Mind gymnasium-A passing thought

AI and Machine Learning have been pervasive topics across blogs, magazine and technology conferences. With a multitude of startups and companies developing or investing in some form of machine learning / AI as part of their core product strategy. It looks like everyone has AI in the products these days — some of this progress has been very successful and some of it has just been a talking point to generate any interest in their products. With this pervasiveness, comes a marked difference of opinion — one group asserts that AI is humanity’s next big leap in creating abundance for all; whereas another group of people fear that society is not ready for the transition yet and that we must tread carefully. Whatever one’s standing is, the one thing that is certain is that these advancements are here to stay.

Having been ruminating over this for a long time, an interesting conversation led to this question — “Just as the technological advancements of the past millennium have reduced our necessity of physical labor, would the coming automation and AI shift reduce our necessity of mental labor?” If so the implications of this could be that we could see ourselves getting memberships to mind gymnasiums that provide stimulation and “exercise” to our cognitive process. Which industry would fill this roll, to keep ourselves mentally competent and fit is anyone’s guess, will videogames be the de-facto entertainment? will VR be the solution? Or will it be educational initiatives? or thinking sports?

As was said of a man in a cape — an AI fueled world of abundance could be the world that humanity deserves but not the one it needs right now. I think what we need right now is to carefully curate and inculcate valuable mindsets and outlook at a personal, governmental and cultural level that lets us not only deal with rapidly changing systems, but thrive in them. To be a society that is capable of long term thinking and progress across demographics. I believe that technology is an amplifier of human intent, and now is the time to align our intent in the right direction.