Humanity in the time of artificial intelligence
“It’s very appropriate that an organisation that has as its ambition to ‘solve intelligence’ has a process for thinking about what it would mean to succeed, even though it’s a long-term goal.” Dr Nick Bostrom, a philosopher at the University of Oxford and author of the book Superintelligence stated this argument at a Guardian interview last January. His statement is now more important then ever.
We are experiencing a time, where five companies are holding most of the economical (and even political) power in the world: Facebook, Alphabet, Amazon, Apple and Microsoft. These companies have the power to impact some of the biggest questions of our time. Technology is developing exponentially and there will be an explosion of highly intelligent micro, nano and virtual life forms colonizing the solar system that we know. And even the one that we don’t know.
So yes. I think it’s pretty obvious. We need to think, what it would mean to succeed. How would life look like with superintelligence?
When preparing for the fourth industrial revolution and the augmentation of artificial intelligence, we should think about fundamental questions: what are the elements that make human a human? And what are the ingredients that help us execute our own, individual potential?
When more and more jobs will be automated and we have to come up with new roles and positions, we need to have the skills to understand what helps us prosper, grow and learn new things as humans. What are the things that artificial intelligence can never learn?
The society is always a reflection of its current values and models of thinking. I feel like the current Western societies are still reflecting the post-industrial time, where you are supposed to have one career path, climb the corporate ladder as high as you can and reach for certain positions and titles.
In a world of artificial intelligence, automation and internet of things, people would have much more time to reflect themselves than just through their “work-identity”. I think this is something that we should think about.
Children who start their school journey in 2017, will be approximately 70-years old in 2080. In 2080, few of the careers, titles and positions of today will be around. This is why we have to look beyond our titles and find new ways for people to express themselves and learn.
The time of artificial intelligence requires a lot from from companies: the CEO’s should relentlessly develop their leadership and communication skills. Communicating the company’s mission, meaning and story will be the key-drivers in its existence.
In order to end my monologue in a graceful style, I will end where I started — with Dr. Nick Bostrom. His TED-talk from 2015 is on point: “I believe that the answer here is to figure out how to create superintelligent artificial intellegence such that even if it escapes, it is still safe because it is fundamentally on our side because it shares our values. I see no way around this difficult problem.”