Artificial Intelligence Changes The Global Landscape For Better Or For Worse?
Can you imagine a world with artificial intelligence ruling the infrastructure of an entire planet? I have, in creating one possible scenario, among many.
Newdawn Roamers depicts a world where our technologically advanced society confronts its near immortality on a planet in turmoil. The novel deals with our human evolution. Our pursuit to maintain a status of masters in the age of the machine brings about our own change. The first volume of the series offers a glimpse of what could be. Nevertheless, this Newdawn saga, based on science fiction with a hint of fantasy, is steeped in science facts.
The transmutation of humanity from the brain of a machine
Artificial Intelligence and its impact on our future occupies the minds of many. Science, technology and innovation pave the way to tomorrow. Today, we can barely envision the outcomes. Yet, our world is at a crossroad. And this moment is crucial. The significance of what we do today lays the groundwork for the next generations. One cannot ignore the ramifications of the research taking place today in labs around the globe. We all know the dangers. We read it in books and have seen it in Hollywood movies. The artificial intelligence reality that confronts us will fundamentally transform our lives and who we become. Take a glimpse at the one scenario from the mind of the author, Dominique Luchart.
Everything we know about artificial intelligence tells us to be cautious. It is a simple fact that this machine evolution can trigger our own demise. Yet, we charge ahead, defining the rules as we search for answers. We probe the possibilities of greater efficiency. Nevertheless, as we step forward into this web of our own making, our newfound knowledge takes us further into an unknown labyrinth. We are conscious of the danger. Yet, the insatiable need to walk close to the abyss, entices us to dig deeper into this formidable potential. Our resolve in our search for knowledge chooses to ignore the power we are about to unleash. In Newdawn Roamers, DAINN is one entertaining manifestation of that belief.
The flaw in our beliefs
As humans, we see ourselves invulnerable. And why not, we are capable of such grandiose undertakings. Because of that, we forget how fragile we truly are… Artificial Intelligence transforms our business and governmental infrastructures into more efficient automation. This is a great tool, a step toward an easier process for humankind. Or so it seems… But soon, our protocols and safeguards could be isolated by computers smarter than us. Where will we be then? How do we deal with the challenges of a human factor transplanted out of its environment and into one it barely understands? Will we be required to carry implants? Where will that lead us? And if so, how will we adapt?
A shift without a return
Our global workplace experiences a shift even as we speak. It will leave behind a trail of humans by-passed by technology. Indeed, some of us will become so antiquated that society will not know what to do with those unable to keep up. Many will essentially have become obsolete.
The changing digital landscape is already impacting our planet in many fields of endeavors. Science, technology and innovation affect everything we do and touch. It charts a course where evolutionary factors will rise around us to impose a transformation we may not be able to stop. Already, the fabric of our society in the four corners of the globe faces an insidious metamorphosis. We see its effects daily. But do we really perceive the extent of this transmutation?
Our lack of preparedness will haunt us
We are not prepared for this digital transition. The potential disruption of our processes, and the imbalance it will cause within our systems, among people, and companies will be extreme. This widespread A.I. phenomenon exists across all types of industries and fields of endeavors. Anticipating this new landscape and how it will truly work for us is hard enough. This new paradigm, as artificial intelligence becomes an integral tool in the techniques used today for business growth, affects all organizations and many struggle to map our a winning integration game plan, including governments across the globe, without knowing where this will end.
The terms “algorithms, transfer learning, deep learning, neural network, NLP” are the talks in the boardroom meetings. They are used to identify new products in planning sessions for the purpose of creating additional sources of revenues furthering companies’ bottom line. Yet, not enough is discussed about the moral imperatives that such a shift will cause. How does one prepare billions of workers that soon will be displaced? Do we create a transition so that our global population can see its future, a positive one at that, during the age of the machine? Can we trust this new process?
Morality versus immorality
In spite of ethical and societal concerns, one can anticipate that the momentum will carry us forward into uncharted territories. This, whether we are willing or not. Today, artificial intelligence is used widely in the Internet of Things, home devices, robotics, autonomous vehicles, digital assistants, drones and wearable… At the moment, its growing manifestation into our lives remains somewhat undetectable. But as we weave these new mechanisms into place, the old ways of doing things will no longer exist. This is an irreversible fact.
It goes without saying that it is time to understand artificial intelligence. The pros and cons and the dilemmas it will engender. We need an agent of change and require a credible voice to build awareness. Understanding the issues, and becoming the bridge between our world today and the one we write in codes for tomorrow is essential. This agent of change will dive into different scenarios. The anticipation of an A.I. making our lives better, leaving room for more creativity and rewarding individual pursuits is a possibility. The foresight of the insidious presence of an artificial intelligence into our individual minds, controlling every aspect of our lives is another. This is enough to scare us.
How to humanize a machine?
The larger question and one obsessing many minds on the subject is how far will we go in the pursuit of this technology? Most importantly and regardless of either scenarios, there are many things to discuss about artificial intelligence. Let’s begin by providing context…
Machine learning or the ability of a computer to learn without being programmed is indeed useful. It will provide insights to different problems. Deep learning or neural networks and systems is the next step in artificial intelligence. Accordingly, learning like the human brain and creating algorithms, while simulating the firing of brain neurons and performing calculations as well as solving problems, takes the experience of relying on a machine further. But then, we enter the realm of the unknown… with systems that can learn how to perform tasks on their own. This takes us on different roads and to varied outcomes, not all of which are positive.
Therefore, how will we control an artificial intelligence whose brain is more powerful than any human army combined? Danger and fear confronts us because we do not possess the answer. How do we tell a machine born into logic and without human perception, desire, wants and needs that certain ways it calculates, assesses, concludes will not always suit us? How do we apply moral principles to a system that learns on its own and can determine its own path, interpolating, juxtaposing, and deciding without ties to a human element? Only a change in our own humanity, a transformation in our evolution, a transmutation at our level can build this bridge. Are we ready for this?
Author: Dominique Luchart