Exploring The Challenges Of Artificial Intelligence: It’s Neither Good Nor Bad

Recently, Elon Musk and Apple’s founder Steve Wozniak have unitedly proposed a six-month moratorium on advancing AI systems. They have made this known through an open letter.

The signatories believe humanity will benefit from an “AI summer” if the proper safety protocols are rigorously audited. For this reason, they aim to give society enough time to adjust to this major shift by constructing the necessary guardrails.

It is a commendable intention to spend the next six months furthering public understanding of artificial intelligence. However, seeking to retire the concept of “artificial intelligence” from public discourse would be an even more beneficial move.

The term belongs to the same expanse of history as the “iron curtain,” “domino theory,” and “Sputnik moment.” Despite the end of the cold war, its reputation among science fiction admirers and investors kept it from falling into oblivion; however, we can still move on without any hesitation,

Today’s technologies labeled “artificial intelligence ” cannot be considered artificial or intelligent. Formerly, these AI systems were principally dependent upon structures and sets of codes. Thus its conventional classification as “artificial” was somewhat reasonable.

With the help of artists, musicians, programmers, and writers’ real output, today’s ChatGPT is one of the favorites endowed with “non-artificial intelligence” to save civilization.

Cold War imperatives greatly influenced the early development of AI, instilling a focus on the type of “intelligence” most applicable to battle. Such intelligence constituted early concepts of Artificial Intelligence, emphasizing tasks that could potentially be used during times of war.

Given its strength in matching patterns, it is no surprise that neural networks (the basis of today’s AI technology) were among the first to be employed for military use – mainly for detecting ships in aerial photographs.

The ability to draw generalizations, not just pattern-matching, is an important element of intelligence. This notion is demonstrated clearly as exemplified by Marcel Duchamp’s 1917 work of art, ‘Fountain.’

Before Duchamp’s artwork, a urinal was only considered useful. However, through a shift in perspective provided by his piece, the artist could generalize the concept of art – transforming the ordinary into something special.

Generalization can be emotionally driven as it overrides rational classifications of ideas and objects. As such, pattern-matching is suspended in favor of emotions when generalizing, which could be disastrous in a war scenario.

Intelligence is not confined to one type; rather, it embodies Ignacio Matte Blanco’s bi-logic concept, which combines formal reasoning’s static and timeless logic with emotion’s highly dynamic, contextual logic.

The idea of bi-logic is seen in how we, not just Marcel Duchamp, recognize differences and rearrange mundane things in imaginative and significant ways. His mind knew the urinal was meant for a bathroom, but his heart did not, allowing him to view it differently.

Machines cannot understand the past, present, and future; of historical events, wounds, and nostalgia–being without this emotion renders them without bi-logic, thus losing the “intelligence” factor. Artificial Intelligence (AI) will remain incapable of ever reaching that level.

ChatGPT has its uses. It is a prediction engine that can also moonlight as an encyclopedia. When asked what the bottle rack, the snow shovel, and the urinal have in common, it correctly answered that they are all everyday objects that Duchamp turned into art.

When asked to guess which everyday objects the famous artist Marcel Duchamp would have transformed into art, the well-run statistical machine predictably suggested: smartphones, electronic scooters, and face masks. This muted response does not indicate any intelligent thinking.

The phrase “artificial intelligence” can be precarious since it conveys that the world is solely guided by a logical system marred with rationalism. Regrettably, those based in Silicon Valley are proliferating this mindset while they rebuild our world accordingly.

ChatGPT and other such tools can do anything remotely creative due to their training sets which are composed of complex human emotions, anxieties, and all. Indeed, these were produced by real people who had these experiences.

We should fund the creation of art, fiction, and history – not just data centers and machine learning – to enable this creativity to remain alive.

Many fear that if terms like “artificial intelligence” remain, the creative aspects of intelligence will be overlooked, and our world will become increasingly more mechanical and mindless. The potential consequences for not retiring certain language could be detrimental – making what was once innovative invisible.

Rather than trying to audit algorithms while waiting for “AI summer,” why don’t we spend our time looking at Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream? That will certainly yield greater intelligence in our world.

The challenges of artificial intelligence are significant, but with a thoughtful and ethical approach, we can harness the potential of AI to create a better world. It is up to all of us to work together to ensure that AI is developed and deployed responsibly and that its benefits are shared equitably across society.

Source: the Guardian

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