A curious event in 2018 when Facebook’s AI robots started communicating among themselves with their own language which programming experts on Facebook could not understand had the company shutting down their bots – and no news of having opened it yet again.
This happening with Facebook is not isolated. The AlphaGo incident where a professional human player of the game was beaten by a robot sent alarm to human beings concerned. AlphaGo is a computer program that plays the Chinese board game called Go. It was in March 2016 that AlphaGo beat Go’s Best Player Lee Sedol in the game where combinations of moves are said to be as many as the stars in the universe.
A workshop called Sprit, Science, and Artificial Intelligence, facilitated by social scientist and activist Nicanor Perlas, discusses why these leaps on technology and the seemingly subsequent surrender of humans to it should be something that must be met with our full consciousness and wakefulness. With the technology’s lure of conveniences and perfection, we human beings are slowly giving up our inherent capacities.
While we are so out to believe that technology is neutral, we need to dig deeper to come face to face with its inner logic. I used to say, and these days, I hear many say often, that technology is neither good or bad. That it is up to us to make it advantageous or otherwise. It sure looks like that on the surface level. But just beneath it, lies the inner logic of technology: if we look deeper, technology makes us give up our inherent capacities as human beings.
So then, it is best to ask ourselves: IF we have been created in the Divine’s image and likeness, what could be our inherent capacities? What could have been planted in us if we are to be the true and full human beings that the Divine intends us to be?
Technology tycoon Elon Musk has been very vocal about the threats to humanity that pervade with the proliferation of Artificial Intelligence (AI). Recently, Tesla, Musk’s company, released all its patents to help humanity survive. In first world countries, it is said that teachers are being replaced by robots and computers. If you have seen Jimmy Falon’s interview with the robot named Sophia, it looks amusing at a glance, but if given a thought, one might think of the danger with human resources being replaced by these technological devices that seem to supersede us in terms of intelligence.
The lure of technology in the name of AI (now gearing up to be Artificial Super Intelligence, [ASI]) has three facets: Super Health, Super Intelligence, and Immortality. This has been created by AI companies to “counter” human imperfections. People get sick, so they offer super health, people often think at a very slow pace and what poor memory, so they offer super intelligence. Finally, people die, so they offer immortality. The proponents of these ideas think that consciousness resides on the brain, and so by creating artificial bodies that can accommodate the consciousness in the brain, thus making immortality at hand. They call this Transhumanism.
This Transhumanism gear of AI is slowly leading the human being to mass extinction as this would mean no more reproduction as humans. Are we, as humanity, moving like the sleeping children who were led by the Pied Piper of Hamelin to the abyss?
We will be convinced of this technology hype if we do not stop and discern over this lures. But taking time to contemplate over these things, it will be revealed that all these lures are become effective once we deviate from the path of nature. Mother Nature has been cradling our humanity.
For our super health, we have the plants and the four elements to take care of us. For our super intelligence, our thoughts and capacity to create has been inherent in us, provided that we commune with her. It is almost forgotten but our ancestors showed super intelligence. There were documents that tell of our ancestors being capable of telepathy and teleportation. Yes, truth is stranger than fiction. And finally, for our concern of death. We only need to be assured that we no longer die. A Spiritual Being in the name of Christ had long defeated death for us. But if we only look at it in a materialist perspective, we cannot have the faculties to understand it. Nonetheless, it still needs to be said.
While AI poses an abominable threat to the existence of humanity, there is no need to fear. The call is to face this task wide awake and conscious. The AI has become a dragon to defeat because we have not been living up to who were truly are. Now, this dragon wants us to show our courage and together brave this challenge for the future of our humanity. Many, I, myself included, believe that by going back to nature, the human being will make manifest once more that no one is stronger than us except God. Simply because, we are the summit of His creations – His own image and likeness.
Joan Mae Soco-Bantayan is a teacher at Tuburan Institute, Inc. She is also a wife and a mother of two. For questions and comments, feel free to drop her an e-mail at email@example.com or visit her Facebook page, Joan Mae Soco.
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