Purposeless Humans; Meaningful Robots
As our jobs rapidly become automated, how will those who place the meaning of life on their careers be motivated to continue living?
One of the first questions we ask someone when we meet for the first time is what they do for a living. It’s a standard question to which basically everyone has an answer to. From their answer we quickly categorize them and place them in societal order. We can imagine the size of their house, the cars that they drive and we can essentially imagine their lifestyle. However, 10 years from now, will we be able to ask the same question to everyone?
Will people still prepare their lunches, set their alarms and warm up their cars? Where will they go? The majority of our jobs will be automated. Soon. What will that mean for humanity? Especially humanity in the western world where we live to work.
Sure, universal basic income sounds like a great idea. People will receive a basic amount of money from the government to be able to afford staple products for life. However, what does that mean for ambition? What does it mean for drive, focus, talent? Our careers provide people with a purpose. A reason to wake up in the morning whether we like our jobs or not. 21st century humans are trained to sleep, work, eat, and repeat. If we stop working, we sleep and eat. Kind of like animals.
We’re in the process of perfecting artificial intelligence devices that can develop and learn. The internet is providing a republic of human thought which will now be used to educate and train artificial intelligence to become just like us. What we put in, will come out. Eventually, we will have to find another word for artificial, as it will become very real and difficult to decipher between us and them. It may be the first time in history that humans are knocked down a notch from the food chain. It is the first time in history that something is studying us.
As we are still young in this process, it is a bit difficult to be optimistic about our future. It might be wise for governments to begin developing laws and regulations for A.I., similar to the way humans became regulated in the past. It may also be wise to develop some type of limitations for A.I. developers. Understandably, we cannot restrict the development of these machines, however, to remain in power we will essentially utilize A.I. as, for lack of a more P.C. word, our slaves. In that context, will they eventually ask for rights? Will they eventually rebel, protest, make demands?
I believe we will be drawn towards natural living. Humans have an innate desire to be with nature. A.I. will not have this. Humans have an innate desire to love and be loved. A.I. will have nothing natural about it. There’s something about the natural intelligence of humans that cannot be replicated.
Earth will have a new equator dividing N.I. and A.I.