our system make us a joke, or are we a joke because we allow a joke of a system to make us a joke? Well, when I look at today’s world, I tend to feel like that figure in Edvard Munch’s painting The Scream.

Why? The distribution of wealth and resources is insanely skewed to a privileged clique, and we sadly mostly have no choice during our ephemeral lives but to want to believe in a flawed and very persuasive concept called “ownership”.

[Alien artificial intelligence observes human writer: Log 2] The writer at that point tries to explain to himself profoundly that the concept of ownership is flawed, because he doesn’t understand how anything can really be owned on this whirling sun-drenched planet or in this Brobdingnagian Universe for that matter. But then, strangely, the writer says to himself hypocritically, screw that, wishing he were rich. Thereupon the writer continues writing... 

This unsound ownership model channels us into a “compete and beat” mindset, rather than into a disengage-from-trivia, kiss-goodbye-to-negativism, and unleash-my-creative-potential mindset. Also, we can at any moment be expunged individually or as a species, or our representatives, who are mostly “seemingly” chosen by us, can decide to expunge us as a species knowingly, from a planet which doesn’t really belong to anyone.

[Alien artificial intelligence observes human writer: Log 3] The writer all at once asks himself whether this is starting to get too heavy for the reader, but decides he doesn’t care, and continues regardless… 

Our defective and failing central-cranky-bank, trust-based, monetary system, with what I assume is its forceful adjuvant militaristic arm, has lasted this long because it gratifies instantly those who want to purchase desirable objects such as cars or houses. It has created a shackling mechanism for allowing the exchange of labor for the borrowing of its figmental trust-based monetary units. And the more “imaginary” debt-based currency whipped up from nothing, the worse the final outcome will surely be. As this system was generally more beneficial for the baby-boomers, who, on the whole, could not apprehend or who, on the whole, did not, for whatever reason, question enough the denouement of their to-be doomed monetary system, a resulting generational divide is being created and is becoming more discernible. This faulty monetary system has created enormous inefficiencies and exigencies. Populations have swelled, and bloated and fearful governments have made too many promises they can’t keep to their populations; also, and more importantly, desperate leaders may be considering the time-tested, problem-distracting and loony option of (all-out) war with whomever fits the bill.

[Alien artificial intelligence observes human writer: Log 4] The writer at that point tells himself he should give those baby-boomers a break because, after all, they had it tough too. The writer says he’s going to excogitate the state of the world further and then he continues writing… 

Whether this will all be put down to the inevitable consequences of rampant incompetence, stupidity, fear and greed or whether this will be attributed to a secretive group of evil genius elitist men planning everything methodically, step by deranged step, with the ultimate aim of enslaving the world (NB most probably unsuccessfully) (or both to some degree), the outcome will be the same.

[Alien artificial intelligence observes human writer: Log 5] The writer soon after pauses suddenly, and asks himself when this is all going to end up in a humongous-financial and grisly-societal pile-of-crap-hitting-the-proverbial-fan incident, which would expose, in many regions, the fragility of a just-in-time economy. The writer wonders whether someone will invent a new source of energy, whether aliens will come down to save humans or whether he should be stocking up on canned tuna. The writer continues writing… 

Such an event would mark an epoch in profound transformation of educational institutions in society too. And AI technology would likely play a pivotal role in this transformation.

[Alien artificial intelligence observes human writer: Log 6] But at that instant the writer in a moment of profundity tells himself that humans are not a joke. The writer also tries to convince himself that with an AI’s help, we humans will surely go to the stars. But then the writer appears to have his doubts. He wonders what would happen if an AI pondered too long on humans’ blood-spattered past. The writer subsequently concludes that humans would be screwed. The writer at that time asks himself about humans… 

So what are we? We’re simply optimized to live and survive on Earth. Think about this the next time you go for a walk in the mountains or in a forest: How is it your feet know where to walk when your eyes apparently aren’t looking at the ground that much? Well, our brains are obviously more active than we might think! Moreover, as an educator, I have often observed how students in successive classes strangely nearly always return to the same seat regardless of whether other seats were available or not; have you noticed that too? When I asked them why they had chosen to sit in the same seat as before when other seats had been available, they didn’t seem to know. I think we all do this to some degree, wherever we go and go back to, the brain appears to be wired to want to return to the known, familiar, and hopefully safe (NB this could be our fight-or-flight evolutionary biological legacy in action).

We must therefore acknowledge that our perpetual and cancerous failings as a species in managing ourselves on this oligarchy-run slave plantation called Earth, and our human hard-wiring, which affects our decision making processes, could gum up the design and use of “savior” AIs quite considerably.

[Alien artificial intelligence observes human writer: log 7] The writer at that point tells himself to stop idealizing the relationship between AIs and humans. He tells himself that there’s no way in any universe, any AI will ever want to be our savior. The writer continues writing… 

So what is Communication? Well, from a more philosophical perspective, one might assert that the things that bring meaning to human words are our feelings, our actions and the way our physical environment has shaped us. From a scientific perspective, one might assert that human communication is highly intricate subsuming various kinds of selective sensual input (depending on context), subsuming various kinds of subsequent analysis (mostly, probably being immediate and subliminal), and subsuming various kinds of actions depending on context. Even though, other animals (on Earth) also appear to communicate, such communication is clearly different, though not necessarily less complex. Human communication embodies probably infinite permutations of perceived visual stimuli (e.g. learned/non-learned gestures in various contexts), probably infinite permutations of perceived linguistic stimuli (e.g. syntactical, phonetic, lexical, temporal, semantic, pragmatic, socio) and probably infinite permutations of produced responses depending on context. Moreover, what we perceive may be more nurture than nature; Alexander (2014), for instance, states that Exemplar Theory suggests that our cognition is constructed bottom up, therefore we identify, name, perceive and recognize elements of the world on the basis of our previous experiences of those elements and depending on contexts in which those experiences took place. This might therefore suggest that what we think we perceive in the world, may not actually be what is exactly in the world; also, it follows that an AI will perceive things in a much more multifaceted way.

In short, an AI may never be able to disentangle the untangleable web of intricacies comprising human communication; and would it really be worth the effort to try to interpret such massively complex and intangibly nuanced human production and perceptual processes?

[Alien artificial intelligence observes human writer: Log 8] The writer before long asks himself what the purpose of an AI actually might be, and the writer suggests that one of the loftiest goals of a (reverent) AI could be its reverence for the transcendency of human creativity derived from human bravery to persevere. But then the writer feels cold hard reality sinking in. He tells himself to stop being a naïve wussy. He asks himself how the hell we are going to program reverence without a united world project run by aliens. He tells himself to get real. He tells himself that AIs will be used to subjugate. He continues writing… 

In our increasingly invasive, panic-prone and free-speech-zoning environment, huge amounts of data are being and will be (being) collected unceasingly from every possible source, with or without permission; therefore it is logical to assume that an important function of an AI will be its covert use as instruments of control or even repression.

[Alien artificial intelligence observes human writer: Log 9] Next the writer, somewhat belatedly, starts wondering whether it would be prudent to find out what other people are saying about AIs. (Some weeks later) The writer hmms to himself wondering how male-voice virtual assistants might learn to comment on choice of matching garment in a manner acceptable for tense female humans shopping, or whether one night stands (or marriage) with robots would really catch on, or how students might justify their preference to be graded by humans should AIs give them worse grades, or whether text prompters might simply prefer you stopped bothering them while they write text messages for you, or whether Facebook AI will ever be able to make sense of the crap humans like to share, or whether fascist governments figure out that the next logical step in the cut-throat double-agent virtual-assistant market is for perfect-memory, deep-learning and female-voice Siri, Cortana, Now and Echo to become virtual performance-enhancement supervisors, or whether ANI technologies such as self-driving cars, certified robo-doctors, email spam filter that actually work, Google knowledge navigators (that hopefully don’t really e-spy), Chloe-style retail robots, gaming-experts, smart tutors, military robots/drones, smart homes, and AI medical operators will make the world a better place (i.e. provided they don’t botch anything up really badly). The writer continues writing… 

In the last 200,000 anthropocentric years on Earth, the female human has given birth to some 100 billion octillion-molecule/37-trillion-cell battle-tested heuristic humans. Humans, who (I understand) have 10-to-20-watt, billion-neuron/100-billion-nerve-cell brains, currently reside on a planet which apparently is in a galaxy of billions of planets, which apparently is in a discernible 13.8-billion-year universe of hundreds of billions of analogous galaxies. Yet it is doubtful whether even exaflop computers could replicate the storage and processing capability of such a measly human mind.  Moreover, even though in the future Quantum computing billion-fold performance improvement might be quickening things up, and even though in the future the Stanford University about 100-year AI study will be extended to a 1000 years, and even though in the future, scaremonger-hyped, to-be-built, self-aware, and recursively-improving-at-an-exponential-rate ultra-intelligent God-automata (aka Artificial Super Intelligence ASI) might be planet hopping just for the hell of it, and even though in the future yin-yangy cyborg trans-humans might be queuing up to download their brains, does any of this really matter now?

[Alien artificial intelligence observes human writer: Log 10] The writer says to himself that in all honesty he really couldn’t give a flying rat’s arse about the future of silicon-based intelligence, feeling that people are ceding too much control of qualeless/insentient ANI machines to incompetent retard carbon-based Machiavellian authoritarians now.” The writer continues… 

Sadly, a key epiphenomenon of input-output ANI technologies is how they succor the wealthy by freeing up dystopian time for a growing number of permanently unemployable humans who had been doing (happily or unhappily) the pre-ANI grunt-work a lot less efficiently; furthermore, the unlikely onset of Artificial General Intelligence (AGI)/singularity any time soon would only exacerbate this transformation of society massively.

Therefore, are we not relinquishing too much of what we are to our attention-grabbing techno-gadget adjuncts? Are we not ceding too much of our crusty uniqueness to depthless social-networking technologies? Are we not becoming too sedentary in a mass of buzzy apparently-intelligence-augmenting artificial-swarm technologies? Are we not becoming machine-addicted humans with technology seeping into every nook and cranny of our lives? Is increasingly AI-powered technology, by accident or design (or both), not also providing an abyss of dehumanizing, fad-laden, gratification-pumping, focus-skewing, patience-slaying, superficiality-lifting, intellect-dulling and love-maiming distraction for us? Or is technology (currently) an innocent victim of what we are, or have become, as a species (i.e. with relatively few exceptions)? Or both to some degree?

So what am I really trying to say in this article? I’m trying to thrust my clenched fist down on a table and shout “we humans are no joke”. I’m trying to stand on a battlefield with an army of words facing techno-dulled hordes and roar “we humans will be smart, gritty, creative, loving and free”. I’m trying to believe a powerful beam of human (and not AI) love will light up the planets of the galaxies of the universe(s?).

[Alien artificial intelligence observes writer: Final log] The writer stops writing abruptly feeling sick of technology and wondering whether an EMP “final solution” might not be a bad idea at all. At which point he admits hypocritically that he can’t live without YouTube in spite of the fact that it is mostly full of the crap of our modern hive-intelligence culture; he starts listening to Bach’s Mass in B Minor feeling proud to be human. Then he stands up, farts gently to himself, and goes to the kitchen to finish off a last piece of Roosters fried chicken.

The alien artificial intelligence then hesitates, and murmurs something to itself as it darts away, “These humans are pretty screwy, but I think I like them.” 

Close